Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Heckscher State Park

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

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 $250 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.
  • 2024 Overlook Beach Hours: 6/22 - 8/11/24: 11 am - 6 pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays only.
  • 2024 West Beach Hours: 6/22 - 9/2/24: 10:00 am - 6 pm, daily.
  • Campgrounds reopen 5/24 - 9/1/24. For reservations, please visit Reserve America
  • Picnicking: Available all year.
  • Swimming pool: Closed.
  • Windsurfing, Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddle boarding: Open 3/1/24 - 11/30/24

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.

  • 2024 VUF/Parking Fees
  • 4/6 - 5/19: $8 per car
    8:00am - 4:00pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays

    5/25 - 9/2: $10 per car
    8:00am - 4:00pm, Monday through Friday
    7:00am - 6:00pm Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays

    9/7 - 10/14: $8 per car
    8:00am - 4:00pm Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays

    Buses: $35
  • 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
  • Cottage Season
  • Non-Peak Dates:
    4/26 - 5/23 (min 2 night stay)
    5/27 - 6/18 (min 2 night stay)
    8/30 - 10/10 (min 3 night stay)
    10/14 - 10/19 (min 2 night stay)

    Core season:
    6/19 - 8/29 (min 7 night stay)

    Peak Dates: Memorial day and Columbus day weekends
    5/24 - 5/26 (min 2 night stay)
    10/11 - 10/13 (min 3 night stay)
Sun 14 Jul
Kayak Nature Tour
Sunday, July 14, 2024 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Heckscher State Park
Tour the marsh of the Great South Bay by Kayak to see birds, turtles and more! Must bring your own kayak and lifejacket. Reservations taken on
Fri 19 Jul
Full Moon Hike
Friday, July 19, 2024 08:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Heckscher State Park
As the moon rises and lights up the night sky, go on an evening hike through the park as we use our senses to explore the night. Reservations taken on
Fri 16 Aug
Bat Safari
Friday, August 16, 2024 07:30 PM - 09:30 PM
Heckscher State Park
Bats are both mysterious and often misunderstood. Walk with us through the park in search of our nocturnal neighbors! Reservations taken on

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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)