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Heckscher State Park, East Islip

(3.3/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web)
Heckscher State Park is a 1657acre state park on the shore of the Great South Bay at East Islip in Suffolk County, New York, USA.HistoryThe park includes 1469acre that was once the 19th-century estates of George C. Taylor and J. Neal Plum. Islip's founder, William Nicoll, originally built his estate on this property. Despite opposition from wealthy local residents, the parkland was purchased by New York State with the aid of a donation from August Heckscher, under guidance from urban planner Robert Moses and with the backing of Governor Alfred E. Smith.Beginning in 1972 and continuing until 2008, the New York Philharmonic played at Heckscher State Park as part of its free "Concerts in the Parks" series. The annual event was held on summer evenings in an open field near the campground and was open to the public. In 2009, the New York Philharmonic chose to cancel the event for the summer of that year due to financial constraints. After consideration to keep the tradition, the Long Island Philharmonic volunteered to perform. Ultimately, the Long Island Philharmonic was forced to cancel their plans as well, as a deadlock in the state senate prevented funds from being allocated to the event. The following year, the New York Philharmonic again chose not to perform. This time, however, the Long Island Philharmonic was able to put on a successful performance. The new generation of concerts commenced with a theme of American composers, including George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, John Philip Sousa, John Williams, and Billy Joel.
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  • Have been here many times since I was a kid. From school field days, to picnics, to walks along the beach. It's clean, it's quiet and it's Long Island. Took the bridal party to the beach for pictures ...  more »
  • I'm biased, I know, but this was my childhood backyard. Growing up in the neighborhood, we always rode our bikes into the park, drove in as a family, and even learned to drive there -- it had everythi...  more »
  • There are good and bad reviews for this park. I think part of that is because some people have the wrong expectations for this place. Let me help you. If you want a nice beach to swim or take your kid...  more »
  • Very nice park with paved trails for biking, easy hiking, small beach, lots of playgrounds for kids, large picnic area and many grills for bbq. However, there are tons of mosquitos!! I got bit at least 5 times on each leg within 10 minutes. Bring your bug spray. The refreshment stand was closed when I went today. Swimming pool looks to be closed for years now.
  • Beach is within reasonable walking distance to parking lot. Good for small children especially when you need to carry a lot of things to the beach. Tends to get overcrowded on weekends and holidays. Has nice trails for walking.
  • A great place to arrange picnics. I have been there to cover a Community Picnic. They had really great arrangement. Restrooms are clean, there were people to clean the trash every 2 hrs. Only issue is there will be no electricity after 7:30 PM! So, you have to finish up by then!
  • Amazing views of the bay. Great open areas and playgrounds for the kids. Bike trail is awesome
  • My family and I had a terrible time. The moment we stepped into the picnic area we were covered by an army of mosquitos. There were probably a few hundred mosquitos surrounding us. We couldn't stay more than 20 minutes. We still have bite marks and itchy skin even after 10 days. Anyone planning on going there take lots of mosquito repellent.