The temperatures are down, the humidity is way down and I am a much happier person. Although the meteorologists claimed that we had a week long heat wave, I have found the humidity and temperatures intolerable for the last three weeks. But maybe, all of this is designed to force us to slow down. Perhaps, the lethargy we feel during the hot days of summer is nature’s way of reminding us that we need to take some time to recharge.
With the air considerably drier, we decided to explore Cordwood Landing County Park in Miller Place. Cordwood Landing is another one of those hidden country parks that only the locals seem to know about. I have noticed that many of these little parks, tucked away in secret corners, are not even listed on the county website. I have discovered them by combining search terms parks or preserves with the city name, or just looking for the green spaces on an online map website.
When we arrived at Cordwood Landing, we found a small parking area with space for about 8 cars. The trail began on a private driveway but soon we had to decide whether to take this wide trail, which the local fishermen seemed to use to get to the Sound, or continue straight on a much narrower trail. We embraced the “road less traveled” and found ourselves on a very narrow trail surrounded by numerous wild raspberry bushes, Common Selfheal and Poison Ivy. We paused to sample the ripe fruit before continuing on.
Done with our snack, we continued further on into the woods. Here, in the middle of nowhere, we found a water pump and realized that when you wander off the beaten path you may come across the unexpected. I have found some reference to the fact that this preserve was originally Camp Barstow, a Girl Scout Camp prior to 1980 so perhaps this faucet was a relic from that time period.
One of the problems we did experience during our walk was the absence of any trail markings. We saw a sawhorse with an arrow and the word “trail” painted on it and later, we found a tree painted with yellow arrows pointing in two different directions. Since there were a number of forks in the road, we did have to remember our way for the return journey.
Having made the decision to continue straight at the yellow arrow, we walked on through a slightly more open trail. Soon we reaped the rewards of continuing on the lesser known trail! We soon found ourselves on the bluff overlooking the Long Island Sound and,… you guessed it, there was a bench inviting us to stop awhile! We sat on the bench for a little while enjoying the early evening view of the beach below us.
After resting for a little while, we continued on, following the trail to the beach. The path was overgrown enough that it was almost completely hidden from the beach. We remembered the patch of Yarrow nearby, so we were able to locate the trail and retrace our steps back to the parking lot.
We had walked about 1.5 miles in about an hour.
It’s the little hidden parks like this that are my favorite. I frequented places like this where I used to live, and now I look for them where I live now.
The preserve was acquired from the Girl Scouts and was indeed Camp Barstow. Funds for the purchase came from the 1986 County Open Space Bond Act. The park was dedicated to the County’s Nature Preserve system several years later…….
beautiful park i walk here every day