LI Greenbelt Trail: Boys Hiking Weekend Pt. 2

I guess we were inspired from our 6 miles on the trails at Muttontown Preserve yesterday and instead of running this morning Brandon and I completed a 5.5 mile section of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail just South of the LIE. ¬†Brandon wrote yesterday’s post on his own and those are so much more interesting than mine, but he’s tired so we are sharing the responsibility tonight ūüôā

We started off at Lakeland County Park and hiked through Connetquot River State Park Preserve ending at the South entrance in Oakdale. ¬†We have been to the Preserve several times in the past year – I’ve run the Blue Trail (well, most 6.5 of 8 miles, lots of soft sand that I’m not great running on), passed through the Preserve last Sunday running from Lakeland Park to the South trailhead of the LI Greenbelt in Heckscher Park. ¬†Also, we’ve gone to Frog Night at the preserve and held toads and frogs from the Main Pond. ¬†The kids have gone a few other times as well on the shorter trails; enjoying the horses and checking out the reptiles and amphibians in the main office.

This first photo below is from last week and already the colors have shifted to a less colorful shade.  The light and dark green, yellow, brown and reds of the woodlands surrounded us and Continue reading

Argyle Park

It was Saturday and nice weather. ¬†So..outside we go on another quest. ¬†This wasn’t a first timer; we’ve been to Argyle Park before. ¬†We went last Summer the same weekend as the Polish Town Festival in Riverhead (perogies!) and enjoyed both that day. ¬†I’ve walked the lake many times over the years as well and it’s a good time.

Just off the parking lot is a nice playground, including toddler and regular swings and the slides on the main structure aren’t burning hot. ¬†The playground is in sand for safety.

The Argyle Lake loop is .75 flat miles. ¬†It’s an easy walk and you will find lots of people taking a stroll, speed-walking and running. ¬†Watch out for geese poop!

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anotherswan

Brandon, 10: ¬†“We saw 3 swans and 1 of them was guarding the other two. ¬†When we went to take a close picture it started hissing at us. ¬†But then when we walked along the lake it followed us to see what we were up to.”

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You can go fishing beginning in Spring and will find the following: Brown Bullhead, Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch and Carp.  Also, Brown and Rainbow Trout are stocked in the lake.

On your visit you are likely to see Wedding pictures being taken, or – if the right time of year – prom photos as well. ¬†Both times we I’ve taken the kids there the girls were so excited to see brides all dressed up. ¬†Sofia and Mia both told me Saturday they want to take their wedding pics at Argyle. ¬†I told them they have time!

the 1st African-American baseball club began at the site of Argyle Park. Very cool!

the 1st African-American baseball club began at the site of Argyle Park. Very cool!

Each September the town of Babylon’s Beautification Society produces the annual Country Fair on the grounds at Argyle Park. ¬†This fun day includes hundreds of crafts vendors, food, entertainment and child rides. ¬†We may give it a try next month!

argyletree2013

Alana asked if we could replicate a picture we took last year with her and Sofia peeking around a tree. ¬†The one below is from 2012 and was in Newsday. ¬†I’m not taking any credit; ¬†these kids are just so cute who doesn’t want to put them in the paper ūüôā

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argyleflowers

I took a seat on one of the many benches on the grounds on the park and watched the kids do their thing.  I had to get up a few times when Mia (2) ventured way too close to the edge of the lake and was attempting to reach out and touch a swan;  the same one that had been hissing at me the 2nd half of our trip around the lake.  The kids were playing tag last year; this time it was other games on the grass.  Life is good!

tag

It's this old game, see....

It’s this old game, see….

Sofia asked me to take the shot below; typical. ¬†She reminds me of old super 8 films of my mom when she was a little girl; always trying to model for the camera my Papa was holding…

tree hugger!

tree hugger!

Ok, so this is the schizophrenic swan; who was alternating between trying to scare me off and then genuinely try to follow us around and hang with us.  Doh!

swan

Brandon: ¬†“When we were walking next to the lake I looked over and saw a really small frog hopping on the ground on the edge of the lake. ¬†When we went to touch it the frog stayed still and tried to blend in.”

Sofia, 7: ¬†“Brandon found a frog and daddy put his hand out on the ground and the frog jumped on his hand. ¬†Then it jumped off and then I put my hand down and the frog jumped on my hand and it was so small. ¬†Daddy took a picture and then I told all the walkers and runners going past us that I was holding a frog and showed everyone!”

Sofia and friend

Sofia and friend

Ok, we have consensus; Argyle Park rocks! ¬†Honestly any place that includes a playground my kids are going to be happy anyway ūüôā But it is a beautiful place; the lake view, watching the geese, swans and ducks and also the architecture just off the road in front where everyone takes pics before special events. ¬†Oh, and I’ll have to head back with Brandon to fish soon!

