Long Island Greenbelt Trail In New York

Here is everything you need to know about the Long Island Greenbelt Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: New York
  • Length: 31.8 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: https://ligreenbelt.org/

The Long Island Greenbelt Trail, also known as the Greenbelt Trail or simply the Greenbelt, is a scenic hiking trail that spans across the length of Long Island, New York. The trail stretches approximately 32 miles from the Great South Bay in the south to the Long Island Sound in the north. It winds through various landscapes, including woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, offering hikers a diverse and picturesque experience.

The history of the Greenbelt Trail dates back to the mid-1960s when a group of outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists recognized the need to preserve and protect the natural beauty of Long Island. Led by John A. Humes, a prominent environmentalist, and advocate, the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference (LIGTC) was formed in 1966. The LIGTC aimed to create a continuous trail system that would connect existing parks, preserves, and open spaces, allowing people to explore and appreciate the island’s natural wonders.

Over the years, the LIGTC worked tirelessly to acquire land and secure trail rights, collaborating with various government agencies, private landowners, and local communities. The trail was officially opened in 1980, and since then, it has become a beloved destination for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers. The Greenbelt Trail not only provides an opportunity for recreation but also serves as an educational resource, promoting environmental awareness and conservation efforts.

Today, the Long Island Greenbelt Trail continues to be maintained and expanded by the LIGTC, in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The trail offers a unique opportunity to explore Long Island’s natural landscapes, providing a peaceful retreat from the bustling urban areas. As hikers traverse the Greenbelt, they can witness the island’s rich biodiversity, including various plant and animal species, and appreciate the historical significance of the land they tread upon.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Sunken Meadow State Park: Located in Kings Park, this is the northernmost access point of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities and access to the trail.

2. Caleb Smith State Park Preserve: Situated in Smithtown, this park provides access to the Greenbelt Trail. It has parking facilities and offers various recreational activities.

3. Blydenburgh County Park: Located in Smithtown, this park has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities and amenities like picnic areas and fishing spots.

4. Heckscher State Park: Situated in East Islip, this park has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities, camping sites, and recreational activities.

5. Connetquot River State Park Preserve: Located in Oakdale, this park has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities, fishing spots, and nature trails.

6. Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge: Situated in Shirley, this refuge has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

7. Manorville Hills County Park: Located in Manorville, this park has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities and scenic views.

8. Hubbard County Park: Situated in Flanders, this park has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities and amenities like picnic areas and playgrounds.

9. Sears Bellows County Park: Located in Hampton Bays, this park has a trailhead that connects to the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities, camping sites, and recreational activities.

10. Montauk Point State Park: Situated in Montauk, this park is the easternmost access point of the Greenbelt Trail. It offers parking facilities, camping sites, and access to the beach.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Long Island Greenbelt Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Long Island Rail Road – Commuter train service connecting various towns on Long Island.
2. Suffolk County Transit – Public bus service covering Suffolk County.
3. Uber – Ride-hailing service providing convenient transportation options.
4. Lyft – Another ride-hailing service offering on-demand rides.
5. Taxi – Traditional taxi service available for transportation needs.
6. Car Rental – Various car rental companies offering vehicles for rent.
7. Bike Rentals – Local shops providing bike rentals for exploring the area.
8. Long Island Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Long Island airports.
9. Hampton Jitney – Luxury bus service connecting Long Island to New York City.
10. Private Car Service – Local companies offering private car transportation.


The Long Island Greenbelt Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail, including at trailheads and some designated rest areas.

2. Parking: There are parking lots available at different trailheads, allowing visitors to park their vehicles and access the trail easily.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers designated camping sites for overnight stays. These sites may have facilities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Water Sources: The trail provides access to water sources at certain points, allowing visitors to refill their water bottles or hydration packs.

6. Information Kiosks: Information kiosks are available at various trailheads, providing visitors with maps, trail information, and safety guidelines.

7. Trail Markers: The trail is well-marked with signage and trail markers, ensuring that visitors can easily navigate their way along the route.

8. Scenic Overlooks: The trail offers scenic overlooks at certain points, providing beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.

9. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signs that provide information about the local flora, fauna, and history of the area.

10. Benches: Benches are placed at regular intervals along the trail, allowing visitors to take a break and rest while enjoying the surroundings.

Please note that amenities may vary at different sections of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail, so it is advisable to check specific trail maps or contact the trail authorities for more detailed information.

