Heckscher State Park

Trip Advisor

Key Information

Contact Info



1 Heckscher State Parkway, East Islip, NY 11730, United States

Opening Hours

Open 24 Hours



Introduction of Heckscher State Park

George C. Taylor and J. Neal Plum previously owned properties that are now part of Heckscher State Park. Originally, this site was where William Nicoll, who founded the Town of Islip, constructed his mansion. Rich locals fiercely opposed the State of New York’s purchase of the park with a gift from the rich August Heckscher. Robert Moses’ battle to secure Long Island property for public recreation was one of his most challenging. Moses was only able to complete the purchase of this lovely property fronting the Great South Bay thanks to the help and support of the then-Governor Alfred E. Smith.

Visitors to Heckscher State Park on Long Island’s south coast enjoy its 1,600 acres for a variety of outdoor activities; in particular, its shaded picnic groves provide for the perfect locations for family and group picnic picnics. Lacrosse, cricket, and other field sports are played on vast, open fields. Bicyclists, hikers, and nature enthusiasts are drawn to the four miles of paved, multi-use paths. Visitors may witness whitetail deer, various birds, and other animals in addition to breathtaking views of the Great South Bay with Fire Island in the background.

The Great South Bay is a fantastic park resource because it offers chances for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, bay swimming, and boat launching. MODERN Cottages! Check out the recently constructed 3-season beachfront villas. Cottages have a living area, one or more bedrooms, a full kitchen, a bathroom, a screened porch, and breathtaking views. They can sleep two to six people. Picnicking, riding, playing on the sports fields, strolling, running, taking in the scenery, and observing wildlife are some of the other popular activities in the park.

Heckscher State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Camping at Heckscher State Park

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Heckscher State Park’s campsites are open on a seasonal basis. Showers, waste disposal locations, and camper amusement activities are all included in camping amenities. Your family will be active all day thanks to the trails and playgrounds! CAMP GROUNDS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED. Call the park to make sure a site is available before making a reservation.

Heckscher State Park Activities


Twenty miles of trails draw runners and hikers all year long. Bring your camera because Heckscher State Park, also known as the “Home of the White-tailed Deer” since deer are prominent throughout the park, is a fantastic area to observe some wildlife thanks to its extensive network of trails!


In Heckscher State Park, sailboats, motorboats, and cartop boats are all permitted. Public use of a boat launch is permitted all year round.


When in season, 20 miles of shared-use routes draw cyclists.


All year long, fishing is permitted in the park. When fishing, you may launch your boat at the boat launch, and ice fishing is permitted in the winter.


There are grills and picnic tables scattered around the area. There are three pavilion locations that may only be accessed with a permission. Throughout the year, guests can enjoy recreational programmes. Metal detecting and model aeroplane flying are both legal activities with permits if you’re searching for something a little unusual to do.

Water Sports

The Great South Bay is accessible to swimmers. From the end of June to Labor Day Weekend, beaches are open.

Winter Sports

Cross-country skiers are drawn to the almost 20 miles of groomed routes during the winter.

beach with snow Heckscher State Park
CC: Social Channel of park

Heckscher State Park History 

George C. Taylor and J. Neal Plum’s and George C. Taylor’s properties from the 19th century are now a 1,469-acre (5.94 km2) park. William Nicoll, the man who founded Islip, first constructed his estate here. The Long Island State Park Commission, headed by Robert Moses, expropriated the land in 1924. The state’s highest court ruled that this was illegal because the law forbade such expropriation when the Commission lacked the funds to pay for the land; however, in the interim, the Commission continued to have control over the land. The area was eventually acquired by New York State with the help of a contribution from August Heckscher, despite resistance from rich locals. The park made its formal debut in February 1929.

The New York Philharmonic performed in Heckscher State Park as part of their free “Concerts in the Parks” series from 1972 through 2008. The yearly gathering, which was open to the public, took place on a wide field close to the campsite on summer evenings. Due to budgetary limitations, the New York Philharmonic decided to postpone the concert in 2009 for the summer. The Long Island Philharmonic was able to perform well at the park in 2010 after going without a concert there for a whole year. A theme of American composers, including George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, John Philip Sousa, John Williams, and Billy Joel, introduced the new generation of concerts.



in the East Islip/Great River Area of Suffolk County, at the end of the Heckscher State Parkway, 50 miles south of Manhattan.


Parking is available.

Public Transport

Public Transport is available.

Heckscher State Park Photos

Heckscher State Park Map