Heckscher State Park was once the 19th century estates of George C. Taylor and J. Neal Plum. William Nicoll, founder of the Town of Islip, originally built his estate on this property. The park was bought by the State of New York using a donation by the affluent August Heckscher with strong opposition from wealthy local residents. It was one of Robert Moses' most difficult fights to obtain land for public recreation on Long Island. Only with assistance and support from then Governor Alfred E. Smith was Moses able to close the deal on this beautiful property fronting the Great South Bay.
The 1,600 acres of Heckscher State Park on the south shore of Long Island are used by park visitors for a number of outdoor activities; primarily, the park's shady picnic groves provide the idyllic spots for family and group picnic outings. Large open fields are used for soccer, cricket, lacrosse, and other field sports. Four miles of paved, multi-use trails attract bicycle riders, walkers, and nature lovers. In addition to stunning views of the Great South Bay with Fire Island as the backdrop, visitors see whitetail deer, a variety of birds and other wildlife.
The Great South Bay is a great park resource, providing opportunities for bay swimming, boat launching, sail boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Other popular activities in the park include: picnicking, biking, sports fields, walking, jogging, scenic viewing, nature observation.
For information on educational opportunities & programs in Long Island State Parks, please visit Long Island Environmental Interpretive Center.
*Current Water Quality - Beach Results
Dogs only. Access in undeveloped areas only, on a leash not more than 6 feet. Not allowed in bathing and picnic areas. Not allowed in buildings or on walkways.
Swimming pool: Closed.
Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.
The Empire Pass -- whether a card for $80 or a vehicle-affixed decal for $65 -- is your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Apply online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.