Going Outdoors in Long Island
This island is long on winter fun
The outdoors don't take a winter break here. Take your pick-ski trails or seal cruises, nature hikes or skating rinks, winter fishing or ice swimming. If jumping into the freezing Atlantic Ocean is your idea of fun, you can join the brave crowds at the Long Beach Polar Bear Club. Even winter golfers can get their fix on Long Island, a region famous for fresh air.
You can't turn a corner here without hitting a ski trail or hiking path. Bay Park, Belmont Lake, Caleb Smith and Cantiague Park are just a few of many year-round playgrounds offering miles of hiking and cross-county ski trails, bridle paths, birding and nature areas. Nature preserves at Quogue Wildlife Refuge and Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve put you face to face with bobcats, owls and eagles in their winter homes. Winter is ideal for seal spotting as they head for the south shore's cool waters. And if you just can't put away the clubs, there's even winter golfing at Eisenhower, Cantiague and North Woodmere Parks, among others.
Skiing and skating
After that first blanket of snow sticks, grab some skis and head to cross-country trails at East Rockaway's Bay Park, Bethpage State Park, Muttontown Preserve in East Norwich, and Grant Park where toboggans are also invited to tackle the powder. Villages across the island welcome ice skaters to popular outdoor rinks at Greenport Village, Christopher Morley Park, Oyster Bay's Bethpage Community Park, and Hauppauge's The Rinx, among many others.