Nearby Services

1. Camp Hero State Park – Offers camping facilities and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Montauk Point State Park – Provides camping, hiking, and access to the iconic Montauk Lighthouse.
3. Hither Hills State Park – Offers camping, beach access, and beautiful ocean views.
4. Wildwood State Park – Provides camping, hiking trails, and access to the Long Island Sound.
5. Caleb Smith State Park Preserve – Offers hiking trails, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities.
6. Heckscher State Park – Provides camping, hiking, and access to the Great South Bay.
7. Connetquot River State Park Preserve – Offers hiking, fishing, and horseback riding trails.
8. Robert Moses State Park – Provides camping, beach access, and stunning views of the Fire Island Lighthouse.
9. Sunken Meadow State Park – Offers camping, beach access, and panoramic views of the Long Island Sound.
10. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site – Former home of President Theodore Roosevelt, offering tours and exhibits.

Long Island Greenbelt Trail Difficulty Notes

The Long Island Greenbelt Trail presents a moderate level of difficulty for hikers. Spanning over 30 miles, the trail offers a diverse terrain that includes rolling hills, rocky sections, and occasional steep inclines. While some portions are relatively flat and easy to navigate, others require more endurance and agility. Hikers should be prepared for uneven surfaces, narrow paths, and occasional obstacles such as fallen trees. Additionally, the trail can become muddy and slippery after rainfall, adding an extra challenge. Overall, the Long Island Greenbelt Trail provides a rewarding experience for hikers seeking a moderate level of difficulty and a chance to explore the natural beauty of Long Island.

Features And Attractions

1. Connetquot River State Park Preserve: This scenic park offers beautiful views of the Connetquot River, as well as historic buildings and a nature center.

2. Caleb Smith State Park Preserve: Known for its diverse wildlife and natural beauty, this park features scenic trails, a freshwater pond, and a historic farm.

3. Blydenburgh County Park: This park is home to the stunning Stump Pond, which offers picturesque views and opportunities for fishing and boating.

4. Nissequogue River State Park: Located along the Nissequogue River, this park offers breathtaking views of the river, as well as hiking trails and picnic areas.

5. Sunken Meadow State Park: With its beautiful beach, rolling hills, and panoramic views of the Long Island Sound, Sunken Meadow State Park is a must-visit along the trail.

6. Trail View State Park: As the name suggests, this park provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the Nissequogue River and the Long Island Sound.

7. Sands Point Preserve: This historic site features a castle-like mansion, beautiful gardens, and scenic trails that offer views of the Long Island Sound.

8. Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park: Known for its stunning gardens and historic mansion, this park offers a peaceful and picturesque setting.

9. Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve: This former estate turned park offers scenic views of the Long Island Sound, as well as miles of trails through woodlands, meadows, and beaches.

10. Montauk Point State Park: Located at the easternmost point of Long Island, this park offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the historic Montauk Lighthouse.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Long Island Greenbelt Trail.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
4. No hunting or trapping is allowed on the trail.
5. Camping is only permitted in designated areas.
6. Open fires are prohibited except in designated fire pits or grills.
7. Do not damage or remove any plants, trees, or natural features.
8. Bicycles are allowed on certain sections of the trail, but must yield to hikers.
9. Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
10. Do not litter and carry out all trash.
11. Respect private property boundaries and do not trespass.
12. Follow all posted signs and regulations.
13. Be aware of seasonal restrictions, such as hunting seasons or trail closures due to weather conditions.
14. Use caution and be prepared for natural hazards, such as ticks, poison ivy, or uneven terrain.
15. Practice Leave No Trace principles and minimize your impact on the environment.

Seasonal Information

The Long Island Greenbelt Trail offers a unique and picturesque hiking experience, showcasing the natural beauty of Long Island, New York. The best times of the year to visit the trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and blossoming trees, creating a colorful and enchanting atmosphere. The weather is usually mild and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking and exploring the trail’s diverse landscapes.

During the fall, the Long Island Greenbelt Trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn foliage. The vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow paint the surrounding forests, providing a stunning backdrop for hikers. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it a comfortable time to traverse the trail, and the absence of summer crowds allows for a more peaceful and serene experience.

