Coming in at just 577 acres, Hempstead Lake State Park packs a lot into its relatively small size, offering everything from sporting events to equestrian trails. Hikers will enjoy the six total miles of trails while enjoying the local flora and fauna, while cyclists can hop on any of the three dedicated miles of paths.
Hempstead Lake State Park caters to a vast array of sports with three basketball courts, 20 tennis courts, and two soccer fields seeing local games quite regularly. These areas are open to the public unless signage stipulates otherwise, so feel free to sit down and enjoy whatever's going on.
Canines are prohibited from entering the public restrooms located adjacent to these facilities but are free to enjoy the bleacher areas provided they stay on a leash at all times. Fishing is the hobby most commonly enjoyed at Hempstead Lake State Park, with three different ponds available to would-be anglers.
These ponds are regularly stocked with trout and largemouth bass, so make sure to bring your fishing gear and try your luck. Canines are welcome to accompany fishers provided they're on no longer than an 8-foot leash. Refuse bins exist at all lake entrances, so make sure to take care of any waste your pet might leave behind.
If you'd like to get your boat out, Hempstead Lake State Park's Hempstead Lake allows so-called "car-top boats" as long as visitors obtain the annual permits issues from the park. This means trolling motors are the most allowed here, so if you're a canoe or kayak owner this is the perfect place for you. Canines are allowed on watercraft at any owner's discretion.
The park also features the locally famous Hempstead Carousel, which lives out its days in a small rental pavilion on the north side of the park. This is a unique experience, so make sure to visit the New York State Parks' website for additional information on how to reserve the pavilion. Dogs are barred from entering the pavilion and surrounding grounds.