Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Heckscher State Park

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Be advised, to encourage social distancing and help stop the spread of COVID-19, many parks have reduced parking by 50% and local roads may have closures in effect. Many popular parks will fill to capacity by noon and close early to incoming visitors and traffic. Closures will be posted here and on our homepage. For real-time traffic updates visit: 

Heckscher Parkway Field 1
East Islip, NY 11730
Latitude 40.716801
Longitude -73.164268

March/April Nature Programs

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. NEW Cottages! Checkout the newly built waterfront cottages offering 3-season accommodations. Cottages can accommodate 2-6 people and include; living room, bedroom(s), full kitchen, bathroom, screened porch and spectacular views! Other popular activities in the park include: picnicking, biking, sports fields, walking, jogging, scenic viewing, nature observation.

Pavilion Information
Heckscher has three pavilions. Prices range from $200 to $375 and can accommodate 400 to 500 people. Check availability at Find out more information on picnic pavilion reservations and view the options available (see bottom of page under Documents for photos).

For information on educational opportunities & programs in Long Island State Parks, please visit Long Island Environmental Interpretive Center.

*Current Water Quality - Beach Results

Pet Policy: Dogs are only permitted on nature trails located in the undeveloped areas of the park.  Patrons may park vehicles in Field 5 during the off-peak season (September – May) and Field 4 during the peak season (Memorial Day to Labor Day).  Trail is accessible in the Western section of the Field 5 parking lot.  Dogs must not be on a leash greater than 6 feet.  Dogs are not permitted on bike path, beach, and playgrounds or in picnic areas, campground, and buildings including the cottages.  Proof of vaccination must be produced if requested by staff.

Hours of Operation

  • Open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset.
  • 2021 Overlook Beach Hours: 6/28 - 8/10: 11 am - 6 pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays only.
  • 2021 West Beach Hours: 6/28 - 9/8: 10:00 am - 6 pm, daily.
  • Campgrounds reopen June 28. For reservations, please visit Reserve America
  • Picnicking: Available all year.
  • Swimming pool: Closed.

Fees & Rates

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 easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and 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. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • 2021 VUF/Parking Fees
  • 4/3 - 5/30: $8 per car
    8:00am - 4:00pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays

    5/31 - 9/6: $10 per car
    8:00am - 4:00pm, Daily
    7:00am - 6:00pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays

    9/5-10/11: $8 per car
    8:00am - 4:00pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays

    Non-Profit Buses (By permit only) $35
    Commercial Buses $75
  • Cottages
  • 1 Bedroom Cottages:
    Non-Peak: $225/night, $1,350/week
    Peak: $250/night, $1,500/week
    Core: $1,500/week

    2 Bedroom Cottages:
    Non-Peak: $255/night, $1,530/week
    Peak: $285/night, $1,710/week
    Core: $1,710/week

    2 Bedroom with Loft Cottages:
    Non-Peak: $285/night, $1,710/week
    Peak: $320/night, $1,920/week
    Core: $1,920/week

  • Permits
  • Metal Detecting:
    By Permit Only $40

    Model Airplane:
    By Permit Only $40
Fri 23 Apr
Spring Lantern Walk
Friday, April 23, 2021 08:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Heckscher State Park
(631) 581-1072

Enjoy the park by lantern light! During our walk, we will stop along the way to discover what nature does in the Spring! Bring your favorite nature quote to share, if you'd like. Lanterns will be provided or bring your own. No open flame lanterns please.

Due to the Covid-19 safety parameters, space is limited. Reservations are required. Masks are mandatory. All programs are outside. $4 cash, per person.

Registration: Required
Sat 01 May
I Love My Park Day
Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Heckscher State Park

Meeting spot: Patio of Bathhouse Area Location of event: Field 6

Start time: 10am
End time: 12pm

Project 1: Picnic Table Repair. Appropriate for children 12 and under. Bring garden gloves.

Project 2: Coastal Cleanup. All ages welcome

Project 3: Planting of Annuals and Perrenials. All ages welcome. Bring garden gloves. Additional tools: hand trowels


Registration: Required

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Biking
  • Boat Launches (Accessible)
  • Campsites, Cabins & Lodging (Accessible) * 4 of the 15 are Accessible.
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Disc Golf
  • Fishing (Accessible)
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Pavilions and Shelter Rentals (Accessible)
  • Playgrounds (Accessible)
  • Playing Fields
  • Showers
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding
  • Surfing/Windsurfing
  • Swimming Beach (Accessible)