A typical commute to work for most of us on the East End of Long Island includes a stop at the deli for some breakfast, the corner gas station to fill up, and perhaps running a few errands on the way. This routine trip is just that, routine. We generally don’t drive off the beaten path and take a look around.
Did you know that the Town of Riverhead owns and operates over 40 parks and beaches? Many of them you probably didn’t even know existed, where they are located, or what is available to do there. We’ve narrowed down a few of our favorite hidden treasures to share with you and hope you find them as special as we do.
First on the list is the beautiful Ammermann Riverfront Park, located directly behind the Main Street store fronts on the south side along the Peconic River. Many of you have probably already been to this park without even realizing it. Whether you were at the Long Island Aquarium or dining at one of the numerous Main Street eateries, you’ve most likely been here.
With sculpted boat moorings and scattered park benches and gazebos lining the boardwalk, Ammermann is a great place to visit at any time of the day. An extra perk to this public venue is it is the host of the Recreation Department’s annual Snapper Tournament held in September every year.
Jumping across to the west side of Peconic Avenue, you’ll come across Milton L. Burns Park. Before this title, the park was known as Grangebel Park.
Timothy Griffing, a distinguished member of the Riverhead community and former head of the Suffolk County Bar Association built this park to surround his own residence, naming it after his three daughters Grace, Angeline, and Mabel. The new name and honoree, Milton L. Burns is a Veteran, war hero and former town supervisor.
This park, with a great view of the Peconic River, is decorated with various sculptures, a waterfall, and an amphitheater performance stage. A great location for your lunch break, a good read or to catch up on a little “me” time.
With all this talk about the Peconic River, we can’t forget to mention the newly opened Weeping Willow Canoe/Kayak launch, previously home to the Weeping Willow Motel on West Main Street. Whether you own or rent a canoe or kayak, this is a perfect location to jump on in and paddle down the river, take in the beautiful scenery and check out a few of the parks along the way.
Looking for a location to enjoy a quiet picnic, pickup ball game, or somewhere new for the kids to play outside? Police Officer’s Memorial Park is the place for you. Formerly known as Bayberry Park, the quaint and peaceful park is located on Bayberry Road in Wading River.
With a baseball field, basketball, tennis and handball courts, as well as several shaded picnic areas, there is so much for you to enjoy. A perk to visiting this town park is its close proximity to Wading River Beach: the perfect place to cool down after a full day of activities.
Heading up-Island as we East Enders would say, let us take a look at one of our newest and grandest parks, Veteran’s Memorial Park in Calverton. Here you will find the town’s first dog park, Isaac Park, and the home field to the Riverhead Tomcats. The Tomcats are a member of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League and will be hosting all of their home games at one of the 4 ball fields located here. With a three mile bike/cardio path surrounding the park, future plans include the construction of four multi-purpose fields, tennis and basketball courts, multiple playgrounds, volleyball and bocce courts, and an amphitheater. Only a half-mile from the Riverhead/Brookhaven town border, Veteran’s Park is a central location for people of all communities to congregate.
As we look to expand our social borders and open our programs to surrounding townships, we’re adding bigger and better features to several of our facilities for all to enjoy.
So next time you are out on that boring commute to work or running errands around town, take a look around and we guarantee you’ll run into one of Riverhead’s numerous parks or beaches.
Please contact the Riverhead Recreation department for even more hidden treasures and stay up to date with all of the new and improved programs and events. Visit www.RiverheadRecreation.com or call 631-727-5744 for more information.