3525 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, New York 11764
(631) 581 - 1005
Connetquot River State Park Preserve is located at 3525 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, NY. There are no designated, handicapped parking spaces in the stone and dirt lot.
There are more than 50 miles of trails with differing degrees of difficulty. The easiest is fairly flat, with the first 1/4 mile paved.
There is a fish hatchery and several narrow fishing piers.
Multi-stall, restrooms with a curtained, handicapped stall and accessible sinks are located in a free-standing building.
- Attraction Type: parks, kid-friendly
Surface of lot: stone and dirt
Distance to venue: close
Transportation to venue offered: na
Terrain: varying terrain, depending on where you walk
Places to rest: no
Paths and walkways: 1/4 mile paved, then gravel, sand, dirt
Number of floors: na
Ramps: to restroom building
Steps and staircases: 4 steps to entrance level of restroom building
Width of aisles: ramp is adequate width
Places to sit: no places to sit
Location of restrooms: in freestanding building
Type of restroom: multi-stall, with curtained, handicapped- accessible stall and accessible sinks
Ease of entry and exit: easy, all doors were open
Baby changing station: no
Available food services: no food services
Friendliness of staff: did not see any staff
Notes: If the terrain of the parking lot is difficult, a passenger can be dropped off at the paved pathway
We found a new, wonderful venue, almost by accident. We were headed to Bayard Cutting Arboretum, one of our favorite places, on a beautiful Sunday morning. Lo and behold, at 10:00 am we were too late! The long line-up of cars on Montauk Highway told the story, we were not getting in any time soon. What to do? We wanted to be outside. Where should we go? Google to the rescue. Looking for “parks nearby” we discovered that we were just minutes from Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Google Maps got us there. We paid the parking fee and made our way to the parking area to the left.
The parking lot is a combination of gravel and square stones with dirt between them, or parking on the grass. In either case, if this is a problem for a passenger, you can pull up to the paved walkway and let him/her off before parking. The parking area is not large and, unfortunately, there are no dedicated handicapped-parking spaces. We wondered if there was another parking area. The person collecting the parking money told us that this was the only public lot. We found out that this is another venue that only allows a certain number of visitors when we left – there was a sign at the driveway stating that the lot was full!
This is a beautiful venue. As a 3,500 acre preserve, it tries to keep things as “natural” as possible. There are more than 50 miles of trails, fly fishing (permit required), and a fish hatchery within the sandy pine barrens, wetlands, ponds and woodlands, and Connetquot River. It is “…a wilderness surrounded by suburbs.” (website) Signs abound warning of ticks and the need for mosquito repellent. Happily we did not find either, perhaps because we stayed on the most traveled paths. But, if you go, be forewarned.
The first 1/4 mile of our walk was paved. Within this area there are great signs describing what a preserve is – a great way to introduce folks to it. We also found the restroom building, a large building with a wooden ramp to enter. At the entrance we found hand-sanitizer. Once inside, there is a bench in the lobby area. Multi-stall restrooms have a handicapped-accessible stall (with curtain closing) and are easy to access – all doors were open. There was also sanitizer in the building. There are no baby-changing stations. Sinks are accessible.
After that first 1/4 mile, the paths change. The path we were on (I believe it was the red trail – around the lake) became gravel, then sand, and eventually dirt, It also became narrower as we continued on. Some spots had roots coming up. The scenery is wonderful. There are several wooden “fishing piers” which were quite narrow, but with gorgeous views.
There are interpretative signs along the way. We understand that there is an audio walking tour that one can get on his/her cell phone. (maybe next time). We know that there are a variety of color-coded trails. We were told that the one we took was the easiest. It was certainly not difficult, and we saw several families with strollers, but I am not sure I would want to go too far with a stroller or wheelchair. We must have lost our way at some point because we never found the fish hatchery. Unfortunately, there are no benches.
The indoor nature center which offers activities and programs, during “normal times,” was not open.
This is a peaceful, beautiful taste of what our area was like “long ago.”
We found our way here by accident. Nest time it definitely will not be an accident!
As always, we at Destination:Accessible, advise you to check a venue’s website, http://www.parks.ny.gov">www.parks.ny.gov, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”