The first time I came to the wildlife refuge I was unable to enter because I had my mom’s dog with me. Not to let a nice day go to waste we walked on the bike path that runs along Cross Bay Boulevard.
The second time I went it was early March and the weather was starting to warm up. Not summer time warm, but warm enough to walk outdoors and not get frostbitten. It was before being told to stay home. Before social distancing was a thing. Before #FlattenTheCurve.
I entered the visitor center and was welcomed by a nice park ranger. I was given a map and information regarding the trail. This is a recreational area I’ll need to visit several more times to even do all the hikes because one of them is only accessible during low tide.
There are plenty of informative displays inside, a small gift shop, and a clean restroom. I exited through the rear of the building and headed on my way.
LENGTH: 1.6 MILES
If you walk straight through the visitor center and exit through the back doors you’ll find yourself with the option of going left or right. I made a right and then a quick left. Shortly after doing so I came across this sign to confirm I was on the correct path. The trail is circular and very easy to navigate.
I stopped many times to read the plaques along the way. This was a great way to learn about what was in our surroundings. I didn’t know they had so many different avian species here. They even have bat boxes (luckily I didn’t see any). And for the first time I spotted a swan taking flight. I’d never seen one actually take flight before. It was exhausting to watch lol. The struggle!
Below is the section that was repaired after being washed out during hurricane Sandy. A lot of work went into this and I’m grateful to everyone who contributed. This allows us to enjoy a full loop around the pond year round.
I wasn’t expecting to be able to see it, but on clear days you can even see the city in the distance. It is really windy here so make sure to bring something even on the warmer days.
And if you bring your dad along for the walk, there are plenty of benches to hang out and bird watch.
My dad also spotted an Osprey on the hunt a few times. Those birds are fast!
As we neared the visitor center once more to complete the 1.6 mile walk, the landscape became wooded again. In this section we found a couple of benches to hang out at as well.
All in all I would say this trail is easy, very family friendly and navigation is straightforward. If you come early in the morning when there aren’t many humans around yet, you may be able to spot even more birds living their best life.
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not on the branch, but on her wingsUnknown