Deer Park‘s Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve is an 813-acre property located in Deer Park, New York. The property contains habitats ranging from mature oak-hickory forests to young pine plantations. The preserve’s diverse habitats are home to many rare species of plants and wildlife, including the spotted turtle, little blue heron, bobcat, wild turkey, red-shouldered hawk, barred owl and white-tailed deer.
There are more than 23.5 miles of trails and paved/unpaved roads that allow visitors to explore the preserve. The trails are used by hikers, runners and mountain bikers and wind through fields, forested areas and wetlands. There is a designated trailhead at the parking lot as well as additional small hiking trails which branch off from some of the hiking trails closer to where they begin. There are two hiking trails at Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve, one for hiking and one for biking.
The hiking trail is 2.2 miles in length and is considered to be easy with some slight inclines along the way. The hiking trail begins in the field and splits into two trails, one hiking trail, and one mountain bike trail.
The hiking trail is marked with orange paint blazes along with trees or poles at each intersection of trails. Sixteen markers show you how far you have traveled in either direction. It’s a good idea to bring a map with you because it may help find your way around should you get lost or need guidance on where to go next.
The hiking trail has both an entrance/exit near the parking lot as well as a loop towards the beginning of the hiking trail. The hiking trail’s loop begins on Trestle Trail before turning right onto Lake Loop Trail where it ends back on Trestle Trail again. There are additional hiking trails that branch off of Trestle Trail that are separated simply by small signs marking them.
The biking trail is 5.4 miles in length and is considered to be difficult because of having more hills than the hiking trail, as well as being a single track where bikers have to share the space with other users. The biking trail does not loop back on itself, instead of returning you to the beginning once you reach its end.
There are many wildlife sightings at Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve including barred owls, bobcats, and a red-tailed hawk. There is a wildlife viewing platform at Lake Loop Trail that has been built for this purpose. People rarely come across large wildlife while exploring this site because it isn’t necessarily “wild” land. However, smaller wildlife such as squirrels and chipmunks are seen quite often by visitors.
There is a wildlife viewing platform at Lake Loop Trail that has been built for this purpose. People rarely come across large wildlife while exploring this site because it isn’t necessarily “wild” land. However, smaller wildlife such as squirrels and chipmunks are seen quite often by visitors.
There are many small wildlife trails throughout the hiking trail where one can use their binoculars to get an up-close view of birds or wildlife in the area if they so choose. The wildlife viewing platform is ideal for wildlife viewing since it offers some shelter from wind, rain or other harsh weather conditions but still gives the viewer a view of everything surrounding them without feeling too enclosed in a space.
The forest is open every day for hiking between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with trails leading through forests and wetlands divided by boardwalks over ponds. For visitors’ safety, any pets must be leashed at all times when not on private property.
Overall, Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve is a very peaceful and serene nature preserve that allows residents from the surrounding areas to enjoy themselves within a quiet natural setting. There are many different wildlife species as well as beautiful views at this nature center which makes for a great place to spend a day outdoors.
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