Heckscher State Park
Heckscher State Park is a park on the shore of the Great South Bay at East Islip in Suffolk County, New York, USA. The park was 1,469 acres (5.94 km2) that was once the 19th century estates of George C. Taylor and J. Neal Plum. Islip's founder, William Nicoll, originally built his estate on this property. The park was purchased by the State of New York using a donation by the affluent August Heckscher with strong opposition from wealthy local residents.
Heckscher offers a beach, picnic tables with pavilions, a playground and playing fields, recreation programs, hiking and biking, fishing, a campground with tent and trailer sites (currently closed due to NYS budget cuts,) cross-country skiing, a boat launch, an olympic sized swimming pool(currently closed due to NYS budget cuts,) and a food concession.
Beginning in 1972 and continuing until 2008, the New York Philharmonic played at Heckscher State Park as part of its free "Concerts in the Parks" series. The annual event was held on summer evenings in an open field near the campground and was open to the public. In 2009, the New York Philharmonic chose to cancel the event for the summer of that year due to financial constraints. After consideration to keep the tradition, the Long Island Philharmonic volunteered to perform. Ultimately, the Long Island Philharmonic was forced to cancel their plans as well, as a deadlock in the state senate prevented funds from being allocated to the event. The following year, the New York Philharmonic again chose not to perform. This time, however, the Long Island Philharmonic was able to put on a successful performance. The new generation of concerts commenced with a theme of American composers, including George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, John Phillip Sousa, John Williams, and Billy Joel.
The Long Island Greenbelt Trail starts its 31-mile route in Heckscher State Park. It ends in Sunken Meadow State Park.
The Heckscher Forest is a Dedicated Disc Golf Course established Summer 2014.
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