(Updated through 8/13/09; Click
here for a pdf version of this page.)
Part 1: Public Lands and the Government Agencies That Manage Them
Public agencies own and manage approximately 38,000 acres within the Central Pine Barrens Core Preservation Area. In addition, there are several hundred acres held by private conservation organizations within the same region. (Accompanying photo depicts an October scene along the chain of groundwater fed ponds which extending south from Ridge to Calverton. Their southward flow eventually feeds into the main Peconic River flow. Photo by Ray Corwin. Click to enlarge.)
This figure does not include acreage owned by many of the same agencies which is outside of the Central Pine Barrens Core Area, but either contains pine barrens habitats, or is within the Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve. Examples of such lands include the South Setauket Woods holdings of Suffolk County in northern Brookhaven Town; individual Town parks which may contains pine barrens habitat; the land holdings of the State, County, and Towns within the South Fork Pine Barrens region or the Montauk area, and private conservation pine barrens areas such as those belonging to The Nature Conservancy, which are within the Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve.
Generally speaking, the largest holdings are those of New York State (principally through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation) and Suffolk County (managed by the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation). These agencies require certain permits or other permissions for certain activities; thus, the first stop for the interested recreation enthusiast should be to determine what is required.
Please keep in mind that these lands are managed for multiple
and are subject to individual agency policies. In addition,
certain times of the year, temporary restrictions due to increased
of wildfire may be in effect. (See
Central Pine Barrens current fire danger levels here.)
U.S. Department of the Interior - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) - Long Island Wildlife Refuge Complex
http://longislandrefuges.fws.gov/NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) - Region 1 (Nassau and Suffolk Counties)
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 21
Shirley, NY 11967
Office location and visitor entrance:
West turn onto the Refuge entrance off of Smith Road, located approximately 1/3 mile south of Montauk Highway in Shirley.
The Long Island Complex consists of eight Refuges and one Wildlife Management Area in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Activities, facilities, and trails vary across the nine units of the Complex, but generally include hiking, wildlife observation, photography, and some canoeing and fishing opportunities. The Wertheim Refuge is the one unit which is part of the Central Pine Barrens.
www.dec.ny.gov/about/603.htmlNew York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
SUNY at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11790-2356
Sporting Licenses page for DEC: www.dec.ny.gov/permits/365.html
To obtain a free access permit for hiking, bicycling, canoeing, etc.:
Sporting License Office
Open 9 am to 1:00 pm, and 2 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Located in main lobby. You may obtain your permit either by mail or in person.
For information about hunting, fishing, and trapping, which require special conditions or permits and have defined seasons:
See the main Region 1 web site above for links to current seasons, appropriate licenses, fees, procedures, etc.
http://nysparks.state.ny.us/Suffolk County Parks Department
Long Island Region (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) State Parks: http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/list.asp?txtPark=&txtReg=Long%20Island&Opt=1&PKS=Null&sortBy=0&showall=27
Long Island Region Main Office:
P.O. Box 247
Babylon, NY 11702-0247
Belmont Avenue, Exit 37N, Southern State Parkway
www.co.suffolk.ny.us/parks/ This site contains individual links for biking, camping, canoeing, fishing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, picnicking, row boating, swimming, and other activities, along with specific pages for individual County park areas.
P.O. Box 144
West Sayville, N.Y. 11796
West Sayville Golf Course
Montauk Highway, West Sayville
Pine Barrens Trail Information Center: www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Home/departments/parks/Pine%20Barrens%20Trail%20Information%20Center.aspx
County Road 111, immediately north of Exit 70 North of the Long Island Expressway, Manorville
Open 9 am to 4 pm.
"Green Keys" are required for some activities in Suffolk County Parks. Brochures are available for certain parks. Contact the main office above for information.
These organizations publish newsletters and/or maps, sponsor outings
and events, and
work closely with the government organizations and the Commission's stewardship councils.
Please contact them directly for information.
(Accompanying photo shows a portion of the Brookhaven Trail,
a northward spur from the Paumanok Path.
This segment is located in Suffolk County Parkland in Ridge.
Photo by Ray Corwin. Click to enlarge)
Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists
www.climbonline.orgEast Hampton Trails Preservation Society
P.O. Box 203
Woodbury, NY 11797
www.easthamptontrails.orgHiking Long Island & Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition
P.O. Box 2144
Amagansett, NY 11930
www.hike-li.com and www.litlc.orgLong Island Greenbelt Trail Conference
P.O. Box 1466
Sayville, NY 11782
- These web sites contain an extensive compilation of hikes, trail information, upcoming events, etc., gathered from several sources. It includes several pages devoted to the organizations listed here, plus others.
www.ligreenbelt.orgNassau - Suffolk Horsemen's Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 5636
Hauppauge, NY 11788-0141
Blydenburgh County Park North Complex
- Publishes quarterly newsletter "Footnotes", which includes an extensive outings schedule.
- Some outings are published in Newsday or other newspapers or publications.
- Publishes a three sheet map set - labeled "Western", "Central", and "Eastern" sections - for the portion of the Paumanok Path extending from the Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area (in Brookhaven Town) to the Shinnecock Canal (in Southampton Town).
- Also publishes maps for trails in western Suffolk and eastern nassau Counties.
- Jointly staffs the Pine Barrens Trail Information Center with the Suffolk County Parks Department.
www.nshaonline.orgSouthampton Trails Preservation Society
P.O. Box 1944
Huntington, NY 11743
- Publishes monthly "Newsletter of the NSHA".
- Sponsors seminars on riding, safety, etc.
www.southamptontrails.orgSuffolk Alliance of Sportsmen, Inc. (SASI)
P.O. Box 1171
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
- Publishes quarterly newsletter "The Pathfinder".
- Some outings are listed in the weekly Southampton Press newspaper.
- Publishes several trail maps for specific locations within Southampton.
- Includes the Horses On Trails program.
www.suffolkalliance.orgOther private organizations:
215 Waldo Street
Copiague, NY 11726
631-789-2480 (voice and fax)
- Publishes monthly newsletter.
- Sponsors the local celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day each September at the NYS DEC Hunter Check Station in Ridge.
- SASI is also a local supporter of the NYS Conservation Council's Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, which provides donations of game meat to local charitable organizations serving needy people.
Please see www.pb.state.ny.us/chart_master_links.htm#PrivateLIRec for links to dozens of private outdoor recreation organizations on Long Island, many of which sponsor events and activities in or near the Central Pine Barrens..