Outdoors & Recreation

The Town of Oyster Bay is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering recreational opportunities that showcase the area’s natural beauty. Biking enthusiasts can explore the town’s Ocean Parkway Coastal Bike Path or the scenic trails winding through lush nature preserves. Hiking trails that meander through forests and parks provide opportunities for wildlife spotting, making every outing an adventure.


BETHPAGE BIKEWAY One of Long Island’s largest, most popular traffic-free paved bike paths, with trailheads at Sunnyside Boulevard in Woodbury, and Merrick Road in Massapequa.  This 13-mile bikeway, which runs adjacent to Trailview State Park, passes through Bethpage State Park and the Massapequa Preserve.

ELLEN FARRANT/WANTAGH PARKWAY/OCEAN PARKWAY COASTAL BIKE PATH –  Beginning at Cedar Creek Park in Seaford (proof of Nassau County residency required in-season), this epic waterside bikeway encompasses Zach’s Bay, Jones Beach, TOBAY Beach, and more – all in a 20-mile bikeway that can be broken down into shorter rides to suit any cyclist.  Snack bars and restaurants are plentiful at the beaches, and bicycle racks are available at TOBAY.

JOHN J. BURNS PARK BIKE PATH – Located on Merrick Road in Massapequa, this 0.6-mile, shared-use bike path loops around the entirety of the park and makes a great place for beginning cyclists to practice and build confidence and strength.

A detailed guide to the bikeways listed above is provided below.

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For beginners, young children, and adults who haven’t been on a bicycle for some time, the Town’s dedicated cycling loop at John J. Burns Park in Massapequa is an ideal place to practice riding (and braking) skills and to build confidence. Easy access is available from any parking lot, with the loop being separated from motorized traffic by wide aprons and heavy-duty bollards. Please remember that cyclists under fourteen years of age are required by law to wear a certified bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and securely fastened. Restrooms are available throughout the park, and the surrounding area offers many restaurants and other family-oriented establishments. 


Once you’ve caught bicycling fever and have gained a bit of experience, consider exploring the popular Bethpage Bikeway, which crosses 13 ½ miles of scenic preserves and calming woodlands between Woodbury Road to the north and Merrick Road to the south, with Bethpage State Park as a midpoint highlight. This well-traveled, fully paved bicycle and pedestrian path extends from a small, designated parking lot on Sunnyside Boulevard in Woodbury to the Bethpage State Park entryway, where it traverses the park for a short distance before continuing south to the Massapequa Preserve. 

There is only one major road-crossing in this segment, where the path meets Old Country Road near Country Pointe Estates. Fortunately, there is a button-operated delayed traffic signal at this intersection to helps cyclists cross safely. When you arrive at Bethpage State Park, you’ll have access to public restrooms and a picnic area for lunch. When heading south, the ride includes a steep downhill that you will have to make your way back up when returning. Comparatively, the invigorating downhill coast might be well worth having to walk your bike on the return trip! 

Once you’ve exited the park, you will enter the bike path along the scenic, lightly trafficked Bethpage State Parkway. With the exception of four short underpasses where the path comes within 10-15 feet of the roadway, the route is generally separated from the parkway.  Where the cycling path and roadway “meet,” a steel guardrail separates the two. Caution should be used when crossing the short entrance/exit ramps associated with each of these overpasses. The relatively small number of drivers who use this parkway are generally on the lookout for cyclists, but you can never be too careful. 


The Bethpage Bikeway next leads you into the serene, picturesque Massapequa Preserve, which, for some, is the highlight of this ride. First, you’ll make your way over the Southern State Parkway by way of a fairly steep bridge that many cyclists choose to walk. The 432-acre Massapequa Preserve offers a soothing, tranquil experience for cyclists and pedestrians alike, especially on weekdays, when it is not as heavily used. This section is the flattest and easiest to ride portion of the Bethpage bikeway, with only a few small road crossings to negotiate.   

As you approach Sunrise Highway, you’ll have an opportunity to detour off to Brady Park, where restrooms and a playground are available between dawn and dusk, seven days a week. A short ride from Brady Park will bring you into the lively downtown area of Massapequa Park. Returning to the bikeway, you will shortly come upon a trail parking lot at Sunrise Highway, where a food vendor often awaits with a grill-full of tempting fare for hungry cyclists. This parking lot is typically the starting point for bikers heading north, and often the turnaround point for cyclists riding south, as crossing Sunrise Highway can be a nail-biter. That said, on the opposite side of Sunrise Highway, a short westbound scoot along the sidewalk leads to the last small section of the bikeway, which officially ends at Merrick Road in Massapequa.   

