Garvie’s Point is one of the many hidden gems linked to our history. Growing up on Long Island, you are exposed to a variety of Native American Lore, revolutionary independence and geologic marvels. There are many wonderful museums and historical societies that will help you travel through time and learn about Long Island’s amazing past. Garvie’s Point Museum and Preserve is a delight to explore and offers education for children and adults alike.
This was taken straight from their website. I couldn’t have said it better!
“The youngest rock in New York State dates from the late “Age of Dinosaurs.” This rock underlies all of Long Island and part of Staten Island, although it is largely hidden by much younger “Ice Age” sediments and modern development.
One of the few places to see this Late Cretaceous age rock is along the Long Island Sound shoreline at Garvies Point Preserve. Low outcrops and cliffs of clay, soft sandstone, and conglomerate (gravel-type deposits) line parts of the shoreline at Garvies Point. Shore-line erosion means that plant fossils, which include fragments of Earth’s oldest flowering trees, pieces of lignite (soft coal composed of plant remains), and pyrite (fool’s gold) can be found in the gravel on the beach. In the late 1800s, rocks like those at Garvies Point were used in brick and tile production, and yielded diverse plant fossils from tropical Cretaceous forests that covered southern New York State. No dinosaur fossils were found on Long Island, although Cretaceous age rocks in New Jersey have yielded bones and teeth of dinosaurs and large reptiles.
The rocks at Garvies Point are terrestrial in origin and were deposited on land and in shallow lakes and ponds. These rocks and their fossils represent a time when the Atlantic Ocean was beginning to form—as North America broke away from west Africa along ancient fault lines. Rock samples from drill holes show that the terrestrial rocks at Garvies Point change into shallow marine deposits of the same age further south under Long Island.” visit their site: New York State Museum
Things to do:
- 62 acres of glacial moraine covered by forests, thickets, and meadows
- Pioneer/Transitional Woodlands
- 5 miles of marked nature trails
- Wooded areas with over 60 species of trees along with numerous shrubs, vines and wildflowers
- Old Growth Hardwoods
- Woodchucks, opossums and raccoons occasionally seen along meadow edge and in the woods
- High cliffs (made from Ice Age deposits) displaying features of erosion—alluvial fans, talus slopes, and slumping
- Walk along beach to discover plant fossils, lignite and pyrite nodules washed out from Cretaceous clay, shale and sandstone (deposited here at the end of “Age of Dinosaurs” 70 million years ago!)
- At low tide the tidal pools fill with marine organisms (algae, small fishes, crabs, snails and smooth mussels). You can also find horseshoe crabs in the shallow waters nearby.
- Hunt for “Indian Paint Pots” (you can paint your faces with the red or yellow pigment they produce with a little moisture and some rubbing!)
- In the summer, check out the native seaside plants–sea lavender and seaside goldenrod.
- Over 140 species of birds, notably scarlet tanager and many variety of warblers
- Butterfly Garden
- Spring-fed and vernal ponds
- Exhibits-Long Island and New York State geology and Long Island Native American culture and archaeology.
- “Geology exhibits illustrate Long Island’s glacial history and explain the formation of today’s land features. Dramatic post-glacial changes in climate and sea level are detailed in dioramas to show the evolution of our landscape during the past 20,000 years. Local leaf fossils and concretions (“Indian paint pots”) are also on display.”
- Center for research on Long Island geology and a valued resource in the study of the Island’s Native American archaeology. Reference collections of original archaeological artifacts and geological phenomena are maintained.
- A giftshop provides materials and publications related to the exhibits and educational programming, with emphasis on the natural history of Long Island.
- 50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove, NY 11542
- Picnic area near museum.
- Free Parking.
- NO DOGS.
- NO COLLECTING. Removing items from the park is not allowed for conservation reasons (not even rocks!), but enjoy them while you’re there.
- Adopted by the North Shore Audobon Society
- Museum Admission
- Adults: $4.00; Children 5–12 years: $2.00
- Days and Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm
- Closed Sundays and Mondays and Holidays
Family Adventure Rating ❤️❤️
Cost– This is a low cost adventure. A family of five can enjoy the museum and property for $16 plus travel. You can include a picnic lunch to enjoy the full day.
Parking & Transportation– They have their own parking lot which is typically a good enough size for the type of traffic that visits here. It’s conveniently located near the museum, trail heads, and picnic area. I didn’t find a direct mass transit route to the preserve, but you can get pretty close via train and bus if you don’t mind a little walking
Location– This adventure takes you to the North Shore of Long Island which can be a bit of a journey, buy the hilly North Shore is what captures the best geologic views. It’s a great location to keep this preserve in good condition by weeding out unnecessary traffic.
Day Trip or Overnight– This is a simple day trip if you live in the surrounding area (Queens, Nassau, Suffolk) . If you’re out exploring the island for a weekend or longer, you can certainly find enough to do to fill your days and nights.
Experience– This is a terrific adventure for anyone interested in geology, conservation, Native Americans, Audubon (birds), dendrology (study of trees), nature trails, and just old fashioned child-like exploration. The trails are easy, especially the main trail to the water.
Combination– There are many terrific things to do in the area! Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County, Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Old Westbury Gardens, Sands Point Preserve, Caumsett State Park, and Nassau County Museum of Art. Many of the nearby north shore villages offer great dining and shopping as well.