700 St. Johnland Road, Kings
07 - 04 - 2020
Nisssequogue River State Park is located at 799 St. Johnland Road in Kings Park. The gravel parking lot has no dedicated, handicapped-accessible spaces. A 1/4 mile paved walkway, with an incline, leads to a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound.
Walking past the park office takes one on a gravel path to the river front, with kayaking and a marina. One can continue father down the gravel, dirt, sand path to the beach. (We did not check this out.) Multi-stall restrooms, with large handicapped stalls, are located in a trailer near the park office. There are five steps or a ramp to the entrances. One must go around the park office for easy access to the ramp. Both restrooms are unisex. One has a "family restroom" sign on it. This family restroom has a baby-changing station.
- Attraction Type: park
Number of handicapped spaces: none
Surface of lot: gravel
Distance to venue: close to paved walking path
Transportation to venue offered: na
Terrain: the walkway to the top has an incline
Places to rest: several benches throughout
Paths and walkways: paved, gravel, dirt, sand
Location of handicapped entrance: na
Number of floors: na
Ramps: to restrooms
Steps and staircases: 5 steps to restroom entrances
Width of aisles: na
Places to sit: a few benches -
Location of restrooms: in trailer near park office
Type of restroom: multi-stall with large, handicapped-accessible stall - one is a family restroom
Ease of entry and exit: ok
Baby changing station: in family restroom
Available food services: none
Friendliness of staff: rangers we spoke with were helpful and friendly
Long Island has so many interesting parks to explore. Last week we found out about another one we had no idea existed. Actually, Nissequogue River State Park did not exist until 2000, when it was established on the waterfront of portions of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center. Doing some research about the park made me sad. Thinking about things that happened there when it was a “facility” made me a bit uncomfortable about going. I read that some of the building still exist, although boarded up. A conversation with my better half persuaded me to go. His take on it was that, at least they created something worthwhile for all to visit and enjoy.
We arrived fairly early on a holiday morning (July 3rd). We parked in one of four spaces near the “park office,” visitor center (closed) and restroom trailer. The large, gravel parking lot nearby has no markings for spaces and no dedicated handicapped spaces. We walked about 1/4 mile up the paved pathway (past a playground) to find a scenic view of Long Island Sound. Several benches along the railing provided a picturesque place to relax. If you are able, you can continue around the paved walkway to a foot-worm path leading to an opening through the fence. From here, we went about 1/10 mile down a steep street which took us to Smithtown Beach (but that is another story.)
Walking back down we stopped at the trailer restrooms. Both are unisex, multi-stall with a large, handicapped stall. The one that says, “Family Restroom,” has a baby- changing station. There are five wooden steps up to the restrooms. There is also a wooden ramp. To easily access the ramp, it is necessary to go around behind the park office.
From here we walked towards the river. We found river access for kayaking, as well as a marina. It seemed like a calm, peaceful waterway. We were told that the gravel path continues to a beach. Being wary of insects, we did not venture much further than walking to where we could watch the boats coming and going.
I had been uncomfortable with the idea of the closed buildings, like a ghost of the past. At first, I was less than happy about them. After spending some time, they just seemed to “be there.” It seems a shame that they cannot be repurposed – only one seems to be having work done on it. Although I could not find any info, maybe something will happen in the future.
This is another peaceful place where social distancing is easy to do. It is definitely worth a visit!
As always, we at Destination:Accessible, advise you to visit a venue’s website, http://www.parks.ny.gov">www.parks.ny.gov, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”