Heckscher State Park

Heckscher State Park, East Islip: Address, Phone Number, Heckscher State Park Reviews: 3.5/5

Heckscher State Park
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87 reviews
Very good

19 contributions
Terrific End of April Visit to the Hecksher State Park Cottages
Apr 2021 • Couples
We’ve just wrapped up a wonderful week of peace and calm at the Hecksher State Park cottages. We stayed in Cottage 1, a 2-bedroom unit, which is on the far right of the lot.

Prior to our arrival, the Philip in the park office provided great help and information. Once we checked in the, the welcome was warm and appreciative. It was a great start to our visit.

Our cottage was spotlessly clean and there were no surprises. We had packed comprehensively for our trip and were well set for cooking as needed, or eating out at the good local restaurants, Teller’s, Shandon Court, etc. The local food market, Pat’s, was surprisingly good and very close to the park. It had everything we needed for the week. We popped over there each day depending on appetite and mood. It would be easy to minimize cooking by ordering the wide selection of ready prepared fresh food at Pat’s. We had some friends to visit and re-heated their excellent catering trays.

We truly enjoyed the calm, the sunny days, and incredibly dark nights. During the day, we walked long walks, napped, listened to music, read, and embraced the silence. Even though we had not traveled far, it was a true getaway and a disconnect from the daily routine at a very reasonable price. As a post-pandemic getaway, this was a perfect choice.

Highly recommended. Thank you to Philip and to the cleaning crew for a great job in creating a special experience. Well done!
Written April 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michael W
Great Neck, NY16 contributions
One of the most underrated and under advertised great getaway places!
Apr 2021
Trip dates - 4/2/21 to 4/4/21

This is one of the best kept secrets on Long Island. Never thought a vacation-like lodge is in a state park! Total price for tonights with one additional parking permit of $20 total to about $600. With two families splitting the cost, I couldn't be happier than our experience!

There are a total of 15 cottages available, ranging from 1 bedroom, 2 bedrooms, and 2 bedrooms with the attic/balcony. We were at Unit 5 (2bd with Attic) since we have a total of 6 people. The sofa is also a pullout bed so that would've accommodate two additional person when COVID is no longer restricting occupancy.

Check-In - Quick and easy. Took about 5 minutes to obtain keys and parking permits. The check-in place is away from the cottages (see the map of the park) and it's about a 3 minute drive to the cottages.

Facility - Clean and convenient. The fireplace is sufficient to provide heat to the entire cottage (just leave your doors open and the heat will pass through). The attic gets warm easily because heat always goes up. My children had to open the window to make it less hot. Oven, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and fridge are all working just fine. Be sure to bring your own cookware and silverware since they are not providing any b/c of COVID. The sink is a bit slow in draining water so we had to make sure we don't dump water too fast.

Bathroom (only one) - Feels like we are at a home. The shower gets very hot if you turn it up 100%. Just make sure you start off at about 60 to 70% so the water stays hot enough but won't go too hot (because if you turn it down, the heating system actually go off for a few minute so you will get cold water before it gets hot again >_<). The toilet and sink are working fine and you have air ventilator as well as a window to circulate. They provides a mop in case the water from the shower spills over to the rest of the bathroom.

Living room and porch - enough space to entertain everyone. There's no TV so bring your own entertainment (boardgames, books, or others). We brought a projector so we were able to use the curtains as our screen and watched Godzilla V Kong. THERE ARE TONS OF THREE-HOLD ELECTRICAL PLUGS EVERYWHERE IN THE COTTAGE.

WIFI - Free wifi available from the park. Enough for the kids to play/watch IPad while us adults browsing the web and watch Youtube at the same time!

Things to do - Too bad it was cold so we couldn't do water activities (beach, kayak, fishing, crab-catching). We ended up hiking alongside the beach and then on the fitness track (for biking and jogging). There is also playgrounds and a disc-golf course. I certainly see a lot more things happening when the weather gets nicer. The cottages are about 5 minutes walking from the beach, so each cottage has and outdoor shower/rinse state in case there is need.

Fire pit - Great way to end the night with bbq or just sitting by the fireside. You need to bring your own firewood (be sure they are approved by NYS). We were able to grill and cook some marsh-mellows :)

Check-in and -out time - 5 PM to 9 PM for check-in and you need to leave by 10 AM. Not bad. You do need to clean up and take out garbages (a big dumpster and a separate recycle dumpers are available by the parking lot). You have the mob from the bathroom and a broom to work with. It's quite easy since the floor is wooden.

Staff - ultra friendly and will attend to your needs if there is anything wrong with the cottage. We had to call them to fix our fireplace and they arrived within 5 minutes after the call. They also stay up until around 7 PM or so it they are rather accessible.

Food - bring your own food. If you want to buy, East Islip is only about 5 minutes driving away once you exit the park. Many good local food places. Highly recommend Jackson Hall, Dang BBQ, and Riley Fibbers. The cottage also has a binder with local recommendations.

