Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wildwood State Park

The 25 mile shoreline between Port Jefferson and Mattituck is often an overlooked stretch of Long Island Sound. Other than Mt Sinai (just east of Port Jefferson), there are no harbors to be found here. The deep, curved, bays to the west, give way to an uninterupted shoreline of bluffs and beaches. It is a region that is east of the suburban sprawl, yet west of the North Fork's wineries and tourist destinations. If Long Island had a flyover region, this would be it. It is along this section of the Sound that Wildwood State Park is located. Until October, I had never visited, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The 600 acre park includes camp sites, a large picnic area, a playground, as well as numerous hiking trails. This portion of the park is heavily wooded, and despite the thinning foliage of autumn, there was little indication that a body of water was nearby. Only by following a walkway descending a narrow ravine did the beach and Sound come into view.
I walked east of the deck and concession stand, and was amazed at how beautiful a spot this is. The shoreline seemed infinite, with very few landmarks to distinguish one area from another. A water tower and a distant antenna were all that broke the endless shore. I thought to myself how different this view would be if the Broadwater Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal had been built. It is the flyover location I described above that has made this area vulnerable to several bad ideas.The Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant and Broadwater proposals are both located within view from this area.
With the late season sun low in the sky, some sections of the beach were shaded by the trees atop the bluffs to my south (It gets late early there). Along those stretches, I walked below the high tide mark, and weaved my way between the large rocks that were wet from the waist down. What I like most about Wildwood is the beach has been left in its natural state. In order to accommodate large crowds, state parks often groom the beaches, making them more user friendly, but less authentic. Wildwood has left in place the large glacial erratics and boulders strewn along the mile-and-a-half beach. And for now at least, it's views are undisturbed.
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3 comments:

Brenda's Arizona said...

Love the Yogi Berra quote! And how neat that you found something even new to you. I'm glad you include the links to the maps and sites - it brings it all together.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I used to go camping here when I was a kid. I loved it. It seemed so far away from it all.

matthew houskeeper said...

Brenda,
There are still tons of places I have never been to. I may be familiar with the area or region, but I haven't been to every stretch of shoreline.

Lily,
It certainly does have a remote feeling to it.