|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
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
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: