Enjoy the Gift of Nature: Explore Land Alliance Preserves
North Shore Land Alliance preserves are free and open to the public from sunup to sundown seven days a week. Please join us at these wonderful places filled with flora and fauna and the wonders of nature.
Louis C. Clark Sanctuary – 8 acres (Valentines Lane, Old Brookville)
One of the most ecologically diverse preserves also happens to be one of our smallest. This 8-acre property contains a mixture of upland forest and freshwater wetlands, with trails traversing the narrow strip of forest separating Valentines Lane from the wetlands. Cedar Swamp Creek, which flows into Hempstead Harbor at Glen Cove, runs through the Sanctuary. Together with nearby James Preserve, over 100 bird species as well as several species of fish, frogs and turtles make their home in this special environment.
Cordelia H. Cushman Preserve – 15 acres (Route 25A, Oyster Bay Cove)
Mature hardwood forest comprises nearly all of this pristine 15-acre preserve. Chestnut and white oak trees dominate the canopy, with maple, beech and tulip trees making a presence as well. The preserve also has mountain laurel and a large variety of other native plants, 13 of which are protected by New York State. They include dwarf rattlesnake plantain, pink lady’s slipper and spotted wintergreen. Robust populations of numerous fern species, including cinnamon, New York and Christmas ferns, also are there.
Cushman Woods – 28 acres (Still Road, Matinecock)
This hilly, 28-acre forest is brimming with big trees. It boasts an intricate trail system that was once a popular fox-hunting route for the Meadow Brook Hunt (an event that occurred in the late 1800’s). The trail system at Cushman Woods is the largest of all our preserves and has several restored carriage trails. Many bird species, fox and other mammals make their home here. The preserve also makes up a significant portion of the Beaver Brook watershed. It contains hundreds of acres of protected woodlands, wetlands, ponds and meadows that provide invaluable habitat for wildlife. Their connectivity and their value in preserving our underground water supply are additional reasons why the Land Alliance and its partners are so actively protecting land there. Additional ecosystem services here, like recharging our groundwater, absorbing harmful carbon emissions and cleaning our air, ensure a healthier community for all that follow us.
Fox Hollow Preserve – 26 acres (Near White Oak Tree Road on 25A_Laurel Hollow (parking by arrangement)
This beautiful 26-acre preserve contains an unusual variety of distinct forest types. It features a diversity of oak, beech and other hardwoods, with white pine woodland and shrub layers dominated by mountain laurel and maple-leaved viburnum. The diversity attracts many different bird and other wildlife species to the preserve. Take a stroll there down the hilly trails, which contain some of the steepest sections of trail in Nassau County. Depending on the time of year, you could easily spot or hear Great Horned Owls, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a diversity of Warblers and Red-tailed Hawks.
Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve – 42 acres (Chicken Valley Road, Upper Brookville)
A beautiful hardwood forest, a white pine plantation, which was planted in the 1930s, and a colorful meadow comprise these 42 acres. To make this preserve more accessible to the public, the Land Alliance upgraded the entrance in 2018. It converted a barely visible driveway and dirt parking area into a larger, more attractive lot covered with bluestone gravel and surrounded by a rustic split rail fence. Over 100 native plants, like wood fern and witch hazel, were added to the entrance. They help reflect the natural beauty of Long Island’s countryside. Stroll down the interpretive trail and you’ll not only spot or hear a variety of bird species like the Eastern Towhee, you might notice a large, out-of-place boulder called a glacial erratic in the middle of the forest. It was transported hundreds of miles to its present location by a continental glacier which covered the land 25,000 years ago and formed Long Island!
Humes Japanese Stroll Garden – 7 acres (Dogwood Lane, Mill Neck _weekend hours only)
This unique and historic seven-acre gem of landscape design and woodland boasts an impressive collection of North American and Asian plants. They constitute a beautiful Japanese landscape and impart a meditative experience. The landscape was inspired by a mountain setting by the sea. A stunning stepping stone path is one of the defining features and was inspired by the intimacy of a mountain path. A gentle climb through the woodland part of the garden will lead you to a “mountain peak”. There you will meet the gravel path representing a stream that will guide you to an authentic pondside tea house.
