The Refuge

Target Rock Wildlife Refuge is a small, only 80 acres, piece of public land on the north shore of Long Island, New York.  It’s located near the town of Lloyd Harbor, only 45 miles from the center of New York City.

The Visit

While on a business trip to Long Island, I found myself ‘stranded’ on the island for a day off.  It was a cool fall day with gusting winds, blowing surf, and on/off rains.  I had spent the morning out at another north shore park where is was really wet and chilly, but I still wanted out of the hotel for as long as possible.  Spotting this US Fish and Wildlife Service property on the map, I set out to investigate.

It was a long slow drive through Island traffic to get to the area, but I found it easily.  The property is developed with a restroom building, parking lot, walking trails, and maintenance facilities.  There is a small fee to visit the property, so I dropped the cash in the slot and placed the ticket on the pickup truck window.  Only after doing that did I realize none of the few other cars in the parking lot had parking passes.  Maybe they were employee cars, or maybe the fees aren’t enforced on Sundays?

So off down the trail…

Even though there were several cars in the parking lot, there were only two other people on the walking trail.

The trail ended at the shore of the Long Island Sound, with no indicator of where the ‘famous’ Target Rock is actually located.  Considering that the refuge is named after the rock, I was expected a significant geologic feature to be around here somewhere…

The Rock

Well this is it, Target Rock.  Yes, it’s a rock, and slightly larger than the other glacially deposited cobbles on the shore.  The bird with it’s nest on top probably thinks it’s a perfectly fine rock.

Obviously the cool weather, and perhaps being late afternoon on a Sunday, kept the property from being more populated.  There were no other walkers on the way out.

The Area

Although there wasn’t sufficient time for exploring the other parks in the area, notably the Caumsett State Park, I did manage to find a view of this lighthouse from a dead-end street.


Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge — 3 Comments

  1. The light house you have a photo of is now called Huntington Harbor Light House. But was originally Called Lloyd Harbor Light House. But since the main Harbor you would enter is Huntington Harbor, it was renamed.

  2. Hi, my family and I are just driving home from Target Rock… and it was the most AMAZING park ever (compared to Yellowstone which we visited last year).

    All kidding aside, we wish we read your appraisal of the situation before we journeyed 35 minutes to find out there were many other places we could have visited instead (we are native Long Islanders and have never been this disappointed in a park here before).

    Happy Easter!
    Nicole and family

    • Thank you for commenting. If you found my photos and brief text to be an accurate representation of what you found, then I couldn’t be happier; I never write pages to unduly promote or hype a location. 🙂

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