Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Hempstead Lake State Park

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Restrooms are currently unavailable at Hempstead Lake State Park. Please plan accordingly. For information on visiting state parks during the Covid-19 outbreak, visit:

Lakeside Dr.
West Hempstead, NY 11552
Latitude 40.682314001199998
Longitude -73.642421507799995

Hempstead Lake State Park is a multiuse facility. Included are 20 tennis courts, children's playgrounds, basketball courts, bridle trails for horseback riding, hiking trails, shaded picnic areas and a historic hand-carved wooden carousel. There is a picnic pavilion available to rent for large parties through the Permit Department. Additionally, Hempstead offers rentals of the Carousel Party-Room by appointment.  For a rental fee of $350.00 for a three-hour event, guests are also offered unlimited carousel rides during their party.

There are three ponds that are accessible for fishing. On Hempstead Lake, the largest lake in Nassau County, you are permitted to use cartop and inflatable boats (certified by the National Marine Manufacturer's Association) with an annual permit issued from the Park. McDonald Pond, South Pond, and Hempstead Lake are stocked with trout in the fall and you may target trout year-round. Other species present include largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bullhead catfish, black crappie, yellow perch, carp, and sunfish.

Pavilion Information
Hempstead Lake has one pavilion, ranging in price from $200 on a weekday to $250 on a weekend or holiday. It can accommodate up to 300 people. Check availability at Find out more on picnic pavilion reservations and see photos of the Philip Scott Pavilion.

Pet Policy: A maximum of two pets are allowed in day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive. Pets are always to be supervised and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, pools, and spray-grounds or guarded beaches (this does not apply to service animals).

Hours of Operation

  • Tennis: All weather courts: Available year-round.
    4/13 - 5/22: 8am - Sunset, Daily
    5/23 - 9/7: 8am - Sunset (M - F) and 7 am - Sunset (SS & holidays)
    9/8 - 11/3: 8am - Sunset, Daily
  • Fishing: Available year-round. Valid NY State fishing license required for patrons 16 yrs. or older.
  • Boat Permit: Sold in park office. Boat and life jacket must be inspected. Please call for appointment: (516) 766-1029

    Model Boat Permit: Sold in park office. Valid NAMBA membership card must be presented.
  • Picnicking: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Permit required for groups of 50 or more. No fee for permit.
  • Tennis: Clay Courts - Available 4/13 - 11/3, Weather permitting.
    Courts close at sunset.
  • Open year-round. Sunrise to Sunset.
  • Carousel and Gift Shop: 4/4 - 10/12, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

    4/4 - 5/17: 12pm-6pm
    5/23 - 9/7: 12pm 7pm
    9/12 - 10/12: 12pm-6pm

    Carousel Pavilion Building party room rentals for: Birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, etc. Contact Park Office: (516) 766-1029.

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.

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee
  • Cars $8
    Non-Profit Buses (By permit only) $35
    Commercial Buses $75

    2020 Collection Times:
    4/4 - 5/17: 8am-4pm, weekends & holidays;
    5/23 - 9/7: 8am-4pm, weekdays; 7am-6pm, weekends & holidays;
    9/12 - 10/12: 8am - 4pm, weekends & holidays.
  • Carousel
  • $2 per ride, 4/4 – 10/12, weekends & holidays

  • Permits
  • Boat Permit:

    Model Boat Permit:
  • Tennis Information:
  • Tennis (All Weather):
    $6 per hour

    Tennis (Clay):
    $8 per hour

    Tennis Tournament:
    Singles: $12
    Doubles: $15
    Registration Fee Collected 5/1 - 6/30.


Digital Maps

New! Download this park's digital map to your iOS Apple and Android device.

Sat 02 May
I Love My Park Day
Saturday, May 2, 2020 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Hempstead Lake State Park

I Love My Park Day, held the first Saturday in May, attracts thousands of volunteers from across the state to participate in cleanup, improvement, and beautification events at various New York State Parks and historic sites. Join us to celebrate New York's park system by cleaning up the shoreline at Northeast Pond. We will provide garbage bags, pick sticks, and plastic gloves. Please bring garden gloves, water, snacks, tools, rakes, shovels, and insect repellent. Open to individuals and groups of all ages. Register at:

Registration: Required
Wed 01 Jul
Hempstead Lake Annual Open Tennis Tournament
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 until Friday, September 4, 2020 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Hempstead Lake State Park

Tennis tournament in the following divisions: Men's and Women's Singles; Men's and Women's Doubles; Mixed Doubles.
Weekdays 5:00pm-8:00pm
Trophies are given to the 1st place winner and runner up in each division.
Registration required: May 1 – June 30
Fee: $12.00 singles; $15.00 per doubles team
Call the Park Office for information (516) 766-1029

Registration: Required
Sat 01 Aug
DEC Family Fishing Clinic
Saturday, August 1, 2020 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Hempstead Lake State Park

Spend the day with the family fishing at McDonald Pond and learning fish identification, fishing techniques, regulations, and stewardship practices. Geared to families, open to all. Fishing will follow instruction & educational portion.

  • Event is FREE, though an $8 fee for vehicle parking applies. No pre-registration is necessary.
  • I FISH NY provides loaner rods and free bait, though you are welcome to bring your own equipment.
  • No Freshwater Fishing License required during the hours of this event.
  • Event is weather dependent and will not have a Rain Date.
  • Some Accessible-Need fishing equipment is available upon request.

For more information, please contact I FISH NY staff via telephone 631-444-0283.

Sat 17 Oct
2020 Fall Family Freshwater Fishing Festival
Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Hempstead Lake State Park

This family-oriented annual fishing festival integrates fishing in MacDonald Pond and South Pond with fall activities, such as a casting for pumpkins contest and pumpkin decorating. The event includes fly fishing instruction, demonstrations by the DEC, and outdoor exhibits by local fishing clubs. Loaner rods are first come, first served. Children can also enjoy an inflatable slide, pumpkin decorating, face painting and live entertainment. Refreshments are available for purchase.

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Biking
  • Boat Launches
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Fishing (Accessible)
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Pavilions and Shelter Rentals
  • Playgrounds (Accessible)
  • Playing Fields
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Tennis (Accessible)