Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)

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Address
Rte. 25A and Sunken Meadow Parkway
Kings Park, NY 11754
Latitude 40.905792
Longitude -73.260330

Winter Calendar Suffolk County

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Offering one of the most stunning views of the Long Island Sound with Connecticut in the distance, Sunken Meadow State Park has a wide range of topography that sustains a variety of flora and fauna. Three lovely bridges stretch over Sunken Meadow Creek as it runs from the interior of the park to tidal flats at the mouth of the Nissequogue river. South of the flats are acres of undeveloped and heavily wooded rolling hills.

Among the most popular picnic parks on Long Island, Sunken Meadow hosts millions of people each year partaking of family and group outings. Pick-up sports are enjoyed on the ball fields and several informal open lawn areas. Swimming here is truly family-oriented in the generally calm waters of the Sound. Many people enjoy the health benefits of measured walks along the ¾ mile boardwalk. Cross country running events are held over the hilly running course. The park is the northern terminus of the Long Island Greenbelt trail for hiking.

From Field 3 at the eastern portion of park, launching is available for windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and canoeing.

Swimmers with mobility impairments can take advantage of beach mobility matt at both Fields 1 and 3 as well as the Beach Wheel Chairs that enable entry across the sand and into the water. The wheelchair is available for use at no charge on a first come, first serve basis. Please check with the park office located in Field 1 for availability.

27 holes of golf at Governor Alfred E. Smith Sunken Meadow State Park

Golf course architect Alfred H. Tull (1897-1982) designed what are today the Red and Green Courses in 1964. Tull, who designed the Yellow Course and redesigned the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park in the 1950s, was noted for laying out golf courses without consulting topographical maps. Only after his routing of the course was complete did he overlay his plan on topographical maps. The result seems to be golf courses which make maximum use of the existing terrain. In the case of Sunken Meadow State Park that terrain is somewhat hilly and variable, surrounded by mature woodlands; resulting in an attractive and relaxing outdoor experience for golfers. The view of the Long Island Sound from the golf driving range is stunning in its beauty.

The use of motorized golf carts was introduced in 1997. Today, in the hierarchy of state park golf courses in the region, the Sunken Meadow courses are intended to serve golfers of a moderate skill level. While maintenance and operation of the golf facilities is kept at an excellent level, they are not maintained at championship level. The courses provide an enjoyable outing with moderate challenges, but not punishing for those who make errant shots.

Find more about park permit information.

Pavilion Information
Sunken Meadow has one pavilion. The day use price is $200 to $250 and can accommodate up to 200 people. Check availability at ReserveAmerica.com.  Find out more on picnic pavilion reservations and view photos of Sunken Meadow's pavilion.

For information on educational opportunities and programs in Long Island State Parks, please visit Long Island Environmental Interpretive Center.

 

Current Water Quality - Beach Results

 

Pet Policy: Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, picnic areas, playing fields, or beaches (this does not apply to service animals).  Pets are allowed in back trails only. Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff.

Hours of Operation

  • Sunken Meadow is open every day year-round, sunrise to sunset.

  • 2023 Swimming Season:

    Main Beach, Field 1:
    May 27th - June 23rd; swimming hours will be 10 am - 6 pm daily
    June 24th - August 13th; swimming hours will be 10 am - 7 pm weekdays; 9 am to 8 pm Sat/Sun & Holidays
    August 14th - September 4th; swimming hours will be 10 am - 7 pm weekdays; 9 am - 7 pm Sat/Sun & Holidays
    September 5th - September 17th; swimming hours will be 10 am - 6 pm

  • East Beach, Field 3:
    May 27th - June 23rd; swimming hours will be 10 am – 6 pm Sat/Sun & Holidays only
    June 24th - September 4th; swimming hours will be 11 am - 7 pm weekdays; 10 am - 7 pm Sat/Sun & Holidays
    September 5th - September 17th; swimming hours will be 10 am - 6 pm
  • Golf:
    The golf courses are open year round, weather permitting. The golf courses are closed on Christmas day and New Year's day. First tee off is at Sunrise during the operating season, and at 8 AM from November 27th, 2023 to March 31, 2024

    Clubhouse opens one hour before first tee time.
    Driving Range: All year, weather permitting.
    Electric Cart Rental: All year, rentals through the Pro Shop.
    Pull Cart Rental: All year, rentals through the Pro Shop.
  • Bicycling:
    1/1 - 5/5/23 Permitted all day.
    5/6 - 9/14/23 Permitted weekdays only from 6 am - 9 am.
    9/15 - 12/31/23 Permitted all day.
  • Cross Country Programs: Permit required for schools and organized groups. Insurance required for schools and groups. Please contact the Regional Permit Office at 631-669-1000.

