From camping to swimming, Wildwood State Park has a wide array of activities for a visitor to pursue. Comprising 600 acres of forest, it has some of the most wonderful sites and facilities for campers every season. Swimmers can also enjoy the cool and pleasant waters of the Sound, but it doesn’t end here.
The State Park has something for everybody. Children can spend their time in the nearby playground as the adults enjoy hiking and fishing. Here’s everything and more you should know before visiting Wildwood State Park.
When Is the Right Time to Visit Wildwood State Park?
Even though it’s open throughout the year, the best time to visit it is undeniably summer. This is because the season brings with it clear and stunning visuals for visitors. Hence, July to November is a good time to visit Wildwood State Park.
Things to Do In Wildwood State Park
Since there are over 600 acres of undeveloped land (mainly forest), the State Park has made sure to utilize it properly. There are many activities a visitor can enjoy.
Some of them include biking, hiking, swimming, and, of course, camping. Families can also use the shaded area for picnicking. Some rather rare activities also include cross-country skiing and fishing. The State Park has many facilities, including well-maintained hiking trails, showers, campsites, lodging, and a huge beach.
What Is the Most Popular Activity at Wildwood State Park?
It goes without saying that the State Park has a wide array of facilities for campers which makes camping a sought-after activity in the area.
The cottages in the park stand on most of its campgrounds, and there are over 8000 campsites all around the vicinity. Visitors can easily access motorhomes, trailers, and tents. Sewer Hook-Ups, water, restrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables are commonly found on most sites.
Nothing beats the supremacy of camping activities in the area. There are a bunch of opportunities visitors can avail of to see the remarkable views of nature. From the famous Hudson River to Long Island ocean-front beach sites, there are tons of stunning views to take in.
If you’re a sightseeing buff, you’ll surely love the sight of amazing canyons, deep gorges, and beautiful waterfalls.
Where to Get Your Souvenirs From
The best way to finish your trip is by taking a piece of the experience with you. What better way to do it if not by getting a souvenir? Head off to the gift shops nearby and buy yourself a meaningful souvenir.
Lori’s Originals is your best bet when it comes to finding a good souvenir shop nearby. It is merely 7 kilometers away from the State Park and offers a great deal of variety with gifts and souvenirs. From inexpensive jewelry to painted glasses, the shop has everything a visitor could ask for.
History of Wildwood State Park
The first ever mention of this State Park was made in an article from the year 1925. According to it, the state was planning to develop the area by creating highways and a park at the wading river. The park that later came to be known as “Wildwood State Park” initially had 300 acres of land.
However, the articles that briefly mentioned the park mysteriously disappeared for a year before resurfacing in 1926. When the state allotted funding for Long Island Park Commission, Suffolk County got a whopping $760,000 for improvement and land acquisition.
The county acquired the Mitchell property for a seemingly low price of $75,000. This land was mainly used for the creation of Wildwood State Park. On the day of its official opening, the park was offered a bath-in beach, a few picnic areas, and woodland campsites.
Another major property occupied by Wildwood State Park is Driftwood Manor. Initially built by Joseph Robin, a wealthy business tycoon, it was meant to be designed by an architectural firm.
While the Manor was being constructed, Robin welcomed guests nonetheless. One of those fortunate guests was Theodore Dreiser, the author of “An American Tragedy.”
Since the Manor and its owner extremely inspired him, he used the two subjects in a short story he wrote called “Vanity, Vanity.”
When Alfred Wagg took ownership of the Manor, he took great pride in it. He would show his animals off at fairs and got a lot of publicity for it. Unfortunately, due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, most of his fortunes were destroyed, and the property eventually went to mortgage companies and banks.
There isn’t much known about the end of the Manor. Whatever happened to the gorgeous landscape around it is also unknown. However, due to the lack of funding, the mansion experienced gradual deterioration. It was eventually demolished in 1980. While there is still a single structure standing in a lonely, small corner of the park, it isn’t as popular among visitors.
How to Get to Wildwood State Park
There are many ways to get to Wildwood State Park. However, the best way to get there is by car. It takes almost an hour and forty minutes to drive to the park. If you’re looking for a more convenient way, choose a train or a bus. While it might take more than five hours to get there, it won’t be at the cost of your fuel and energy.
All in all, Wildwood State Park is packed with history and a wide range of facilities to cater to every age group. Swimming, camping, and fishing are only some of the many activities a visitor can enjoy in the area.
Serene views of nature surround the beautiful campsites. However, the perks of visiting the State Park don’t end here. No matter how you choose to get here, spending every penny will eventually pay off. There isn’t a better way to spend your day than by visiting this huge and well-equipped State Park on Long Island.