Considered by many as the best dog-friendly spot on Long Island, Gardiner County Park is a must-visit if you and Fido find yourselves in West Bay Shore! Originally owned by the Gardiner family, the first non-native landowners in Suffolk County, this 231-acre preserve offers plenty of interesting sights and smells for your pooch to discover!
Though it is not exactly a dog park, four-legged visitors are allowed in almost all areas of Gardiner County Park. The largely undeveloped site includes 3.5 miles of trails that weave through woodland and beside a salt marsh, pawfect for a fun afternoon of exploration with your furry pal. From the parking lot, a flat dirt trail stretches three-quarters of a mile and leads to a beach on Great South Bay. From here, you and your pup should be able to see Fire Island and the Robert Moses Causeway bridge across the water. As you and Fido take a leisurely stroll on the beach, you may encounter some dog parents letting their furry charges romp off-leash in the waves. This is technically not allowed, as canines are required to stay leashed throughout the park.
If you and your pooch check out the other wooded paths, you may come across some downed trees that Fido will surely enjoy sniffing and climbing. Other park amenities include a workout trail with exercise stations, benches, picnic tables, restrooms, and a water pump. Doggie waste bags are also provided in case you forget to bring your own. Observe good petiquette by always picking up after your pupper!
Be sure to carry enough water for you and your four-legged friend. While the trails are easy and mostly shaded, some parts of the park, such as the beach, are out in the open. Visitors recommend bringing insect repellent as well. Expect to have a woofderful time with your doggo at Gardiner County Park!