Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)

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Rte. 25A and Sunken Meadow Parkway
Kings Park, NY 11754
Latitude 40.905792
Longitude -73.260330

Winter Nature Programs
Winter Nature Program Descriptions

Offering one of the most stunning views of the Long Island Sound with Connecticut in the distance, Sunken Meadow State Park has a wide range of topography that sustains a variety of flora and fauna. The three miles of beach meets tall, glacier-formed bluffs at the west end of the shoreline. A man-made dam separates the park's brackish creek and marshes from the tidal flats. South of the flats are acres of undeveloped and heavily wooded rolling hills.

Among the most popular picnic parks on Long Island, Sunken Meadow hosts millions of people each year partaking of family and group outings. Pick-up sports are enjoyed on the ball fields and several informal open lawn areas. Swimming here is truly family-oriented in the generally calm waters of the Sound. Many people enjoy the health benefits of measured walks along the ¾ mile boardwalk. Cross country running events are held over the hilly running course. The park is the northern terminus of the Long Island Greenbelt trail for hiking.

From Field 3 at the eastern portion of park, launching is available for windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing.

27 holes of golf at Governor Alfred E. Smith Sunken Meadow State Park

Golf course architect Alfred H. Tull (1897-1982) designed what are today the Red and Green Courses in 1964. Tull, who designed the Yellow Course and redesigned the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park in the 1950s, was noted for laying out golf courses without consulting topographical maps. Only after his routing of the course was complete did he overlay his plan on topographical maps. The result seems to be golf courses which make maximum use of the existing terrain. In the case of Sunken Meadow State Park that terrain is somewhat hilly and variable, surrounded by mature woodlands; resulting in an attractive and relaxing outdoor experience for golfers. The view of the Long Island Sound from the golf driving range is stunning in its beauty.

The use of motorized golf carts was introduced in 1997. Today, in the hierarchy of state park golf courses in the region, the Sunken Meadow courses are intended to serve golfers of a moderate skill level. While maintenance and operation of the golf facilities is kept at an excellent level, they are not maintained at championship level. The courses provide an enjoyable outing with moderate challenges, but not punishing for those who make errant shots.

Find more about park permit information. Find out more on picnic pavilion reservations and view photos of Sunken Meadow's pavilion.

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


Current Water Quality - Beach Results


Pets are not allowed in developed areas of the park such as bathing or picnic areas, in buildings or on walkways and cannot enter through the main entrance. Pets are welcome through the alternate entrance on Old Dock Road off of 25A East. There you will find a designated dog walk trail. Please contact Park Office with any questions.

Hours of Operation

  • Golf:
    The golf courses are open year round, weather permitting. Closed Christmas and New Years day.

    *First tee off is 5:36 AM.

    Clubhouse opens one hour before first tee time.
    Driving Range: All year, weather permitting.
    Pull Cart Rental: All year, rentals through the Pro Shop.
  • 2017 Swimming Season:

    5/27 - 6/23, 10 am - 6 pm,  daily;
    6/24 - 9/4: 10 am - 7 pm, daily;
    9/5 - 9/10: 10am-6pm
    9/16 - 9/17: 10am-6pm
  • Bicycling:
    Between 5/15 and 9/17, bicycling on the boardwalk is only permitted on the boardwalk weekdays between 6 AM and 9 AM.
    Bicycling year-round, elsewhere in the park is permitted (in designated areas only)
  • Cross Country Programs: Permit required for schools and organized groups. Insurance required for schools and groups. Please contact the Regional Permit Office at 631-669-1000.
  • Cross Country Skiing: Available during winter season.
    As conditions permit, not permitted on the golf courses. No rentals available.
    *No sledding permitted in park.
  • Fishing:
    Available year-round.
    Permit needed for night fishing.
  • Hiking: Available all year, sunrise to sunset.
    Nature trails, 3/4 mile boardwalk and Greenbelt Trail.
  • Horseback Riding: Available all year on bridle trail only in Field 5. Not permitted in Picnic area or XC trails.
  • Metal Detecting: Permit required, contact Regional Permit Office.
  • Model Airplanes: Permit required (1/2 yr.) off season in field 2 only. Contact Regional Permit Office.
  • Open year round, sunrise to sunset.
  • Orienteering: Permit required. Contact Regional Permit Office.
  • Picnicking: Available all year, field 4 has picnic area tables and grills.
  • Playgrounds, playfields, softball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts: Open all year.
    Organized groups need a permit.
    Field 1 Softball Flds by permit only, Mon. to Fri. Leagues.
  • Recreation Programs: Include races, golf tournaments, model airplane shows and cross country running programs: major meets and children's programs.
  • Stargazing: Permit required, purchase at the park office.
  • Windsurfing, Kayak & Canoe Launching: Available year-round.
    Fld. 3 only when the park is open. Must get parking pass for fld 3 at park office when field is 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 $65- 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.

