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

Lost and Found in Muttontown

**written by Brandon, age 10**

This morning we drove to Muttontown Preserve.  A lot of our family lives near there.  I went with my younger sister Mia, my dad and my mom.  We packed KIND bars, waters, cameras, a compass, GPS watch and dressed for cold weather.  It still felt cold anyway.

My dad went to the Preserve last year with my 3 younger sisters but I couldn’t go that day. ¬†There are many different trails and it is called part of the Gold Coast estates on the North Shore. ¬†But when my dad and sisters went they couldn’t go really all the way through the Preserve. ¬†We wanted to go all the way to the Walled Garden and the Ruins.

The Ruins were originally a huge mansion deep inside the woods.  It was owned by many people and then King Zog from Albania purchased it in 1951 and never moved in.  Later he sold it, but it was very mysterious.  People said that he buried his treasure in the mansion walls and a lot of people ransacked the house to try to find his treasure.  Later on the estate was demolished because it was falling apart.  I really wanted to go and see 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

Caleb Smith State Park Preserve

Come to our hometown of Smithtown and enjoy the morning sunshine and fresh air with a hike at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, with its many different habitats, including freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, fields and upland woods.

at Halloween

at Halloween

Its diverse habitats support a variety of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns that make the preserve a true refuge for wildlife.

Brandon, 10: I like it at Caleb Smith during the Winter because the Pond is prettiest that time of year. The museum is cool. There is a long hallway with a couple of different rooms and it looks like an old-fashioned house. You can sign your name in a book to get mail from the park. In one of the museum’s rooms you could see information and pictures of birds, fox, other animals you may see at the park and different kinds of plants and trees.

museum

museum

There are several trails for Cross Country Skiing (orange and green), yellow and blue for running/hiking, the red trail to the Boces Outdoor Learning Lab and 3.5 miles of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail for hiking and lots of unmarked  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