- Driving directions from NYC: Northern State Parkway, Southern State Parkway, or Long Island Expressway eastbound to Meadowbrook Parkway South. Follow Meadowbrook to end.
- Driving directions from NYC to Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center: Follow the directions to Jones Beach above to Meadowbrook Parkway. Take the Parkway south to Ocean Parkway, exit at West End and follow signs to the Center.
- Open all year; admission fee in summer.
Jones Beach State Park is commonly associated with sunbathers along its 6 ½ miles of beautiful beaches. However, a journey to this park in nearby Nassau County offers wonderful opportunities to commune with nature.
The birding opportunities are spectacular year round. Summer brings shorebirds like American Oystercatchers, Piping Plovers, terns, and Black Skimmers while even the coldest days of winter are brightened by a variety of ducks like Long-tailed Ducks as well as Brant and Snow Geese. Popular spots for birding include the West End, near the Coast Guard Station and Field 10.
Besides birds, plenty of other species make themselves at home along these 2,400 acres. With habitats that include salt marsh, beach, dunes, and scrub, budding botanists can enjoy a wide variety of plants including Beach Heather, Bayberry and Seaside Goldenrod – a magnet for migrating Monarch Butterflies in the fall!
Look in the waters and beach for a variety of marine life like Spider Crabs, Horseshoe Crabs, Razor Clams, and jellyfish.
In terms of mammals, summer afternoons bring out rabbits easily observed nibbling on grass right alongside the road. Though we’ve never seen them, Jones Beach also hosts Meadow Voles, foxes, and Harbor Seals.
Learn more about Jones Beach State Park’s beachside environment by visiting the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, which provides not only information but also hosts workshops and nature walks.
- Jones Beach State Park by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, accessed on April 6, 2009 at http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=46.
- The New York City Audubon Society Guide to Finding Birds in the Metropolitan Area by Marcia T. Fowle and Paul Kerlinger, published 2001 by Cornell University Press.
- Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center at Jones Beach State Park by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, accessed on April 6, 2009 at http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=84.
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