This suburban (Long Island) New York bike path has two personalities: (1) running alongside roadways connecting suburban neighborhoods, and (2) passing through lovely parks which take you on a more tranquill and shaded ride that makes you forget you're in the middle of Long Island. The paved bikeway is an easy ride - mostly flat though curvy, with a few moderate hills. The popular trail can be crowded with bikers and walkers, especially on weekends. A few larger road crossings have warning lights and traffic signals. Several side trails lead to surrounding neighborhoods. (Detailed map and photos below.)
Location: Plainview to Massapequa, Nassau County (Long Island), NY (See map)
Distance: 13 miles
We biked on the southern half of the trail, from Bethpage State Park through Massapequa Preserve.
This section runs beside and through Bethpage State Park. Parking, restrooms. The park is known for its 5 world-class golf courses, but also has playground, picnic, mountain biking, hiking and bridle paths, playing fields, and cross-country skiing in winter. Parking fee applies.
Leaving Bethpage State Park, the trail runs along a power line and then follows Bethpage State Parkway, with some proximity to traffic. After crossing the Southern State Parkway, it enters Massapequa Preserve - continue about 1/4 mile to Mansfield Park (free parking, restrooms, playing fields).
The prettiest section, running along a creek and around lakes, curving and shaded. This section is highly used with many walkers so keep alert - we were careful when passing especially going around curves as you never knew what might be coming from the other direction! Many ducks and other wildlife along the creek. Starting from Mansfield Park at the northern end of the Preserve, it's about 3 miles to the southern end at Merrick Ave.
For those who are interested in a longer ride, 2 miles west along Merrick Road is Cedar Creek Park and start of the Jones Beach Bikeway (Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway) - 5.5 miles to the beach and then Jones Beach Shared Use Path (4 miles).
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