127 Middle Country Road, Sands Point, NY 11050
(516) 571 - 7901
Sands Point Preserve
DescriptionSands Point Preserve is located at 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY. The parking area has a variety of surfaces, from cobblestone, to packed dirt, to grass. There are no handicapped dedicated spaces.
Castle Gould houses the Visitor Center and Great Hall. There is a small "lip" at the doorway of the Hall. Concrete walkways lead to the double door entrance of this building. There are several tables and chairs, a small snack area, gift shop and restrooms here. Multi-stall restrooms have a handicapped stall and baby-changing station. Tour tickets must be purchased here as well, but tours leave from the front of the building.
Falaise can only be toured with a docent. A mini-van is required to get to it. It is not very accessible. Hempstead House can only be toured on days when there are no events there.
The Woodland Playground is located near the Dejana Learning Center. The Plaground is fully fenced, with wood-chips and grass underfoot. There are a good number of benches at the playground. There are several picnic tables just outside the playground. Restrooms are only in the Visitor Center.
There is a dog park and six, marked, hiking trails. There is also a path down to the water.
- Surface of lot: cobblestone, grass, or hard-packed dirt
Distance to venue: varies based on where you are going
Transportation to venue offered: no
Places to rest: benches throughout the grounds
Paths and walkways: some concrete, some brick
Doors: Visitors' Center - street level, double doors
Number of floors: Visitors' Center - one floor
Steps and staircases: in Falaise
Width of aisles: narrow
Places to sit: benches throughout; picnic tables and benches
Location of restrooms: Visitors' Center
Type of restroom: multi-stall, with handicapped-accessible stall
Ease of entry and exit: OK
Baby changing station: yes
Available food services: limited drinks and packaged snacks in Visitors' Center
Friendliness of staff: Visitors' Center Very Helpful - Falaise Docent wonderful
Notes: * There is no dedicated parking
Visiting Sands Point Preserve feels like going back in time. The 216 acre public park is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It “…embodies the grandeur and elegance that define the Gold Coast period of the early 20th century…”(website) Because of its historic status, handicapped-accessibility is not great..
Besides the beautiful gardens, gorgeouss views, paths leading down to the water, picnic areas, hiking paths, and a wonderful playground, there are severeal amazing buildings, which are open to the public. To be honest, I must admit that I had never been here. Now that I have, I will definitely be back, possibly for some of the events that take place throughout the year, certainly to the playground with my granddaughter.
Parking was our first challenge. There are no handicapped spaces. Be aware that the parking area has several surfaces, from hard-packed dirt, to a form of cobblestones, as well as grass. If going to the Visitor Center or playground, it is probably best to drop a passenger off by a bench before parking.
Castle Gould houses the Visitor Center and Great Hall (for performances and art exhibits.) There is a slight “lip” to enter the Great Hall. A paved path ledas to the huge doors that are at the entrance. All tour tickets must be pruchased here. Tables and chairs are arranged on the stone floor, near a very small snack area. Drinks and a few packaged items are available here. This area also houses the gift shop. Multi-stall restrooms have a handicapped-stall and baby-changing station. We had a lovely conversation with the well-informed volunteer here, and purhased tickets for a tour of Falaise. A docent-led tour is the only way to visit one of the few intact historic houses remaining on Long Island’s North Shore. (See entry for “Falaise” for more information.”
Hempstead House is another beautiful venue. We could not tour it this day because they were preparing for a wedding. If going there you can drive right up to it. The lucky bride and groom had a spectacular weather day. The views from the lawn are gorgeous, as is the 1,500 bush Rose Garden behind Hempstead House. We were torn between looking at the Rose Garden and walking through some really deep gravel for the magnificent view of Long Island Sound.
Six, marked hiking trails are woven throughout the property. We were told that they are not the easiest, although some are short. If you have any interest you can check on the website or call.
The only way to get from one area to another is primarily across grass, or in a few instances, deep gravel, which was quite difficult to navigate. There are benches and picnic tables throughout. We think it is lovely that the tables are far apart, so that your group can have a fairly private area. If you can make it across the grass to one of the benches, you will be able to take in the fabulous views aross the water.
We did not walk down to the water. We were told that it is somewhat steep, so we did not take a chance. Being “dog day” we met a varietey of wonderful pooches and their owners, many of them headed down to the water area or over to the “dog park,” a fully fenced area on the grounds.
We also found an area called the “Phil Dejana Learning Center,” an outdoor space where a variety of programs take place. Its walkways are brick. There are a good number of benches throughout. The raised, wooden deck area requires a step up to access it.
As if all of this isn’t enough, there is a new, fully fenced-in, Woodland Playground on the property. It is so well locked that we had difficulaty figuring out how to unlock it and had to ask for help! It’s a wonderful addition. Climbing apparatus, see-saw, adaptive and toddler swings, slides, and even a zip-line make for a great space. The kids we saw were definitely enjoying themselves. Wood chiops are underfoot and benches are around for those needing a rest. Placing several picnic tables just outside the playground is a nice touch. The only downside is that, if you need a restroom, you must walk to the visitor center.
Sandds Point Preserve is a beautiful, special place. If you can manage it, it is certainly worth a visit. Even if you can manage only part of it, go and have a taste of what life was like on “The Gold Coast!”
As always, we at Destination Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, www.sandspointpreserveconservancy.or when planning a visit, to know before you go.