Although portions of the Bethpage Bikeway can be a bit daunting for an inexperienced cyclist, there are sections suitable for almost anyone. Perhaps a quick drive along the route ahead of time might help you find the section that’s right for you. 

When you’re ready for your first “epic” ride, head to Cedar Creek Park in Seaford and put your wheels down on the Ellen Farrant/Wantagh Parkway trail, an exhilarating 4.5-mile spin along a well-protected paved bikeway adjacent to the Wantagh Parkway.    

First off, you may be discouraged when you feel the resistance of a northerly wind holding you back. Sadly, this causes many cyclists to give up and turn back when they are barely out of the gate. The saving grace is the anticipation of coasting back north later with a tailwind wind gently pushing you forward. There are no road crossings between Cedar Creek Park and Zack’s Bay. The gradual climbs at each of the bridges can be a slight challenge, as the bike path across two bridges gets fairly narrow. Some riders choose to walk their bikes over these. The third is extra-wide and makes a great water stop and scenic lookout. 

When you arrive at the Zack’s Bay/Jones Beach Theater parking lot, you can continue south an additional ½ mile on a protected bike lane to Jones Beach, where the path connects to the new Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway. If you plan to continue your ride, you might want to use the restrooms or grab a snack/drink at either Zack’s Bay or Jones Beach before moving on. The next stop TOBAY Beach is almost four miles away. The bicycle parking area at TOBAY Beach provides seasonal access to restrooms, a snack bar, two sit-down restaurants, and the oceanfront itself. For safety, bicycles are not permitted in the beach parking lot so bring a lock if you plan to stay. If an 18-mile round trip isn’t enough pedaling for one day, the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway continues an additional nine miles beyond TOBAY Beach to Captree State Park in Babylon.

A NOTE FOR MOUNTAIN & GRAVEL ENTHUSIASTS: For those who like to ride a little “rougher,” Stillwell Woods in Syosset, Bethpage State Park, and the Trailview State Park offer miles of prime Long Island Mountain biking, from low impact “fire roads” to highly technical single-track. Details of these dirt and gravel trails can be found at climbonline.org and a number of other mountain bike-specific websites. 

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Preserves & Trails

BETHPAGE STATE PARK TRAILS – Bethpage State Parkway, Farmingdale, (516) 249-0701
This park offers bridle paths, hiking and biking trails, sports fields, tennis courts, cross-country skiing trails, and picnic facilities, as well as a polo field, where matches are played every Sunday, June through October.

CHARLES T. CHURCH NATURE PRESERVE – Frost Mill Road, Mill Neck, (516) 671-0283
This 60-acre area offers 2.5 miles of trails, with boardwalks across muddier areas. Open every day except Friday.

CORDELIA HEPBURN CUSHMAN PRESERVE – Route 25 A, Oyster Bay Cove, (516) 922-1028
This 15-acre wooded preserve features a variety of woodland birds. Open sunrise-sunset.

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C.W. POST COMMUNITY ARBORETUM – Long Island University, 720 Northern Boulevard, Brookville, neighbor@liu.edu
This 20-acre nature trails features more than 62 tree species amid formal gardens, rolling green lawns, and a variety of shrubs and flowering plants. Open dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

FOX HOLLOW PRESERVE – White Oak Tree Road, Syosset, (516) 922-1028
This 26-acre preserve, once farmland, is home to a variety of bird life. Open sunrise-sunset.

HOFFMAN NATURE PRESERVE & WILDLIFE CENTER – 6000 Northern Blvd, East Norwich, (516) 922-3290
This nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary is located on 155 acres, with approximately five miles of hiking trails. The center is open for free nature tours every first and third Saturday of the month, from 1 pm to 2pm.

HOPE GODDARD ISELIN PRESERVE – Chicken Valley Road, Oyster Bay (516) 572-0200
This historic 42-acre field supports diverse plant and bird species, as well as small mammals. Marked trails are open for hiking and observing nature from dawn to dusk.

