Coolest northforker stories of 2017: Hallock State Park Preserve opens

Beachgoers check out Hallock State Park on the Long Island Sound in Northville. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

A large swath of undeveloped North Fork land became available for public enjoyment with the July opening of Hallock State Park Preserve in Northville.

The Sound Avenue park, approximately 15 years in the making, features 225 acres of land, including hiking trails, a pond and a mile-long stretch of Soundfront beach.

An indoor 3,000-square-foot visitor center also greets passersby from the road.

There are two hiking trails. The larger trail measures a little over a mile and the shorter path stretches about a half mile. Along both trails visitors will see Hallocks Pond. The trails are an ideal spot for birdwatching or horseback riding and in the winter they can be used for cross-country skiing or snow shoeing. Both lead to the Long Island Sound.

A quarter-mile gravel path heads into a Soundfront beach, open to the public for paddle boarding, kayaking and saltwater fishing.

“Hallock State Park Preserve is one of the region’s top outdoor destinations, attracting visitors from across the state to experience the pristine beauty of Long Island,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

The New York State Parks Department had issued a request for proposals for vendors to serve beer and wine at the visitors center under the Taste NY banner. That request was pulled after opposition from local elected officials.

Find the park at 6062 Sound Ave.