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Southwick Beach State Park, Henderson

3.6
#177 of 291 in Nature in New York State
State Park · Nature / Park
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Southwick Beach State Park is a New York State park that lies along an unusual stretch of sandy beach on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. The park is 464 acres (188 ha) in size with a 3,500 foot (1,100 m) length of beach, and is visited annually by about 100,000 people. Immediately to the south is the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area (3,461 acres (1,401 ha)), which extends the publicly accessible beach by several miles. They are in the Town of Ellisburg in Jefferson County, New York south of the lakeside community of Jefferson Park.

The park offers an extensive campground with tent and trailer sites, picnic facilities, playing fields and a playground. In summer, the swimming area has lifeguards and the park store is open. In winter, snowmobiles are permitted in the park. The park has an accessible nature trail. There are hiking trails from the park that extend into the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area. Lakeview itself has several access points for launching boats, as well as a second nature trail along South Sandy Creek. The hiking trails and boat routes are described at several websites, and in guidebooks by William P. Ehling and by Susan Peterson Gateley.
The park and wildlife management area lie within a rare, freshwater coastal barrier environment that consists of beaches, sand dunes, embayments and marshes. The wildlife management area is also the Lakeview Marsh and Barrier Beach National Natural Landmark, which was cited in 1973 as "One of the best and most extensive marshlands that lie in protected bays and behind barrier beaches along eastern Lake Ontario." Southwick Beach State Park and Lakeview Wildlife Management Area are included within the New York State Natural Heritage Area entitled "Eastern Lake Ontario Barrier Beach and Wetland Complex"; Lakeview is incorporated in the Eastern Lake Ontario Marshes Bird Conservation Area.
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Southwick Beach State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
44 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We stayed in the brand new full hook up area; Be prepared, no shade unless you are in the first 4 sites or at the back in 135, where you would get pm shade. The full hookups are very nice but only.....  more
    We stayed in the brand new full hook up area; Be prepared, no shade unless you are in the first 4 sites or at the back in 135, where you would get pm shade. The full hookups are very nice but only.....  more »
Google
  • Excellent State Park! One of my favorites in NY state! Free during the off season but requires a fee or Empire pass during the summer season. Great place to enjoy the beach views, get your steps in and take a walk on the beach, or go camping. Concession stand available during the summer season. Great newer designed playgrounds found near the beach and in the electric camping loop. Non-electric loop only has a few swings. During swimming season, only a certain section of the beach is roped off for lifeguarded swimming, but swimming is allowed at your own risk still all up and down the very long beach, so there's plenty of space to spread out and have a decent sized area on the beach to yourself. Dogs are allowed on the beach. Great place for water-hobbies or kite flying as well. I have taken my inflatable paddle board and kayaks there for use. Usually there is too much wind (and waves) but sometimes the water is calm, usually in the evening. Great sun views and sunsets over the lake since the beach faces west.
  • This place is beautiful. The beach side camping area looks amazing. I hope to one day return and camp here! We visited on a cool fall Friday and the place was not busy at all, but not deserted either. The gatekeeper was kind and let us enter just to take a look around as we were just driving through. A lovely day trip or weekend stay to be sure. I bet this place is deservedly busy during the warm months!

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