Though the joyful holiday season is behind us and the winter chill is going strong, we can still get outdoors and have some fun. Here’s a sampling of three of Long Island’s outdoor wonderlands which are open through the season and offer scenic views and explorations. Just be sure to bundle up!
Elliston Park, Millstone Brook Road, Southampton. Enjoy a moderately-paced 3-mile hike, hosted by the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, on Jan. 12. Views of Big Fresh Pond and Wolf Swamp are featured points of interest on your journey, which takes place from 9-10:30 a.m. Details: Hike Leader, Howard Reisman, 631-283-5376. southamptontrails.org.
Jones Beach State Park, 2400 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh. The South Shore Audubon Society hosts a bird walk, on Jan. 13, at the West End 2 area of the ocean-side destination. See which birds and waterfowl chose to stay on Long Island for the winter rather than migrating south. The walk is free and open to the public, and begins at 9 a.m.; rain, snow and temperature below 25°F cancels. The Society is also hosting two other winter bird walks on Jan. 27 at Hempstead Lake State Park, and on Feb. 3 at Point Lookout Town Park. Details: 516-467-9498. ssaudubon.org.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, 440 Montauk Hwy., Great River. This South Shore arboretum, which overlooks the Connetquot River, is open for guided grounds tours (weather permitting) on Saturdays mornings, at 11 a.m. Here, you can see an extensive collection of conifers, including fir, spruce, pine, cypress, hemlock and yew. If you’re lucky, you might get to see them coated with a light dusting of snow. To take part in these free tours, visit the Manor House to register. Details: 631-581-1002. bayardcuttingarboretum.com.