Day Trip to Robert Moses State Park from New York City
[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 8/21/2009 - www.Littleviews.com ]
>> If you think that New York State Park lifeguards have an easy life in the sun, consider their responsibilities and how much physical strength they need to drag someone out of the Atlantic Ocean's pounding surf, especially after a water-churning storm passes through.
The picture above was taken of the Robert Moses State Park beach around 5 PM on an August weekday. The surf was particularly rough due to several previous weeks of storms. Although the wave action wasn't as strong as it can get during the hurricane season, with waves often rising to over 18 feet, it was strong at eight to ten feet high, nonetheless. During non-stormy periods, however, the ocean can be glass calm.
The park is named after Robert Moses, a New York-area urban planner. Between a period from the 1930s through the 1950s, he successfully established roadways and numerous state parks in beautiful Long Island, a few of which you see on the map above.
The above picture looks west at the Robert Moses Causeway, from end to end. This 8.10 mile long bridge is surrounded by sparkling water. Driving on it makes you feel like you are cruising on a boat, or are floating on a blue sky.
Inside the park are four bathhouses, each with adjoining parking. Not all, however, are necessarily open at the same time. These bathhouses provide food, equipment rentals (call ahead for beach wheelchairs), rest and changing rooms, picnic tables, and park information. To the west of the bathhouse pictured here is a colorful children's playground.
With a bathhouse to your back, you look directly at the ocean shore a short distance away. Unlike at Jones Beach, there is no boardwalk between the bathhouses and shore. There is also no loud music or verbose talk-shows allowed on the beach! Headphones on portable devices must be used at all times.
Atlantic Ocean shores all have powerful wave action, especially after a storm. Before stepping in the water, you should be confident in your ability to swim. Some wave action, for example, erodes the sandy floor upon which you are standing. Under that condition, it is especially important to know how to regain your footing (or hold your breath) because you can be knocked over.
The lifeguards I met here said that their biggest problem stems from parents ignoring their small children who are playing in the surf. Children may not go into the water without close supervision. If they are ignored, lifeguards pull them out and make sure parents take charge . . . or the family must leave the beach.
The Robert Moses State Park beach is exceptionally clean, even though it provides only a fraction of the trash baskets set out at Jones Beach. Of course, if you drop garbage on the sand, the lifeguards will get after you. In terms of overall care, however, thank conscientious bathers and the ever-vigilant beach staff.
Although no boardwalk divides the beach from land, a nature boardwalk guides you over the dunes, where you can observe wildlife without disturbing it. Heading northeast on the boardwalk, you run into the Fire Island National Seashore, its lighthouse, and National Park Service personnel. Check with both the state and federal jurisdictions for special nature-related programs. The Robert Moses State Park's nature center provides programs throughout the year.
Golf and Beach Volleyball
I recently learned that Pitch and Putt is a popular, internationally-regulated game of golf played on a small course that limits each golfer to using two irons and a putter. Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Parks both provide Pitch and Put greens, complete with club rental.
Boating and Fishing
If you plan on visiting by boat, dock at the Robert Moses State Park's boat basin, which is directly across from Captree State Park. During the day, it can accommodate 40 boats.
Traffic to all beaches and state parks in the area can be extremely heavy on summer weekends and holidays. Bring snacks and something to drink while driving, then relax and forget about time. You will, under all circumstances, eventually arrive, but often not in the speedy 15 minutes you think it should take.
Questions? Ask Karen at Karen@littleviews.com
Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 8/21/2009. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.