1600 Merrick Road, Merrick, NY 11566
(516) 804 - 2000
Norman Levy Park
DescriptionNorman Levy Park is located at 1600 Merrick Road, Merrick, just behind Sanitation facilities. There are three handicapped spaces in the gravel parking lot.
Several packed gravel paths lead to the top of this 115 foot high park. There is a kayak ramp, with kayak tours available, as well as a 500 foot, fishing pier. One can see dwarf goats.
If walking to and/or from the top is a problem, contact the Ranger Office and they will arrange jitney transportation for you.
Restrooms are single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible.
- Attraction Type: park, kid-friendly
Surface of lot: gravel
Distance to venue: close
Transportation to venue offered: jitneys can be arranged to take one to/from the top
Terrain: gravel paths rise 115 feet to the top
Places to rest: some benches along the way
Paths and walkways: packed gravel
Ramps: wooden ramp from Ranger Office to Kayak Ramp: 500 foot ramp to fishing pier
Steps and staircases: gravel steps down to Kayak launching area
Places to sit: some benches along the climb, on the pier and at the top
Location of restrooms: near the fishing pier and near the goats
Type of restroom: single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible
Ease of entry and exit: easy
Baby changing station: no
Available food services: none
Friendliness of staff: very accommoating and helpful
Notes: Kayak tours and group tours of the park can be arranged. Call for further information : (516) 804 - 2000
A chance conversation with a colleague mentioned Norman Levy Park on Nassau County’s south shore. I had never heard of it, but after hearing about it I wanted to see it. We were first there in 2017 and have been there several times since. We returned again today, a gorgeous day in June. We are never disappointed!
The park is located just off Merrick Road, behind sanitation facilities. If you go, don’t be put off by the location. Just drive down the road and find the gravel parking area. There are three handicapped spaces. Cars seem to park in a haphazard fashion when it is crowded.
After parking, we begin by taking the wooden walkway from the Ranger building to the Kayak Launching Ramp. Long stone and gravel steps are required to get to the water. Kayak tours and group tours of the preserve are available (check the Park’s website for details.) Due to Covid, tours are not yet available. From this point, the path is compacted gravel back to the main welcome area.
This park was developed over a land-fill. It rises to 115 feet at its highest point, “producing glorious views of the Jones Beach Tower, the New York City Skyline and numerous coastal treasures.” (website) It has three miles of hiking and jogging trails with 18 exercise stations and several paths to the top. The fastest/shortest route to the top requires 41 gravel steps (no handrails.)
We chose one of the paths that didn’t have any steps, just a steady, serpentine, compacted path to the top. Besides the fitness stations there are some benches along the way. At one point there are two, single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restrooms. This spot is the beginning of the 500 foot fishing pier into Merrick Bay. Take note, the pier is not flat. There is an incline as you walk out into the Bay. There are benches along the way and a round, steel handrail, if you need it. There is a lovely view from the beginning of the pier and a feeling of being in the water if you go out to the end. I have a feeling of peace and serenity as I sit and look at the golf course and homes along the shore. Walking back up the pier is not as easy as going down.
Returning to the path, we always think we are close to the apex. Boy, are we wrong! It is still quite a distance to the top. As we climb we are able to glimpse lovely views. When we finally reach the top we are rewarded with vistas that make the trip so worthwhile, including being able to see the Manhattan Skyline. There are a few benches up here. We know how lucky we are that the weather has cooperated with us, allowing us to see Manhattan in the distance.
After spending some time looking around – and often trying to figure out what we are looking at, we make our way down. We decided to take the shorter route – groupings of steps on one path allow one to get up or down more quickly, if you are able. We have taken the steps both down and up on different visits.
Returning to the bottom we stop to visit the herd of dwarf goats and flock of Guinea fowl the town employs to control weed and brush overgrowth, and control ticks. The Guinea fowl seemed to be missing, but there was no one to ask about them. Across from the goats is another set of single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restrooms (no baby-changing facilities).There are no sinks in these “portable” restrooms, just hand sanitizer.
Take special note: if you are unable to walk to the top and/or back there are electric carts to transport you. Talk to someone in the Ranger building for further info. “Jitneys are available to transport the physically challenged, elderly and other visitors, upon request, around the facility. The jitneys will travel the 52-acre preserve from the parking lot to the plateau. You can call (516) 804 – 2000 to arrange for a group tour or obtain further information…” (website)
This park is a hidden gem. Take some time to visit and enjoy! As always, we at Destination Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, (toh.li) when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”