Camp at Long Island’s Most Scenic County Park

Photo: Edith Friedrichs/Shutterstock

Find trails, tent sites, and glassy ponds at central Long Island’s Blydenburgh County Park. 

Situated right smack in the middle of Long Island, Blydenburgh County Park has it all: a forest-ringed pond, hiking trails, great bass fishing, and 50 quiet, secluded campsites. It’s also got character, thanks to a rich history of both Indigenous and European settlement.

The land where Blydenburgh now stands was originally home to the Nissaquogue people. Then in the late 1700s, it was settled by European immigrants. Near the turn of the century, the park’s namesake Blydenburgh family dammed the Nissaquogue River to harness its waterpower with a mill. The dam ultimately created Stump Pond, which is now the focal point of the park. You can still see both the dam and the historic mill today.

Beyond that protected historic zone, there are two separate campgrounds (one for family camping and one for groups). In both, it’s easy to nab a shaded tent or RV site tucked into the trees. You’ll also find great views across the pond, a dozen miles of trails, and easy access to three adjacent parks. Here’s how to soak it all in on your next visit.

Campsites and Reservations

Blydenburgh has all amenities: restrooms, water and electrical hookups, showers, grills, campfire rings—the works. In fact, the only tricky thing about camping at Blydenburgh is navigating the reservation system. 

Each site is limited to either four adults or one household, and just one vehicle. (Additional vehicles will need a parking permit for the main lot.) If you’re with a big group, you may have to apply for a group site. To give yourself the best shot at scoring your preferred dates, register for Suffolk County Parks’ annual group camping lottery. The lottery is open during the first few weeks in January.

Fortunately, there are often a few group sites and plenty of family sites left over after the lottery ends. These can be booked online. Keep in mind that there are minimum-night-stay limits for some reservations. For a full list of rules and regulations, head to

Outdoor Activities

Blydenburgh may be a camper’s paradise, but you can only spend so long gathered around a fire. Here are five ways to spend your afternoons.

Take a hike

Blydenburgh County Park is home to about a dozen miles of hiking trails, all of which are mellow, shaded, and perfect for family hiking. The classic option is the 5.7-mile loop of paths and boardwalks encircling Stump Pond. But if you’re looking for even more mileage, you can link some of Blydenburgh’s trails with those in nearby Caleb Smith State Park Preserve.

Visit the dog park

Dogs are allowed on all Blydenburgh’s trails, and at the designated dog run on the east side of the pond. Spend an afternoon letting your pup run free in the grassy, fenced yard.

Paddle Stump Pond

This 100-acre pond is the centerpiece of Blydenburgh County Park. You can bring your own craft, or rent a rowboat on the lake's eastern shore. There are two put-ins: one near the boat rental area, and one near the historic district in the park’s northwest corner.

Cast a line

Licensed anglers can fish Stump Pond for largemouth bass, perch, crappie, and bluegill. There’s good shore access from the dirt trails surrounding the water, and canoe and kayak fishing are also permitted. (For more information, check out the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation website.)

Visit a historic farm

On the north side of the park, you’ll find the centuries-old Blydenburgh Farm and New Mill. Both were established by the Blydenburgh family, for whom the park is named, in the 18th and 19th centuries. If you visit on a Saturday, be sure to sign up for a guided tour.

Getting There

Blydenburgh County Park is located in Smithtown, N.Y., about an hour east of the city. To get there, hop on the Long Island Expressway going east. Take Exit 42 and merge onto the Northern State Parkway. After about 16 miles, you’ll merge onto NY-347/NY454 (Veterans Memorial Highway) and see the parking area on your left.


While the park is open year-round, it’s only open to campers between April 1 and November 11. April is often muddy and November can bring chilly weather, so target May through October for the best conditions.

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.