Notes:

Please understand that for the geese, swans and other waterfowl at the park; this is their home. ¬†This woman was teaching her kids to run up to the geese on the lake’s edge and yell and scare them into the water. ¬†Her kids were copying her. ¬†I made a point to tell my kids thats what you DON’T do, but I didn’t have to; they understood already from all the time we spend enjoying nature. ¬†Ok, enough venting in the ‘notes’ section…

Of course you can bring your dog on a walk around Argyle Lake, please just clean up after it.

Boats are not allowed.  No swimming.

Please don’t feed the waterfowl! ¬†Not trying to be park police, but thinking of their health.

Admission and Hours:¬†It’s free, baby! ¬†Dawn until Dusk.

E Main St, Babylon, NY 11702
(631) 669-1212

For high resolution versions of these photos and additional pics of Argyle Park, please follow this link to the associated photo set on Flickr:

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And don’t forget to add comments about what you like at Argyle Park; my kids are excited to see if you like this quest!

Also, Click FOLLOW on the website to get notified when we post new quests. Thanks!

looking fantastic at the lake

Comment on this post if you like it.  Hope you give Argyle a chance soon!

Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge

Driving out to eastern Long Island on a weekend during the Summer would be considered crazy by some. ¬†Well, keeping 4 kids’ from being bored can be quite a challenge if they are in the house or going to the same playground again and again. ¬†So off we went Sunday to the Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge, a 187-acre peninsula on Noyack and Little Peconic Bays.

There are a variety of intriguing and fun adventures to experience at Morton; this includes feeding birds by hand, getting a peek at Wild Turkey sneaking into the high grass with their babies, playing on the beach, watching ducks and other waterfowl in the ponds and much, much more.  There are manicured trails to hike and wood bridges to cross and too many bird types to mention all of them.

It was a hike out to Sag Harbor, but we packed Continue reading

Avalon Park and Preserve

Mill Pond is well known by those who pass down 25A on their way to West Meadow Beach or the museums in Stony Brook. Lots of waterfowl to watch on a quick stop before going out to dinner on the North Shore. The Grist Mill across the street on Harbor Road has been a frequent field trip for youngsters from the Three Village and Smithtown schools (Grist Mill post is coming soon!). However, just behind the pond is a terrific place to spend a morning or afternoon with your significant other, your kids, even your dog!

Avalon Park and Preserve in Stony Brook has a variety of fun things to do. First we stopped at Mill Pond and saw geese, ducks and swans. A few geese got in a fight – we were wondering if it was over food, territory or a female. Anyway, as you enter the park you pass a large helpful map (see below), a wooden path with beautiful flora including Tiger Lillies and Green Pond to your right (behind the caretaker’s house). Further along you will reach a wooden bridge. When we visited this summer there were a few turtles and a mama duck and several babies floating by. I was there with my whole family and the kids – Mia (2), Alana (5), Sofia (7) and Brandon (10) all enjoyed watching the animals and asking Continue reading

Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Most people only know of Bayard Cutting Arboretum as a pretty place to go take engagement and wedding pictures on the South shore of Long Island. ¬†If that was the case I wouldn’t be writing this post. ¬†There is so much more and my kids enjoy visiting all 4 seasons. ¬†Are you intrigued? Well, then….good. ¬†You should be checking out our 1quest2thenext page daily anyway!

Great Lawn

Great Lawn

I’ve taken the kids here several times. ¬†We have the Empire Pass, which is a wise investment – it can be used at State Parks, Preserves, beaches and more. ¬†During the Spring, wildflowers bloom all over; The foliage is a sight to see in Autumn, in the Winter you may freeze your butt off by the river, but it’s very tranquil and during all seasons I enjoy watching the kids explore and Continue reading

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve is a terrific way to spend your morning or afternoon – whether you are alone jogging, on a bicycle ride, hiking or exploring with your kids. There is the main 3 mile loop with marked bicycle lanes and, for the most part, lots of shade. There are beautiful patches of wildflowers all over.

marked bicycle path along the loop

marked bicycle path along the loop

the chase in on!

the chase in on!

From Brandon, 10: There was this big field in front of the horse stables and my sisters and I were rolling around in the grass. After awhile we walked to this winter cottage and took a pretty picture in front of it.

The Winter Cottage is one of the first sites to see on the loop, on your right and it was designed to be very naturalistic and to blend in with the natural surroundings of the preserve. Behind the cottage you can walk down an embankment where there are some benches and other places to roam.

winter cottage

behind Winter Cottage

behind Winter Cottage

The Lloyd Harbor Equestrian Center is located here as well. As you walk through the loop you come along the back and see horses outside the stables. There are several bridle paths throughout the preserve, along with many nature trails that lead to beautiful views from the bluffs and

Continue reading