Offering one of the most stunning views of the Long Island Sound with Connecticut in the distance, Sunken Meadow State Park has a wide range of topography that sustains a variety of flora and fauna. The three miles of beach meets tall, glacier-formed bluffs at the west end of the shoreline. A man-made dam separates the park’s brackish creek and marshes from the tidal flats. South of the flats are acres of undeveloped and heavily wooded rolling hills.
Among the most popular picnic parks on Long Island, Sunken Meadow hosts millions of people each year partaking of family and group outings. Pick-up sports are enjoyed on the ball fields and several informal open lawn areas. Swimming here is truly family-oriented in the generally calm waters of the Sound. Many people enjoy the health benefits of measured walks along the ¾ mile boardwalk. Cross country running events are held over the hilly running course. The park is the northern terminus of the Long Island Greenbelt trail for hiking.
From Field 3 at the eastern portion of park, launching is available for windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing.
27 holes of golf at Governor Alfred E. Smith Sunken Meadow State Park
Golf course architect Alfred H. Tull (1897-1982) designed what are today the Red and Green Courses in 1964. Tull, who designed the Yellow Course and redesigned the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park in the 1950s, was noted for laying out golf courses without consulting topographical maps. Only after his routing of the course was complete did he overlay his plan on topographical maps. The result seems to be golf courses which make maximum use of the existing terrain. In the case of Sunken Meadow State Park that terrain is somewhat hilly and variable, surrounded by mature woodlands; resulting in an attractive and relaxing outdoor experience for golfers. The view of the Long Island Sound from the golf driving range is stunning in its beauty.
The use of motorized golf carts was introduced in 1997. Today, in the hierarchy of state park golf courses in the region, the Sunken Meadow courses are intended to serve golfers of a moderate skill level. While maintenance and operation of the golf facilities is kept at an excellent level, they are not maintained at championship level. The courses provide an enjoyable outing with moderate challenges, but not punishing for those who make errant shots.
For information on educational opportunities and programs in Long Island State Parks, please visit Long Island Environmental Interpretive Center.
Current Water Quality – Beach Results
Pets are not allowed in developed areas of the park such as bathing or picnic areas, in buildings or on walkways and cannot enter through the main entrance. Pets are welcome through the alternate entrance on Old Dock Road off of 25A East. There you will find a designated dog walk trail. Please contact Park Office with any questions.