JOHN F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY – Ocean Parkway, Massapequa, (516) 797-4110
This 500-acre sanctuary is considered one of the most important refuges for waterfowl in the northeast. Visitors must obtain a pass from the Town of Oyster Bay Parks Department by calling the phone number above.

LOUIS C. CLARK SANCTUARY – Valentine’s Lane, Old Brookville, (516) 922-1028
This eight-acre preserve contains extensive freshwater wetlands punctuated by Cedar Swamp Creek.  Open sunrise-sunset.

PETER J. SCHMITT MASSAPEQUA PRESERVE – Merrick Road and Ocean Avenue, Massapequa
This 423-acre linear preserve is divided into three sections, the southernmost of which contains the most diverse and ecologically valuable lands, including Massapequa Lake. The preserve is a habitat for many rare and endangered Long Island plants. Freshwater fishing is permitted in lakes (license required).

NASSAU-SUFFOLK GREENBELT TRAIL – Runs from Cold Spring Harbor to Massapequa, (631) 360-0753
From steep hills to old fields and quiet wetlands, this 20-mile National Recreation Trail offers surprising diversity. Paths for mountain bikers run parallel to parts of this trail. A loop in the Plainview area provides a connection with the Walt Whitman Trail.

STILLWELL WOODS PRESERVE – South Woods Road, Syosset
The 270-acre Stillwell Woods offers a blend of old field and oak barrens communities, including plants and animals more typical of eastern Long Island. The Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail runs through the preserve, as do mountain biking and equestrian trails.

TRAIL VIEW STATE PARK – 8101 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, (631) 423-1770 / (516) 249-0701
Trail View is a 400-acre, 7.4-mile linear park encompassing a variety of habitats and undeveloped natural resources such as hardwood forests, marshes, and a succession of fields with elevations ranging from 60 to 300 feet above sea level. It offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking and biking trails on its hilly terrain and open fields.  NOTE:  Trailview State Park also encompasses the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail and Stillwell Woods Preserve.  The Massapequa Preserve, though not officially designated as such, is generally also considered part of Trail View State Park.

MUTTONTOWN NATURE PRESERVE – 1864 Muttontown Lane, East Norwich
Comprising 550 acres of fields, woodlands, ponds, and grounds from two former estates, Nassau County’s largest nature preserve encompasses several miles of marked nature trails with local wildflowers, trees, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.  Maps and brochures are available for self-guided tours. The c. 1904 Nassau Hall, home to the Nassau Parks Conservancy, is open to the public weekdays.

OACES SANCTUARY – Route 25A, East Norwich
This 26-acre wooded sanctuary is home to a variety of bird life and wildlife. Open sunrise-sunset.

This refuge consists of high-quality marine habitats that support a variety of aquatic-dependent wildlife. The refuge’s water and marshes surround Sagamore Hill, former home of President Theodore Roosevelt, who is considered the founder of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  Subtidal habitats are abundant in the more than 3,000 acres of bay-bottom the refuge encompasses, and the refuge’s sheltered nature makes it an attractive year-round habitat for a variety of birds and waterfowl.  Additionally, New York State’s only remaining commercial oyster farm operates on the refuge.

JOHN’S POND PRESERVE – 7660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor
This 14-acre preserve has three district habitats: marsh, pond, and woodland. The preserve’s wildlife includes opossum, red fox, flying squirrels, as well as several species of turtles and frogs. Marked trails, for foot traffic only, are open daily (except Christmas and New Year’s) for hiking and observing nature. Obtain a key to the preserve at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery admission booth between 10am and 5pm.

TACKAPAUSHA MUSEUM AND PRESERVE – 2225 Washington Ave, Seaford, (516) 572-0200
A 77-acre tract of glacial outwash plain that serves as a wildlife sanctuary consisting of woods, swamps, streams, and ponds. A variety of small mammals and 170 species of birds can be seen at the preserve in the spring. The museum showcases varied natural habitats, including plants and wildlife, in different seasons, and provides various educational programs.

The first Audubon songbird sanctuary in the nation, featuring twelve acres of unspoiled land and a self-guided nature trail. The on-site museum houses Long Island flora and fauna exhibits.

TIFFANY CREEK PRESERVE – Sandy Hill Road (near Berry Hill Road), Oyster Bay
This 197-acre preserve provides a mix of ecological communities within an oak forest. Part of the Nassau County Parks, Recreation, and Museum system, the preserve includes a self-guided trail.

