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Shoreham – Wading River


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.
  • 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 that 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.
  • The valuable salt marshes at Wading River Preserve have been protected by the Nature Conservancy since 1968.
  • Camp at one of 300 sites for both tents and trailers amidst undeveloped hardwood forest where you can either hike or bike at Wildwood State Park. You can also swim, kayak, canoe, sunbathe, or saltwater fish along the coast of Long Island Sound at this park. Families and friends can come to picnic, play, or sunbathe on the east end of Long Island.
  • Information about town beaches and boat access can be found here.
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!
  • Sea-Level Rise Effects Coastal Bluffs
    This publication covers the effects of sea-level rise on coastal bluffs at Wildwood State Park.
  • 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 Preserve 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.
  • 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.

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