Keeping Up With Caumsett In The Cold

By Carina Livoti


Dankel's maple sugaring classes take place in the barns on Caumsett's grounds. 

Dankel's maple sugaring classes take place in the barns on Caumsett's grounds. 

In this bitter cold, a surprising number of Long Islanders have been keeping busy at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve. While a visit to the Lloyd Harbor park might not be the first activity you think of as you claw your way through piles of snow between the outdoor sports and weekend activity calendar, the winter is a busy time at Caumsett.

According to Park Superintendent Lenny Kraus, the ice and snow have not hurt park attendance.

“If anything, snow has increased the number of skiers and snow shoe-ers coming to the park,” Kraus said.

Virginia Dankel, the naturalist who runs the park’s year-round weekend programming, agreed with the superintendent and pointed out a lack of options elsewhere for outdoorsy people during colder months.

“My slowest time is summer, not winter. People will come out in the cold, because there’s not a lot going on,” she said.

Dankel had three rounds of sold-out maple sugaring classes to back up her claim. The naturalist explained that the first class had been in such high demand that more were added. The final class was on Feb. 14.

Caumsett’s seasonal walks and hikes continue through winter was well, though those decidedly favor the intrepid. Dankel said only about three people came to each of the most recent outdoor ventures.

The park is offering a beginner birding program on Feb. 22 and a 2-mile walk on the history of Caumsett on Feb. 28, which Dankel felt would be interesting to most Huntington residents.

“They might learn some things about the park and the area that they didn’t know before,” she said.

Both are adult programs that require registration and a $4 fee. For more information on what’s coming up as things warm up, see Caumsett’s calendar of events at