Blydenburgh County Park is an exquisite coastal property with miles of trails, beaches, and woodlands for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians to explore. Blydenburgh is the last coastal park on the East End accessible by car without passing through private land, so it’s often overlooked. But once you hike its trails you’ll understand why this gem needs to be better known.
Blydenburgh County Park is divided into two sections. the main section containing the parking lot off NYS-25A in Smithtown, and another section that adds 1.2 miles if hiked from the end of Woodlot Rd., north of Stony Brook near Setauket/Port Jefferson Station.
Blydenburgh County Park is also where some ancient artifacts are displayed. A few of the many items that have been found here over the years include arrowheads, bone fragments, stone scrapers, and spear points.
The first person to notice these artifacts was an anonymous park worker who noticed them sticking out of a clay layer near a stream in 1955. The next year, two archaeologists from Stony Brook University confirmed these were actually Native American relics dating back to the Archaic period (7000 BCE – 1000 BCE). It is believed they would have camped along the banks of this creek.
These people would have spent their days hunting deer, elk, bear, and wild turkey, while also catching turtles and fish in the swampy area of Blydenburgh Lake which would have been twice as large at the time.
The artifacts themselves are from a culture known as the Weckquaesgeek tribe, who were part of an even larger nation that dominated Long Island before European settlers arrived. The other two primary groups that would have lived in Blydenburgh County Park during this era were the Massapequa and Merrick tribes.
Today, the park is a major tourist attraction and a favorite among locals. The park features trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding as well as a golf course and restaurant. Moreover, the park is also a place the public can enjoy the beautiful nature of Long Island.
Some Excursions in The Park;
The Weckquaesgeek Native Americans of Long Island
Findings from the Blydenburgh County Park show that there were Native American’s who remained on Long Island at least as early as 5,000 years ago. During this time the land here was much different than it is today. There were forests rich in-game and waterways full of fish. The first inhabitants learned to adapt to their surroundings and became quite successful at hunting, fishing, and trapping games. These people used spears with sharp stone points made by chipping away flakes along the side of rock called a core. A spear could be anywhere from 4-7 feet long depending on the size of the animal that needed to be hunted or trapped. After obtaining food they would process it to make tools and clothes. Bones were turned into fishhooks, needles, and other useful objects.
Stone flakes, arrowheads, spearpoints, and other artifacts were found at Blydenburgh County Park. In November of 1955, an anonymous worker from the park noticed a number of strange objects stuck in the soil near a stream. Two archaeologists from Stony Brook University were notified and took a look at the scene. The artifacts themselves are believed to be from a culture known as the Weckquaesgeek tribe, which was part of an even larger nation that dominated Long Island before European settlers arrived. Altogether there were three primary groups who lived in Blydenburgh County Park during this era: The Massapequa, Merrick, and Weckquaesgeek tribes.
Lake Ron Konkona
Lake Ronkonkoma is the largest lake on Long Island. It was formed by glaciers that carved out glacial erratics creating drumlins known today as Ronk’s hills. This glacial activity also formed the Great South Bay, Lake Ronkonkoma, and created other smaller ponds throughout Suffolk County by carving out freshwater streams that flowed into the ocean.
Great South Bay
The Great South Bay off of New York’s south shore is known for its fantastic fishing. There are four primary habitats in the bay: salt marshes where you can find crabs and clams; tidal flats where blue-green algae grow; shellfish beds where oysters, clams, and scallops live; and eelgrass beds where fish spawn.
There are several trails in Blydenburgh County Park. One is a path that follows the perimeter of the park, while another goes through part of the wetlands. There are also trails for horseback riding and hiking along with a bike trail.
The nearby golf course can be used by people who pay to play there or by those simply taking a walk throughout the park. It has eighteen holes which have four separate tee boxes on each hole making it playable no matter what your skill level is. The total length from the back tees is 6,781 yards, so it’s quite challenging yet fun for all players because it’s hard to obtain par on some of these holes without phenomenal putting skills.
This restaurant is open throughout the year and has a full-service bar. There are also two banquet rooms that can be reserved for birthdays, weddings, funerals, or any other event. The food there is delicious and reasonably priced. They have daily specials along with a variety of entrees to choose from on the menu.
The park features a playground where children can play while their parents watch from a bench nearby. If you’re looking for a great family picnic location or want some alone time in nature while still close to home I would definitely recommend going to Blydenburgh County Park.
Plan your next visit to Blydenburgh County Park and enjoy your stay on Long Island.
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