Suffolk County Parks1Suffolk
There are many great parks run by Suffolk County. Parks have provided a great relief to many during the 2020 COVID Pandemic. Hiking provided a great way to safely enjoy the outdoors, away from traffic and sheltered in the serenity of nature.
The link here will bring you a complete list of Suffolk Parks and directions and descriptions of each. I'm sure you will find one near you. Below we will review the ones close to us that we are taking an interest in and leading hikes, maintaining trails. We will be completing our three mile loop trail linking Calverton Ponds to the Paumanok Path, marking and creating signage and informative kiosks.
One of our meandering discovery hikes crossing existing non marked trails between RCM County Park and the Otis Pike State Park. We are working on a smaller version of this loop that will be fully within the RCM park and will start and finish at Calverton Ponds and connect to the Paumanok Path.
In 1960 Dr. Murphy led a successful citizen initiative to establish the area as the first major natural park in Suffolk County. Dr. Murphy passed in 1973. The park was renamed the Robert Cushman Murphy Peconic River County Park.
There is no proper entrance or parking to the 2,200 acre park. You will not find it using the County's directions.
It is a wonderfully hidden property in the heart of the Pine Barrens and the headwaters of the Peconic River. The area has one marked and maintained trail that travels through it. That is the Paumanok Path, also known in that section as was the title of Dr. Murphy's, Penrose Memorial Lecture for 1962 and later published as a book of Nature and Man on Long Island.
There are many unmarked and not maintained paths that don't really go anywhere.
Peconic Pathfinders is in the process of finding, mapping and maintaining these paths and opening them up for guided group hikes. We are searching for ways to connect the unmarked trails and are proposing a well mapped out network of a marked and maintained trail system.
You can join Peconic Pathfinders on a guided hikes in the Robert Cushman Murphy Peconic River County Park. We are working on several north-south paths connecting the Veteran Memorial Pedestrian Path in Calverton to the Paumanok Path, much of which is in the RCMCP Property, and west to East from Brookhaven to Manorville and Calverton.
Calverton Ponds has a short trail that is marked and maintained by the Nature Conservatory. There are older, grown over trails that we would like to cut back, mark and maintain.
In the Foreword to Fish-Shape Paumanok, Steven C. Englebright writes, "that the Calverton Pond Complex in the upper reaches of the Peconic's catchmeny basin contained one of the greatest concentrations of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals in New York State."
It is important to note, that when you tread on these trails, that you are treading on environmentally sensitive lands. Tread lightly and leave only footprints.
Across from the entrance on Old River Road, there is an old trail going south, crossing a stream that we have cut back and cleared as it is part of the RCM Property and can be used as a connector to the Paumanok Path and access to a full 2,200 acres of the RCM Peconic River County Park as Peconic Pathfinders ultimate goal is to create a sustainable trail system for the park.