  • Cross Country Skiing: Available during winter season as conditions permit, not permitted on the golf courses. No rentals available. No sledding is permitted in the park.
  • Fishing:
    Annual permit sold (can be used year round): 1/1 - 3/31 and 9/4 - 12/31/23
    7 day permit sold: 5/24 - 9/4/23
    Permit required for night fishing is available for purchase online only.
  • Hiking: Available all year from sunrise to sunset on nature trails, 3/4 mile boardwalk and Greenbelt Trail.
  • Horseback Riding: Available all year with required permit on bridle trail in Field 5 only. Not permitted in Picnic area or Cross-Country trails.
  • Metal Detecting: Permit required. Available for purchase online only.
  • Model Airplanes: Due to recent construction in Field 2 we will NO longer be able to accommodate model airplane permits. Any inquiries for model airplanes at Sunken Meadow are being directed to Nissequogue River State Park.
  • Playgrounds, playfields, softball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts: Available year-round. A permit is required for organized groups and picnic groups larger than 50 persons.
  • Orienteering: Permit required. Please contact the Regional Permit Office at 631-669-1000.
  • Picnicking: Available year-round, sunrise to sunset.
  • Stargazing: Permit required, available for purchase online only.
  • Windsurfing, Kayak & Canoe Launching: Available year-round from Sunrise to Sunset in Field 3 only. For daytime periods when Field 3 is closed, required parking passes are available at the park office free of charge.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • VUF/Parking Fee (per car)
  • 4/1/23 - 5/26/23: 8am-4:00pm, weekends and holidays - $8/car

    5/27/23 - 9/10/23: 7am - 6:00pm weekends and holidays; 8am-4:00pm weekdays - $10/car.

    9/11/23 - 11/5/23: 8am-4:00pm, weekends & holidays - $8/car

    Non-Profit Buses: $35 (By permit only)
    Commercial Buses: $75
    Unscheduled buses: $75

    *VUF not charged for golf patrons. Any VUF fees paid at park entrance will be put towards greens fee at golf course.

  • Golf
  • For all golf-related fees, please visit Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow State Park Golf Course's site.
  • Permits
  • 4 Wheel Drive Beach Vehicle Fishing Permit:
    NYS Driver's License $80
    Out of State Driver's License $125

    Metal Detecting:
    $40 Annual Fee

    Night Sport Fishing Permit:
    NYS Driver's License $35
    Out of State Driver's License $60
    7 Night Sport Fishing Permit $25
    Permits sold at Babylon Headquarters and at the Park office.

    Star Gazing Permit:
    NYS Driver's License $35
    Out of State Driver's License $60
Thu 29 Feb
Tiny Tots Programs: Time for Hibernation
Thursday, February 29, 2024 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
Enjoy short walks, story time, animal visitors, and crafts. For children ages 3 - 5.
Sun 03 Mar
Womens History: Self-Guided Hike
Sunday, March 3, 2024
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
10 stations along this hike feature a Female environmentalist and their contributions to science. Stop by the Nature Center for a map of the self-guided trail! Reservations taken on eventbrite.com.
Thu 14 Mar
Tiny Tots Programs: Green Shamrocks
Thursday, March 14, 2024 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
Enjoy short walks, story time, animal visitors, and crafts. For children ages 3 - 5.
Sun 17 Mar
Shamrock Bird Walk
Sunday, March 17, 2024 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)
Bundle up and join us for some late winter birding at the park! On this brisk stroll along the beach, marsh, and creek, we will discover the birds that make Sunken Meadow their home for the winter. Reservations taken on eventbrite.com.
Sun 24 Mar
Solar Eclipse 101
Sunday, March 24, 2024 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunken Meadow State Park (Governor Alfred E. Smith)

Learn about what a Solar Eclipse is, how best to view NY's upcoming Eclipse safely, and make your own viewfinder to view a total solar eclipse. Reservations taken on eventbrite.com.

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Biking
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Fishing
  • Food (Accessible)
  • Grills
  • Hiking
  • Pavilions and Shelter Rentals (Accessible)
  • Playgrounds (Accessible)
  • Playing Fields
  • Showers (Accessible)
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding
  • Surfing/Windsurfing
  • Swimming Beach (Accessible)