Hempstead Lake State Park is a multi use facility. Included are 20 tennis courts, children's playgrounds, basketball courts, bridle trails for horse back riding, biking and hiking trails, shaded picnic areas and a historic hand carved wooden carousel. There is a picnic pavilion available for large parties. In addition to a pavilion rented through the Permit Department, Hempstead offers rental of the Carousel part-room done in-house at the park. For a rental fee of $350.00 for a three hour event, guests are also offered unlimited carousel rides during their event. There are three ponds that are accessible for fishing. On Hempstead Lake, the largest lake in Nassau County, you are permitted to use car top boats with an annual permit issued from the Park. Fishing in Hempstead Lake is by catch and release only. McDonald Pond and South Pond are stocked with trout in the fall and you may target trout throughout the winter months. Other species present include large mouth bass, chain pickerel, black crappe, perch, tiger muskies, carp and sunfish.
A fun little challenge, it's a good 5k starter as there is no way to cut corners, you have to finish or you won't get back to your car. there's a nice 45° hill at the 2.5 mile mark. Half the trail is sand and pebbles, the other along the lake and Peninsula Blvd is all street. Some of the trail is out of the way, tucked along Southern State, I do not recommend if you are alone or for night activities.
For my first trail ever it was a lot of fun. It was nice to see all the people out and about but my buddy and I were the only ones on bikes hitting the trail. My only off part was when the trail ended by peninsula blvd through on coming traffic getting off and on the southern state. Other than that it was fun riding along the southern state.
Finally got out for a hike and went around the entire lake mostly on the trails rather than the road/bridal path but ending up coming home with two ticks. That was annoying. Its a very nice trail and it was about 3.5 miles around the entire lake but there are other paths you can use to make that long and explore the south pond area. I'm not sure if you can get to the pond on the north side of the southern state but I'm going to check next week sometime. The path is overgrown in some places and in the past I've not been able to go all the way around easily because once you get to the north end of the lake, the trail ends and you have to switch to the bridal path for awhile and sometimes that north end trail is so overgrown you can't make it through so you have to double back and hit the bridal path earlier. There are spots on the east side of the lake that are also difficult to get through but because it was so early, the thorn bushes have not grown up yet. Its one of the few forest areas we have in the area.
did this years ago in the fall when I drove down from Connecticut where I then lived in Southbury. I thought this trail was rather awesome, easy and flat [ except for one little " baby hill" by Connecticut/Upstate-Western New York State, or even North Shore/Hamptons of Long Island standards! It's at the north end of this loop trail bordering the fence by Southern State Parkway.] I lived in Baldwin as a kid and have to say that this is " wilderness" for the otherwise overdeveloped South Shore of Nassau/Western Suffolk County, Long Island, New York!
i live close to it and i also fish here. i have walked alot of it and is very pretty and beautiful. there is a trail for really biking and walking and if i wanted to there is also a bridal path for horses and as far as i have heard you can go horse back riding here too. i come here to primarily fish but i see a ton of people spending the day with the family. alsoyou can bring ur dog with u because its a very family organized park and dogs are welcome too. its not a hilly park its primarily flat and its for all ages from baby to elderly. there is something for everyone. there is a tennis court basket ball court merry go round and many more. If you want to know more look this park up. i HIGHLY recommend it to anyone and everyone.