Greenbelt Trail: 32 Miles from Long Island Sound to Great South Bay
“Daddy, can you take 6 months off from work, take me out of school too and can we hike the Appalachian Trail together?“.
This request came from my son Brandon, 10, during a 6+ mile hike around Stump Pond while camping in Blydenburgh County Park on Long Island, New York. If you don’t know, the AT starts in Georgia, finishes in Maine and is 2186 miles long. Thru-hikers, if they complete the trek, start around April and finish in 6 months or so. If they finish…
Hmmm. Why not?
We set plans in motion pretty fast. The boss said, “oh sure, we’ll keep paying your salary, not a problem!”. The school superintendent said, “wow, what a great life experience. I’ll even do Brandon’s homework for him!”. We put in a month of trail training, packed light and OFF WE WENT…
Ok, we can dream can’t we? 🙂
Brandon did make this request, but it’s going to have to wait until he graduates high school, or maybe college. And all I hope for at that point is that he still wants to hang out with me at all!!!
So we settle for exploring trails around Long Island. We’ve hiked Stump Pond as I mentioned, but also through various trails in Sunken Meadow State Park, Mashomack Preserve, Sands Point Preserve, Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve as well as the Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park in upstate NY.
As much as the excitement of an Appalachian Trail adventure is hard to beat, the trails on Long Island in these mostly natural settings on ‘the Island’ hold their own! We’ve taken Brandon’s sisters as well to many of these trails and have gone up to 5 miles even with Mia, 2. As long as we bring plenty of water and the kids slept well the night prior, things go pretty smoothly and the kids blog about their fun along with me on 1Quest2theNext (If you haven’t read our other quests, get started after this one!).
Each of these trails and parks have their own unique features that we enjoy; the bridle path at Caumsett that leads to a pen with single horse in a huge open field, the deer prancing around in Nissequogue River State Park (or Caleb Smith or Sunken Meadow – they are everywhere!!) and the trail down to the LI Sound at Sands Point Preserve to name a few. The kids and I look forward to checking out the special parts of these natural habitats each time we go on an adventure.
Our upcoming posts – or ‘chapters’ of our Greenbelt Trail exploration – include planned hikes for Brandon/me along Stump Pond’s Greenbelt section, taking photos along the Kings Park Bluff with Sofia, hopping the fence from Blydenburgh Park into Caleb Smith’s South property (sometimes locked) during a solitary hike, strolling through Connetquot River State Park Preserve in the Spring with Mia and Alana, or all by myself on a jog through Heckscher State Park. Sometimes we’ve been on the Greenbelt when we ‘fell off’ the blue trail at Blydenburgh, for instance, or learning about the various trees on the red trail at Caleb Smith and finding ourselves on ‘the white’. The Greenbelt Trail is identified by white ‘blazes’, or paint markings on the trees all along the way.
The Long Island Greenbelt Trail runs from Sunken Meadow State Park in Fort Salonga through 32 miles of woodlands, parks, bluffs, marshes, ponds, preserves, beaches and yes – even across parkways. It is eye opening for us to discover this inner beauty that is hidden as we all drive from location A to B each day.
Are you ready to take this adventure with us?
From Sofia, 7: “I’m so excited to write about these trails! We were walking on a trail once and we saw 3 inchworms. I picked one up and it was all slimy! I can’t wait to tell you about the other really cool things we found and saw on the trail.”
From Brandon, 10: “We were hiking on the blue trail at Blydenburgh when we went camping and fishing and we weren’t paying attention to the blazes and we ended up going on the ‘white’ trail for over a mile. We ended up finding this old Miller’s House and a grist mill!”
- Camping at Blydenburgh County Park (1quest2thenext.com)
- Planting Fields and the Pink Playhouse (1quest2thenext.com)
- Sands Point Preserve: A Gold Coast Gem (1quest2thenext.com)
- Greenport Maritime Festival (1quest2thenext.com)