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Contact: Paula Valentine, 631-687-4759
Contact: Irene Rosen, 631-687-4765
More than fifty people got out of the house and onto the beach for Fire Island National Seashore's ranger-guided hike, "Exploring the Burma Trail," on Saturday, February 28. This program, which started at the park's Wilderness Visitor Center on Fire Island at the southernmost end of William Floyd Parkway, was a new experience for many of those who bundled up for the brisk, but sunny weather. Some had never been to Fire Island, and some never realized that you can actually drive to parts of Fire Island all year. Others were thrilled by the chance to see a snowy owl on the beach. On another special program in February, hikers on the Great Backyard Bird Walk at the Seashore's William Floyd Estate, in Mastic Beach, were able to hear and see one of the earliest signs of spring on Long Island and Fire Island—the return of the red-winged blackbird—a full two weeks earlier than usual. If you missed these opportunities, mark your calendar for this month's programs at Fire Island National Seashore.
To celebrate Women's History Month, plan to join the special tours at the William Floyd Estate this March. You'll see the lasting contributions made by some of the Floyd family females as you stroll around the grounds during the Cultural Landscape Walking Tour on Saturday, March 14. One of the highlights of this tour is seeing the European Linden planted by Katherine Floyd in 1850; her sapling is now one of New York State's largest trees. The curatorial storage facility tours, scheduled for March 22 and 29, provide a glimpse into the lives of additional Floyd family members over the centuries.
Another ranger-guided hike is offered this month at the Wilderness Visitor Center on March 21. Part of the 3-mile roundtrip hike takes you into the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, and part is on the Atlantic beach. Park at Smith Point County Park (free at this time of the year), then walk to the National Park Service visitor center where you'll join the park ranger at 9 a.m. for a three-hour tour. An evening program at the Wilderness Visitor Center on March 27—Sea Chanteys—is an encore presentation by the ShipMates, who performed at the 150th Anniversary Celebration at the Fire Island Lighthouse.
During the month of March, two special programs are scheduled for the Fire Island Lighthouse. An evening tower tour is scheduled for Saturday, March 8, to view the "Maple Sugar Moon." A Light Keepers Behind-the-Scenes Tour is set for Saturday, March 14. Program fees are charged by the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society for these two tours, and reservations are required, since space is limited.
For more information or reservations for Fire Island Lighthouse programs, call the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society at 631-661-4876. For more information about William Floyd Estate programs, call 631-399-2030. For Wilderness Visitor Center programs, call the Interpretation staff at 631-687-4768 or 631-281-3010.
For more information about Fire Island National Seashore, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/fiis.
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William Floyd Estate
Closed for the season, but open for special programs throughout the winter.
Call 631-399-2030 for reservations and winter directions.
- Cultural Landscape Walking Tour: Saturday, March 14, 10 – 11:30 am
(free program; reservations required: 631-399-2030)
1-2 mile easy walk to see how the Floyd family manipulated, changed and adapted their land for multiple uses over the years.
- Inside the Park's Collections: Sunday, March 22 and March 29, 10 – 11:30 am
(free program; reservations required: 631-399-2030)
Special behind the scenes tour of Fire Island National Seashore’s curatorial storage facility.
Wilderness Visitor Center
Open Wednesday - Sunday, weather permitting. Call 631-281-3010.
- Discovering Fire Island Wilderness Guided Hike: Saturday, March 21, 9 am - Noon
- Sea Chanteys: Friday evening, March 27, 7 - 9 pm
- Volunteer Recruitment Day: Saturday, March 28, 10 am
Parking for programs offered at Fire Island National Seashore’s Wilderness Visitor Center is at Smith Point County Park. (Be prepared for a 5 minute walk to the Wilderness Visitor Center.) Admission for each of these programs is free.
Fire Island Lighthouse Open weekends January 1 - March 31, noon to 4 pm; open weekdays January 12 - March 31, 10 am - 4 pm, weather permitting. Call 631-661-4876 for information or reservations.
- Evening Tower Tour: Saturday,March 7, 5:30 pm
Fee for program ($15/person). Experience the Lighthouse at night. View the night sky during the Maple Sugar Moon from the top of the tower. (Moonrise at 2:03 p.m. and Sunset at 5:50 p.m.) Reservations required.
- Lighthouse Keepers Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Saturday, March 14, 9 am
Fee for program ($15/person). Follow one of our present day lighthouse keepers on his rounds, from the bottom of the keeper’s quarters to the beacon in the lantern room at the top of the lighthouse tower. Limited to 12 people. Reservations required.
Parking for programs at the Fire Island Lighthouse is available at Robert Moses State Park Field 5; the Fire Island Lighthouse is a ¾-mile walk along the boardwalk or beach.