Where: Avalon Park & Preserve (Stony Brook, NY)
What: Hike (trail, unpaved)
Snacks: Crazy Beans
I’ve been going to Avalon for more than a decade. It is my go to spot and I can roam the trail network with my eyes closed. When a thick coat of late fall leaves hugs the trail, I’m most excited.
The address is officially 200 Harbor Road. You can find parking there in various dirt lots or along marked spots on 25A or in the shopping center across the street. I typically choose the shopping center – this is allowed overflow parking.
If you park along 25A or across the street, enter through the gate to the right of the duck pond. Follow the boardwalk up the stone stairs and take it all in. Follow the packed gravel past the labyrinth keep right and look for the signs for the preserve. Carefully cross the street. This puts you on the red trail, follow it until you reach the dirt parking lot. Here you should find a map at the start of the trail head. Sometimes, there isn’t one. Blame vandals.
Trails start at 2.2 miles and get shorter. Choose from yellow, blue, green or orange with yellow being the longest. Trails are well marked, clear with some roots and rocks and minimal steepness. A portion of the boardwalk area is accessible and their website mentions calling for accessibility help if needed.
I enjoy the yellow trail. It places you in more areas of the park. The blue trail is by far the rockiest and also has a set of steps that you must go up and down. Avalon is slightly hillier than most Long Island trails but far less hillier than Cold Spring Harbor and surrounding.
As you weave through be sure to look out for the mirrored orb. It is an art installation called ‘Cartas al Cielo’ by Alicia Framis. Typically, there is paper by the installation. Place wishes and letters through the slot on the orb.
Snacks we’ve got lattes from Crazy Beans in Stony Brook. Their Miller Place location is friendlier but I digress. It’s a very cute little diner. I usually grab something to go and hold it throughout my walk. Make sure what you carry in, you carry out.
See you on the trails,