Photos of the Long Island Sound

Issues & Actions

Shoreham – Wading River

Location: Wading River, NY

Anchor Site(s): Wildwood State Park & Baiting Hollow Tidal Wetlands

About the Site: Wildwood State Park and Baiting Hollow Tidal Wetlands make up this Stewardship Area, which provides rare habitat for both threatened and endangered plant and animal species in New York.

Wildwood State Park has more than 727 acres of primarily undeveloped hardwood forest and provides a rare coastal habitat for local flora and fauna. The unique bluff habitat in the Stewardship Area supports a globally-rare maritime beech forest along Long Island Sound. Apart from access to a long stretch of beach right on Long Island Sound, visitors are attracted to Wildwood State Park by miles of trails running throughout the forest and atop the bluffs of the park. To the east of Wildwood, Baiting Hollow Tidal Wetlands on 81 acres of land serves a maritime wildlife beach community. Beaches along Wildwood State Park and Baiting Hollow act as a nesting area for piping plover and multiple tern species. Throughout the year, people visit Wildwood State Park for a day, or set up camp and stay longer, to explore the natural recreational resources of this Stewardship Area.

Ecological Importance

  • This Stewardship Area has been designated as a New York State Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat.
  • The beaches of this Stewardship Area stretch over 15 acres, protecting the shoreline from storm surges.
  • This Stewardship Area has been designated as a New York State Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat.
  • Silverweed, a state-threatened plant species, and saltmarsh bulrush, a state-endangered plant species, are found in this Stewardship Area.
  • Exemplary bluff habitat supports a globally-rare maritime beech forest at Wildwood State Park.
  • Sand shoal habitat supports sandlance, a fish which is an important food source for tern populations nesting in this Stewardship Area.
  • This Stewardship Area includes relatively undisturbed salt marsh and maritime beach complex which are rare on the North Shore of Long Island.

Recreational Opportunities

  • Explore the Edward J. and Dorothy C. Kempf Preserve and Henry Reppa Pond Preserve at Wading River Marsh in the Wading River Preserve.
  • Camp at one of 300 sites for both tents and trailers amidst an undeveloped forest at Wildwood State Park.
  • Swim, kayak, or canoe the Long Island Sound, or sunbathe along two miles of beach along the bluffs of the north shore at Wildwood State Park.
  • Picnic or play at Wildwood State Park, an ideal¬† park for day visits with the family in beautiful area on the east end of Long Island.
  • Hike and bike through the hardwood forest on 11 miles of trail throughout Wildwood State Park.

Dive Deeper

  • Maritime Beech Forest
    Maritime beech forests are scarce. Less than five sites are known in the state of NY but one is found right in this Stewardship Area!
  • Piping Plover
    The piping plover is an endangered species in New York, and can be found nesting in this Stewardship Area.

Places to Visit

  • Brookhaven State Park is a 1,638-acre park which includes habitats such as Long Island Pine Barrens (one of only two pine barrens in the world), oak-pine forest, and wetlands.
  • Deep Pond Conservation Area is a glacial kettlehole pond which offers great fishing opportunities on the Schiff Scout Reservation in Wading River.
  • Wading River Marsh owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, contains 104 acres of protected land. Phragmites, an invasive reed, has spread through much of the tidal marshland habitat at Baiting Hollow Tidal Wetlands and The Nature Conservancy supports an ongoing effort to restore and protect these wetlands.
  • Long Island’s North Fork is stocked with farms and vineyards, and is a great place to visit for some fresh, local produce.¬† Depending on the time of year, you can go peach, apple, or pumpkin picking right down the road from Wildwood State Park.

Get Involved/Events

Field Notes

  • Camping season is from the first weekend in April until Columbus Day.

Credits and Sources

  • Mike Bogucki, Park manager, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Site visit and interview in 2012.
  • Ariana Newell, Biologist, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Site visit and interview in 2012.

Return to the main Stewardship page

Did You Know?

  • Around 3,500 BC the Wading River area was an open bay.
  • This Stewardship Area was used as hunting and shellfishing grounds for Native Americans before Europeans settled the area in the late 17th century.
  • Over 100 species of birds have been observed in the area.
  • The beaches of this Stewardship Area stretch over 15 acres, protecting the shoreline from storm surges.
  • The expansive Wildwood State Park increased by an additional 5.21 acres in 2014 with a purchase of two parcels by New York State.

Wildwood State Park

Wading River Marsh

Subscribe to receive our e-newsletter, Sound Bytes by providing your email address. Interested in a free copy of our print newsletter, Sound Update? Then also provide your home/company/school address.