  • Golf
  • For all golf-related fees, please visit Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow State Park Golf Course's site.
  • Metal Detecting
  • $40 Annual Fee
  • Model Airplane Permit
  • $15 permit fee
  • Night Sport Fishing Permit
  • NYS Driver's License $35
    Out of State Driver's License $60
    7 Night Sport Fishing Permit $25
    Permits sold at Babylon Headquarters and at the Park office.
  • Orienteering
  • $50 fee
  • Star Gazing Permit
  • NYS Driver's License $35
    Out of State Driver's License $60
  • VUF/Parking Fee (per car)
  • 4/1 - 5/26: 8am-4pm, weekends and holidays - $8/car

    5/27 – 9/10: 7am – 6pm weekends and holidays; 8am-4pm weekdays - $10/car.

    9/11 - 11/12: 8am-4pm, weekends & holidays - $8/car

    Non-Profit Buses: $35 (By permit only)
    Commercial Buses: $75
    Unscheduled buses: $75

    *VUF not charged for golf patrons. Driver buys $10 at tolls.

Sun 25 Feb
Bayberry Candle
Sunday, February 25, 2018 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
(516) 780-3295

Enjoy the beautiful aroma of bayberry in your own home! Explore what life was like when there were only candles to light up the darkness and create a candle made from real bayberries. There will be an additional fee of $2.00 per person for materials

Registration: Required
Fri 02 Mar
Moonlight Stroll
Friday, March 2, 2018 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
(631) 581-1072

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the meandering moonlit trails of the park. This is an excellent chance to get outside and enjoy the crisp winter air while exploring what creatures are around this time of night!

Registration: Required
Wed 07 Mar
Tiny Tots: “Nature Discoveries”- 4 Leaf Clover
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
(631) 269-4333

Explore the natural world around us. These programs will connect children and their parents with nature through short walks, animal visitors, and crafts. Children ages 3 -5.

Held on Wednesdays: 10:30 - 11:30 am and 1:30 - 2:30 pm.

Registration: Required
Wed 21 Mar
Tiny Tots: “Nature Discoveries”- ABC's
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
(631) 269-4333

Explore the natural world around us. These programs will connect children and their parents with nature through short walks, animal visitors, and crafts. Children ages 3 -5.

Held on Wednesdays: 10:30 - 11:30 am and 1:30 - 2:30 pm.

Registration: Required
Sat 31 Mar
Owl Pellet Dissection
Saturday, March 31, 2018 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
(516) 780-3295

Owls are unique among the bird world. Learn about this amazing raptor and, using dissection tools, we will explore the diet of this nocturnal hunter. Children 7 and up.

Registration: Required

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Amenities, Activities & Information

  • Amenities
  • Bridle Path
  • Food (Accessible)
  • Grills
  • Nature Trails
  • Picnic Tables (Accessible)
  • Playgrounds (Accessible)
  • Playing Fields
  • Showers (Accessible)
  • Swimming Beach (Accessible)
  • Activities
  • Biking
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Recreation Programs (Accessible)
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding
  • Wind Surfing
  • X-Country Skiing