Wildlife Viewing Areas
 Search the U.S.
Find an AnimalFind a Viewing AreaPlan a TripAboutContact


Purchase the New York wildlife viewing guide

NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

Mashomack Preserve
Description: Edged by 10 miles of coastline, Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island is just 90 miles from New York City and encompasses tidal creeks, mature oak woodlands, fields and freshwater and saltwater marshes.

Wildlife to Watch: More than 200 species of birds have been recorded at Mashomack Preserve. In the summer, look for towhees in the understory, scarlet tanagers and Baltimore orioles in the canopy and red-tailed hawks along the edges of open, grassy meadows. Black ducks, Canada geese, hooded mergansers and other waterfowl winter in the salt marshes and surrounding bays. Mashomack also supports one of the East Coast’s largest concentrations of nesting osprey. View other birds as well, such as herons and egrets. Lucky visitors might see an endangered piping plover during its summer breeding season. In addition to birds, the preserve’s many habitats harbor a plethora of other animal life. Painted turtles basking on a sunny log or spring peepers chirping their amorous intentions may be found in the freshwater wetlands, along with a shy muskrat. The common eastern gray squirrel and cheeky chipmunk are almost always sighted, while occasional reports of a black racer or other harmless snake also surface. Salt marshes shelter a multitude of marine species, including clams, blue claw crabs and a variety of fish. The night brings little brown bats and moths, including the beautiful luna and rare imperial, as well as foxes, raccoons and deer.

Special Tips: Mashomack Preserve is open Wednesday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through September, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., October through February. During July and August, the center is open seven days per week. In January, the preserve is open only on weekends. The preserve offers guided hikes and nature programs throughout the year.

Five well-marked land trails and a marine water trail offer more than 20 miles of varying length and difficulty. A wheelchair-accessible trail is located close to the visitors center.

This site has some accessible features, including a trail near the visitors center.

631-749-1001, 47 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, NY 11964


Ownership: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation 
Size: 2,039 acres 
Closest Town: Shelter Island

RestroomsParkingHikingVisitor CenterHandicap Accessible

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Mashomack Preserve - Photo by Ed Sambolin
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Shelter Island is accessible only by ferry. From the Greenport/North Ferry, follow Rte. 114 south for 3 miles to the preserve. From the North Haven/ South Ferry, follow Rte. 114 1 mile north to the preserve. A large wooden sign on the east side of Rte. 114 marks the entrance. Park just inside the preserve entrance on Rte. 114 (less than a mile from the South Ferry), and walk in to the visitor center to sign the guest book and pick up trail maps.

Map Link

Mashomack Preserve : Wildlife Viewing Area