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Water Activities

SOUTH SHORE BLUEWAYS TRAIL– Access points are located at Alhambra Park, John. J Burns Park, and TOBAY Beach
The South Shore Blueway Trail is a safe network of water access points for kayaks, canoes and beachable sail craft. Navigate the coastline and enjoy the rich ecosystems and wildlife.

THE WATERFRONT CENTER – One West End Ave, Oyster Bay, (516) 922-7245
The Waterfront Center is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and educating people of all ages about the marine environment. Whether you are interested in sailing lessons, sailboat/kayak rental, summer camp for children, or fishing on Long Island Sound with pro’s, the Waterfront Center has a program to suit you.

MASSAPEQUA LAKE – Located within the Massapequa Preserve (just north of Merrick Road in Massapequa)
Anglers can catch large-mouth bass, some over 15 inches long (thanks to a no-kill regulation implemented in 1998). The lake also supports a very strong bluegill and yellow perch population. Common carp also grow very large in Massapequa Lake, with some over 10 pounds.

OYSTER BAY MILL POND – Located in Oyster Bay (south of West Shore Road)
Oyster Bay Mill Pond is one of the few public freshwater fishing spots on the North Shore of Nassau County. Trout are stocked in the spring and the fall, and populations of large-mouth bass, carp, and bullheads also populate the lake.

SALTWATER FISHING – TOBAY Beach, Harry Tappen Beach, Theodore Roosevelt Beach, and Centre Island Beach 
Saltwater fishing is available at TOBAY Beach (Ocean Parkway, Massapequa), Harry Tappen Beach (Shore Road, Glenwood Landing), Theodore Roosevelt Beach (Larabee Ave, Oyster Bay) and at Centre Island Beach (466 Bayville Ave, Bayville). Residents and non-residents can apply for a night fishing permit (non-residents must be sponsored by a current Town resident who already has a night fishing permit). Night fishing hours are 7pm to 7am. Night fishing is permitted at TOBAY Beach from May 1st through December 12th, and at Harry Tappen Beach, TR Beach, and Centre Island Beach year-round.

Equestrian Centers

Bethpage Equestrian Center 499 Winding Road, Old Bethpage, NY 11804 
The Bethpage Equestrian Center offers top-notch Horse Boarding and Equestrian Training in both Western and English styles, along with a wide array of programs for children and adults. These include camps, lessons, trail rides, birthday parties, barrel practices and much more – all in the unparalleled setting of a peaceful, scenic state park!

Nassau Equestrian Center 62 Route 106 Jericho, NY, 11753
The Nassau Equestrian Center offers a multitude of services, including boarding or leasing, riding lessons, and summer camps – as well as parties for children!

Gold Coast Equestrian – 62 Hegemans Ln, Old Brookville, NY 11545
Gold Coast Equestrian creates a truly unique riding opportunity for all discipline and skill levels, offering riding lessons and training for different skill sets, various levels of boarding services, and summer horsemanship camps & clinics.

North Shore Equestrian Center – 720 Northern Blvd, Greenvale, NY 11548 
Located on the campus of LIU at CW Post, the North Shore Equestrian Center not only offers boarding and riding lessons to the public, but also provides a unique opportunity for students in LIU’s equestrian studies programs.  Four outdoor rings with grass and dirt paddocks, plus an indoor barn enable riding and training year-round.

Hunters Grove – 1254 Cedar Swamp Road, Old Brookville, NY 11545  
A private facility designed to help riders and horses build a great relationship, Hunters Grove Riding Stable offers group and individual riding lessons, leasing, boarding and training lessons, concierge boarding programs, and a summer riding camp.

Aureliano Equestrian – 1009 Cedar Swamp Road, Glen Head, NY 11545 
Aureliano Equestrian is a family-owned business started 30 years ago through the love of horseback riding. They offer beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons, summer camp, adult lessons, horse shows, and horsemanship lessons!

Metropolitan Equestrian – 62 Hegemans Lane, Old Brookville, NY 11545
MET Equestrian is committed to inspiring student athletes nationwide by developing their talents through horseback riding and quality educational resources. Services include mounted equestrian sessions, horsemanship, academic resources, college preparation, and scholarship opportunities through various educational programs.

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