Humes Preserve – 40 acres (Oyster Bay Road, Mill Neck)
The property consists of meadow, woodland and freshwater wetlands and includes preserved land owned by Nassau County. The Humes Preserve is at the heart of a corridor of 150 protected contiguous acres of open spaces that also includes the adjoining Shu Swamp, Francis Pond conservation areas and the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden. These conserved areas and surrounding lands are the headwaters to a series of rivers, lakes and waterways (both freshwater and tidal) that eventually reach the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Long Island Sound. The conservation of this property helped complete one of the most important wetland and open space corridors on the North Shore of Long Island.
Red Cote Preserve – 30 acres (Yellow Cote Road, Oyster Bay Cove)
This property boasts a beautiful mix of woodlands and sweeping meadows. White pine dominates the woodland area in the southern part of the property. A mixed deciduous forest with some large oaks is between the fields and in the forest on the eastern side of the preserve. Three mature red cedars stand sentinel over the middle of the western meadow. The large field is mowed once a year in early spring, which optimizes habitat by allowing for all bloom and leaving the dead remains of wildflower stalks to provide refuge for small mammals and songbirds in winter.
Shore Road Sanctuary – 8 acres (Shore Road, Cold Spring Harbor)
This eight-acre parcel in Cold Spring Harbor was once an ExxonMobil fueling site. It has been transformed into a thriving grassland preserve boasting a beautiful shoreline, salt marsh and wet meadow (where you will find standing water after rainstorms and ice in winter). The grassland, first seeded in 2011 following the property’s remediation, is dominated by four native warm season grasses. It provides invaluable wildlife habitat for foraging and breeding. A pollinator garden was added in 2015. The sanctuary provides significant conservation values not only to the natural upland habitat but also to Cold Spring Harbor, a New York State Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. These habitats are known to offer maritime beach bird nesting habitat and waterfowl wintering areas, as well as highly productive nursery and feeding areas for marine finfish and shellfish. The beach is an important nesting site for horseshoe crabs. The property has also served as a field trip location for the students of the Land Alliance’s popular Long Island Water Education Program. And throughout the winter, volunteers steadfastly conduct weeekly waterfowl surveys at the shore line.
Tiffany Creek Preserve – 200 acres (Sandy Hill Road, Oyster Bay Cove)
A mix of ecological communities can be found on this spectacular parcel of land. It includes old growth woodlands and oak forest, extensive fields, freshwater wetlands and a large pond (which was acquired by Nassau County with Environmental Bond Act funding). The preserve lies within the Oyster Bay Special Groundwater Protection Area, Nassau County’s largest SGPA. Protecting undeveloped land, whether at this preserve or at any of our preserves, is critical to protecting Long Island’s sole source aquifer of drinking water. This property is surrounded by an additional 250 acres of privately protected lands, which enhance its conservation values.
Upper Francis Pond – 25 acres (Oyster Bay Road, Mill Neck)
This 25-acre preserve is an integral part of a corridor of 150 contiguous acres of protected open space in the Beaver Brook watershed (which includes the Humes Estate and Japanese Stroll Garden and the North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary’s enchanting Shu Swamp). The trail from the parking area skirts a field before entering the forest. It leads to a large, treasured pond, situated in the center of the preserve. The site is a popular spot for River Otters. The corridor also provides vital breeding habitat for Brook Trout and a large variety of birds, fish and other wildlife species.
Wawapek Preserve – 32 acres (Mowbray Lane, Cold Spring Harbor)
Perched above the historic hamlet of Cold Spring Harbor, this stunning 32-acre preserve was once being considered for development into 13 house lots. Mature hardwood forest, which comprises over 60 percent of the preserve, protects air quality and provides erosion control throughout its steep ravines. Native trumpet honeysuckle was planted in 2018 to replace wisteria at the preserve’s trellis. An assortment of highbush blueberry bushes are laden with delectable fruit in summer. A pollinator garden that attracts a variety of indigenous insects, a historic yew round and specimen trees complete the formal garden, while woodland trails allow visitors to explore the forests on site. Take a stroll and you might catch a glimpse of some of the animals that live there, like foxes and state-protected Box Turtles.
In 2022, the property’s entrance underwent an expansive habitat restoration. In addition, the Ralf Lange Garden was created and restoration of the greenhouse was launched.