A year and a half ago the 200 acres across the street from the Town’s North Hempstead Beach Park was wild and practically unnavigable for hikers or mountain bicyclists.
The acreage, now officially called the Hempstead Harbor Woods, holds natural wonders that few have had the ability to see due to the difficult conditions to safely access the woods. Old paths that once existed have long been turned over to vines, poison ivy and invasive plants.
Wetlands, streams, ponds, wildlife and even something called a hoodoo, which is a tall, irregularly shaped rock formations, couldn’t be viewed by most people. Until now.
Thanks to the Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists in partnership with Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town of North Hempstead, a series of mountain bike and multi-use trails have been created. The town cut the ribbon on the bike trails today, much to the jubilation of the mountain bikers who attended the ceremony.
“Our alliance with C.L.I.M.B. is a wonderful example of a public-private partnership that benefits everyone,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “Town residents now gain multi-use trails for both hiking and mountain biking at no cost and we have added a wonderful recreational aspect to a parcel of Town-owned land that previously was difficult to access. The Hempstead Harbor Woods is bio-diverse home to a wide variety of wildlife. These trails will allow users to appreciate the nature that surrounds them, while helping to conserve and protect that sensitive wetlands environment.”
According to C.L.I.M.B. President Michael Vitti, the non-profit organization’s team of volunteers designed and constructed the trails and will maintain them as well. Currently, there are about two miles of trails finished and four or more miles to still create, which will make 5-6 miles in total when completed.
The Town’s agreement with C.L.I.M.B. is enthusiastically endorsed by PWGreen, a local non-profit group that protects natural areas, promotes eco-friendly living, and provides environmental education.
C.L.I.M.B. was established in 1990 as a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to the growth and safe enjoyment of mountain bicycling. C.L.I.M.B. promotes a strong relationship between recreation and conservation by educating the mountain bicycling community on environmentally sound and socially responsible trail use.
“C.L.I.M.B. as a public nonprofit is happy to partner with the Town of North Hempstead so we can provide these recreational trails at no charge to their residents,” said Vitti. “This area has a unique history as a former sand mine and the trails will be just as unique due to the glacial influences. We designed the trails to be sustainable, meaning they resist the forces of erosion and use but are enjoyable to use. Not only did we build a trail but in the process we built a community of caretakers for Hempstead Harbor Woods.”
Directions: From the south, after you pass the entrance to Harbor Links Golf Course on West Shore Road, the entrance to the bike trails (and aerodrome) will be .8 miles (1 minute) further on the left.
A map of the trail can be found at: https://www.trailforks.com/region/hempstead-harbor-woods-32469/