Travel: Cedar Beach, Miller Place/Mt. Sinai Long Island
I grew up in Long Island close to the north shore. Growing up “on the island” meant a lot of beach days in the summer. Most often we would go to Cedar Beach, which was closest to us. Cedar Beach is located in the Port Jefferson/Mount Sinai area on the north shore of Long Island; and I remember the days of Mom packing a lunch for us at the beach, taking a nibble before I would run and jump into the cool waters of the Sound and then running back for more of those delicious chicken sandwiches.
After some 30 years, I returned to Cedar Beach for a bit of nostalgia to find, of course, that some things changed. I went with some of my closest family members: my grandmother, Aunt Cary, and Uncle Leo. We decided to take Granny for some exercise in a most beautiful location, the nature walk at Cedar Beach. Granny and I are both nature lovers.
About the Beach
Spanning the length of 3,450 feet, the calm waters of the Long Island Sound caress this rocky beach. The beach is also host to a beautiful playground for children, a marina and docks for boating, a concession building called Singleton’s Seafood Shack, and best of all a nature walk complete with walkways over sandy dunes.
The walkways are dotted with charming benches that face the Sound, a perfect place to rest and take in the scent of the salty air. The dunes are covered with natural flora, fauna, and cacti. Beautiful birds soar in the blue sky while wild jackrabbits nibble at the thin grasses.
A non-profit organization, Mount Sinai Harbor Marine Stewardship Center, occupies the former home of the Cedar Beach Nature Center. The building, a house, belonged to the Hagermann family during the 1960s but it was acquired by the Town of Brookhaven through eminent domain. The center has different marine displays, an aquarium, and provides lessons on environmental issues.
Any number of activities can be found at Cedar Beach depending on the time of the year: concerts, sunscreen days sponsored by Boy Scouts and students alike and a Shellfish Aquaculture Program. The Shellfish Aquaculture Program is expected to restore clams, oysters, and soft shell clams at the Mariculture Facility at Cedar Beach. Repopulating these species improves water quality. Brown tide had wiped out the shellfish population back in 1986.
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What kind of beach do you enjoy most?
Cedar Beach is host to an annual Triathalon (Cedar Beach Triathalon) where triathletes complete a .5 mile swim in Long Island Sound, bike two loops on a 6.9 mile bike course, and run two loops on a 1.55 mile flat and fast run course.
If you think that you have to be a beach bum or athlete to enjoy Cedar Beach, nothing can be farther from the truth. Each year, around September, there is the Cedar Beach Blues and Arts Festival to enjoy. Now in its 24th year, the festival includes dozens of bands, food, and crafts.
The Town of Brookhaven also hosts a unique event at Cedar Beach annually (usually in November). The Polar Plunge helps to raise money for the Special Olympics. More information about The Polar Plunge around New York State can be found at: http://polarplungeny.org/.
Fees and Amenities
Residents of the Town of Brookhaven enjoy Cedar Beach with a residents’ pass but those who are not residents will pay a $20 per day parking fee. You can also find a multi-lane concrete ramp, docks, boat wash-down/pump out, restrooms and 75 trailer rig parking spaces.
Cedar Beach is a perfect place for a family outing, for those who enjoy the outdoors, walks and the sea.
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Cedar Beach Information
By Liza Lugo
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