Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge- Shirley, NY

People know Long Island for its beautiful beaches and offshore islands. But surprisingly, Long Island also has a wide array of nature and wildlife to explore.  Even with growing up here, there are still a ton of places I'm visiting for the first time myself.

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Two weekends ago we discovered Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge on Long Island. Located on the south shore, it is one of the last, undeveloped estuaries still remaining on the island.  Wertheim's conservation efforts are nothing less than huge; the refuge extends over 2,400 acres. 

There is a large interconnected system of trails for visitors, through both wooded areas and salt marshes.  The estuary is situated alongside the picturesque Carmans River, which is the second largest river on Long Island.  Wertheim's six miles of trails are relatively flat with a few footbridges and a good number of scenic overlooks on the river. The paths can get very muddy in some areas so we recommend wearing hiking shoes or at least sneakers that you don't mind getting dirty.

Wertheim's wildlife is one of the main features attracting hundreds of visitors year-round.  Over 300 species of birds have been observed at the refuge.  On frequent occasions a bald eagle has been spotted which is rare in this part of the country.  The diverse landscape also contributes to the many upland species of animals as well.

People come to Wertheim to hike, bird watch, canoe, fish, bike, and much more.  Recent construction of their visitor's center includes modern indoor exhibits, interactive learning programs, and an outdoor patio.  The Wertheim refuge is definitely a place you want to visit on multiple occasions.  With miles of trails and hundreds of wildlife to explore, each visit will be a new experience!

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Kristy, her brother's girlfriend & younger sister at Wertheim

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Kristy Albano & Matt Pickering                                                      
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