Overall - Would definitely come back again with friends when COVID is finally behind us. This is one of the most surprising trips in recent years. While I am not trying to "spread the words" and thus hinder my chances of booking future reservations, but I feel compelled to give this place a 5-stars review because it is so deserving!
Written April 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Donna B
2 contributions
A great local day out!
Sep 2020
We love walking around the park! We saw they also have cabins to rent, will have to look into that! Nice day out!
Written January 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thomas B
2 contributions
Abundant wildlife just adds to the ambience of this great treasure of a park.
Jan 2021
Totally awesome disc golf course is unmatched anywhere in Metropolitan area. Incredible sunset water views this time of year are as good as anywhere on Long Island. Park is Quieter and less well known as other state parks in Suffolk County. Awesome picnic areas for family events and very nice bay beaches. Abundant wildlife just adds to the ambience of this great treasure of a park.
Written January 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The Sushi Guy 🍣
Long Island, NY11,370 contributions
Afternoon Walk
Nov 2020 • Solo
It was a chilly, gloomy Sunday afternoon. I needed some fresh air. This was the place to walk. Very and calming. The bay was very choppy, a heavy rain and wind is on the way. Not much of a beach. The sand is very rocky. The area is much cleaner than it was a few months ago. Very relaxing spot to take in the Great South Bay.
Written November 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jersey City, NJ95 contributions
Nice new cabins
Sep 2020
We rented a cabin here for a quick getaway in September 2020. Everything was new and clean and reasonably priced, although not cheap by any means. Cabin overall was pretty comfortable, although the mattresses were a bit firm, I suggest you bring some extra pillows to compensate. The outside grill was great, as was the deck. A bit disappointed because I lost a sentimental necklace while there and it was very difficult to get in touch with the staff to ask them to look for it, and they never followed back up with me. Also the cabin heater was a little finicky, I suggest you ask staff to show you how to operate it when you check in. Lastly, 5pm check in time is really really really late and inconvenient, especially if you are traveling from out of town.
Written October 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nassau, NY35 contributions
Long weekend camping at Heckscher; wish there were rangers who also patrolled at night
Jul 2020
'did tent camping here in July. Check in/out was a breeze. New playground near the new office. :) Campground was clean and ok. It is an open field and does not have many trees in between, so you see everyone's space. It was tricky finding our campsite, we couldn't see the number anywhere. We initially figured it out by just counting the picnic tables starting from the end of the block. My husband eventually discovered that the site numbers were painted on the road. Numbers have also faded so it was not clearly visible at all. Hope they'll consider putting the site numbers on markers/posts. Staff was friendly, and during the day, we saw them regularly patrol the area. 'had trouble sleeping at night though. About 5 sites away from us, there's a group that played loud music way after 11:30 pm, until they had a major fight/shouting match at around 2 (or was it 3am). Ugh, just our luck!!! The next night was better; they didn't fight, they were just loud until about 1am. I was so tired from being at the beach the whole day, I slept through it. Our friends couldn't, though.

There were bugs aplenty, so get ready. Savage mosquitoes!!! They were most active late afternoon until night. 'wore leggings at night and STILL had bites. This is that trip where I wished we should have brought our screened canopy instead of the open one. We frequently sprayed insect repellant, but bugs were on the attack. *lol Good thing that my husband also had Repel100 -- it's the only one that worked for us. Cutter, Off, Repel40 didn't quite cut it.

We had a kayak, but didn't get to launch it at Great South Bay. Kids biked to the beach (about 10-15 minutes). If you stay in one of the cabins, you have direct beach access. We stayed at Field 8, it wasn't crowded. People practiced physical distancing. Water was pretty calm, and we all enjoyed a nice swim all throughout the day. Kids didn't want to leave the water. The guys went out to pick up pizza and ice cream for late afternoon snack. Beach day was the best part of the camping trip.

Bathrooms are clean (in the morning, and until about 8pm). So shower early. ;)
Written August 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

T train
Queens, NY4 contributions
needs TLC
Jul 2020
The park has potential of becoming a great place to spend the weekend or more days camping, unfortunately it desperately needs upgrades.
Unless glamping in the newly constructed cottages on the shore, do not bother with the campsites. The restrooms are terrifying, last renovated probably in the 80's. They are not cleaned frequently. We camped there beginning of July 2020 and perhaps the park was understaffed due to COVID -19 but still, the conditions were unacceptable. The campsites were only 50% occupied due to COVID-19 restrictions also but that did not prevent some loud campers from keeping up all others up until 2am. Why are the quiet times not enforced? No idea. Could be potential revenue to the park if fines are imposed and executed.
Beware, lots of ticks and mosquitoes. Like millions of them, and citronella will not do much for protection. Great bike trails and beautiful scenery.
Written July 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The Sushi Guy 🍣
Long Island, NY11,370 contributions
Afternoon Walk
May 2020 • Family
We took a nice walk by the bay along the trail. The beach is very small and rocky. There are pathways for walking and bike riding. Definitely worth a drive to check out. It's hard to believe I've been here only twice in 8 years. My home is less than 10 minutes away.
Written May 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NewYork79 contributions
Mar 2020
With the Coronavirus threat looming, going to State Parks ,and having a picnic in the clean open air is a fantastic thing to do stay safe. We did a small BBQ , and enjoyed the fresh air. There are walking and bike trails. You can fly a kite, walk your dog, play in the playground, read a book, or just look at the water. No reason to go to the mall, movies or any other indoor activity. Doing things outdoors is a great way to still enjoy life and stay safe at the same time.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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