Fox Hollow Preserve, Laurel Hollow – This beautiful preserve contains an unusual variety of forest types and boasts a striking assembly of American Beech trees.  If it snows and you traverse the property by cross country skis, you will be challenged to arrive on your feet at the bottom of one of the steepest sections of trail in Nassau County.

Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve, Upper Brookville – This mostly-wooded preserve includes a deciduous forest filled with American Beech, a White Pine plantation from the 1930’s and a field being restored to enhance its support of a multitude of meadow-loving birds and insects.  Visit in May to stroll among Pink Ladies’-Slippers or at the end of the summer to take in the sunflowers at the meadow’s edge.

Red Cote Preserve, Oyster Bay Cove – Ramble along meadow trails among wildflowers and bluebird boxes, where both Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows tend to take up residence during the breeding season.  When you get to the top and eastern edge of the fields you will find a new woodland path, which winds through a lush and peaceful landscape under a dense tree canopy, providing a refreshing contrast from the open fields.

Roosevelt Preserve, Roosevelt – Take a stroll along one of a network of trails running through Roosevelt Preserve and you may be surprised by what you see, hear and smell at different times of year:  a babbling brook, birds singing and, in late summer, the intoxicating aroma of flowering Sweet Pepperbush.  Bounded to the east by Meadowbrook State Parkway, this 73-acre forested strip incorporates a stretch of the Meadow Brook, which passes through a remnant red maple swamp on its way from the Hempstead Plains to Merrick Bay.   The parcel contains numerous hiking trails that are suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter.

Shore Road Sanctuary, Cold Spring Harbor  Follow this rustic circular trail through the grassland and you will be delivered to an enchanting beach on Cold Spring Harbor.  The Sanctuary is beautiful any time of year.  As you skirt the wet meadows you will observe ice in winter and colorful Blue Flag Iris, Swamp Milkweed and Perennial Salt Marsh Aster during other seasons.  Keep an eye open for killdeer that nest in the grasslands in early spring, and watch your step if you observe one displaying a broken wing – a parent bird may be trying to entice you, the perceived predator, away from a nearby nest full of exceptionally well-camouflaged eggs.

Tiffany Creek Preserve, Oyster Bay Cove – The Preserve is a mix of gently rolling meadows and hardwood forest and includes old growth woodlands, freshwater wetlands, streams and spring-fed ponds.  It provides critical habitat for migratory songbirds and other wildlife.  A hiker or skier can easily spend hours traversing meandering trails (marked with blue and silvery metal trail signs sporting hikers) that course throughout this magical place.

Wawapek Preserve, Cold Spring Harbor- Already loved by its neighbors and other visitors, this recently-opened preserve includes mature hardwood forest carpeting dramatic ravines and a majestic lawn with remnants of a historic formal garden.  The property is home to a wide variety of native plants and animals.  Its old and new trails provide lovely Harbor views in winter.

Click here for directions to these nature preserve.