Heckscher State Park

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For the NRHP registered local park in Huntington, New York, see Heckscher Park (Huntington, New York).
Heckscher State Park
Dunes of Heckscher Beach.jpg
Dunes in Heckscher State Park
Heckscher State Park is located in New York
Heckscher State Park
Location of Heckscher State Park within New York State
Type State park
Location Heckscher Parkway Field 1
East Islip, New York[1]
Nearest city East Islip, New York
Coordinates 40°42′N 73°10′W / 40.70°N 73.16°W / 40.70; -73.16Coordinates: 40°42′N 73°10′W / 40.70°N 73.16°W / 40.70; -73.16
Area 1,657 acres (6.71 km2)[2]
Operated by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Visitors 982,530 (in 2014)[3]
Open All year
Website Heckscher State Park

Heckscher State Park is a 1,657-acre (6.71 km2) state park[2] on the shore of the Great South Bay at East Islip in Suffolk County, New York, USA.

History[edit]

The park includes 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. Despite opposition from wealthy local residents, the parkland was purchased by New York State with the aid of a donation from August Heckscher, under guidance from urban planner Robert Moses and with the backing of Governor Alfred E. Smith.[1]

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 one year without a concert at the park, the Long Island Philharmonic was able to put on a successful performance in 2010. The new generation of concerts commenced with a theme of American composers, including George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, John Philip Sousa, John Williams, and Billy Joel.

Park description[edit]

View from beach to the Great South Bay

Heckscher offers a beach, picnic tables with pavilions, a playground and playing fields, recreation programs, hiking and biking, fishing, cross-country skiing, a boat launch, and a food concession. It includes the Heckscher Forest, a dedicated disc golf course established in the summer of 2014. The park formerly offered a campground with tent and trailer sites, as well as an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which were closed due to budget cuts.

Heckscher State Park is known as the "Home of the White-tailed Deer", as deer are fairly populous throughout the park.[citation needed] Additionally, about 280 bird species can be observed in the park.[4]

The park is accessible by the Heckscher State Parkway, and falls within the district protected by the Great River Fire Department.

The Long Island Greenbelt Trail starts its 31-mile (50 km) route in Heckscher State Park. It ends in Sunken Meadow State Park.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Heckscher State Park". NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Section O: Environmental Conservation and Recreation, Table O-9". 2014 New York State Statistical Yearbook (PDF). The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. 2014. p. 672. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "State Park Annual Attendance Figures by Facility: Beginning 2003". Data.ny.gov. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Birds of Heckscher State Park" (PDF). NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 

External links[edit]