It is important to note that the Long Island Greenbelt Trail has seasonal closures in certain areas. The trail passes through various state parks and preserves, which may have specific regulations and closures during certain times of the year. It is advisable to check with the local authorities or the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Association for up-to-date information on closures and trail conditions.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the trail can be quite challenging during the winter months. Snow and ice can make sections of the trail slippery and hazardous. However, for experienced hikers seeking a winter adventure, the trail offers a unique and tranquil experience, with the opportunity to witness the beauty of the landscape in its frozen state.

Overall, the Long Island Greenbelt Trail is a remarkable destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers. Whether you choose to visit during the vibrant spring, the colorful fall, or even the serene winter, each season offers its own unique charm and beauty along this scenic trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Long Island Greenbelt Trail offers wheelchair accessibility at certain sections, providing a smooth and level surface for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available at various trailheads, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are provided at certain trailheads, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
4. Trail Surface: The trail surface is generally well-maintained and suitable for wheelchair use, with a combination of paved, gravel, and natural surfaces.
5. Trail Width: The trail is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices, allowing for safe and comfortable passage.
6. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage is present along the trail, providing information and directions in accessible formats, including braille and large print.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: Benches and rest areas are strategically placed along the trail, offering opportunities for individuals with disabilities to take breaks and rest if needed.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail, providing support and assistance to individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Trailheads: Trailheads are designed to be accessible, featuring ramps or level access points to ensure individuals with disabilities can easily enter and exit the trail.
10. Accessibility Information: The Long Island Greenbelt Trail provides comprehensive accessibility information on their website, including details on accessible features, parking, and facilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on the marked trail: Stick to the designated path to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Carry a map and compass: Always have a map and compass with you to navigate the trail and find your way back if needed.
3. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know your itinerary and expected return time in case of emergencies.
4. Check the weather forecast: Be aware of the weather conditions before heading out and prepare accordingly.
5. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls on uneven terrain.
6. Dress in layers: Be prepared for changing weather conditions by wearing layers that can be added or removed as needed.
7. Bring plenty of water: Stay hydrated by carrying an ample supply of water, especially during hot and humid weather.
8. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays and ward off bugs by applying sunscreen and insect repellent.
9. Watch out for wildlife: Respect the natural habitat and keep a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter.
10. Be cautious of ticks: Long Island is known for ticks, so wear long sleeves, pants, and use insect repellent to minimize the risk of tick bites.
11. Avoid hiking alone: Whenever possible, hike with a companion for safety and assistance in case of emergencies.
12. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings, watch for trail markers, and be mindful of any potential hazards.
13. Leave no trace: Practice responsible hiking by carrying out all trash and leaving the trail as you found it to preserve the environment.
14. Be prepared for emergencies: Carry a first aid kit and know basic first aid procedures in case of injuries on the trail.
15. Respect private property: Stay on public land and respect any private property boundaries along the trail.
16. Follow trail regulations: Observe any posted rules or regulations specific to the Long Island Greenbelt Trail.
17. Plan for rest breaks: Take regular breaks to rest, hydrate, and refuel during your hike.
18. Be mindful of your physical abilities: Choose a trail section that matches your fitness level and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.
19. Stay on the trail during hunting season: If hiking during hunting season, wear bright colors and stay on the marked trail to ensure visibility.
20. Trust your instincts: If something feels unsafe or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and make decisions that prioritize your safety.

Conservation Notes

The Long Island Greenbelt Trail, spanning approximately 32 miles, is a significant natural resource that traverses through diverse ecosystems and habitats on Long Island, New York. In terms of conservation status, the trail and its surrounding areas are subject to various conservation efforts and management strategies to protect and preserve its ecological integrity.

The Greenbelt Trail primarily passes through protected lands, including state parks, nature preserves, and wildlife management areas. These areas are managed by different entities, such as the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These agencies work diligently to ensure the conservation of the trail and its surrounding natural resources.

The conservation status of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail is generally considered to be favorable. The trail passes through several protected areas that are designated for the preservation of wildlife, plant species, and natural habitats. These protected lands provide essential habitats for a wide range of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. Conservation efforts focus on maintaining the ecological balance, protecting water quality, and minimizing human impact on the trail and its surroundings.

Overall, the conservation status of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail is actively managed and monitored to ensure the long-term sustainability of its natural resources. The collaboration between various agencies and organizations plays a crucial role in preserving the trail’s ecological integrity and providing a unique and valuable recreational experience for visitors while safeguarding the natural beauty and biodiversity of the area.

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