Lakeland County Park
|Lakeland County Park in Islandia features a handicap-accessible playground and a long series of nature trails that wind through the Connetquot River.|
Lakeland park is built around Connetquot Brook, which is a large pond that is fed by the Connetquot River. The parking lot is paved and provides ample space, is well-marked and situated between the entrance to the nature trails and the playground.
The playground is made up of two main structures, both of which feature a number of slides and built-in games. There are a series of climbs which range from the simple to the challenging. The play surface is a soft wood mulch. There is one swingset at Lakeland, with two toddler and two standard swings. All four have deep trenches, so smaller kids may have difficulty getting onto the standard swings on their own.
The larger platform is the launching pad for a nice set of triple wavy slides. Although there is shade nearby, these slides get a lot of sun exposure and can get pretty hot during the afternoon. In the adjacent shady area, there are many picnic tables for parents to take some cover while the kids play.
The highlight of the playground at Lakeland County Park is the accessibility. There is a large amount of handicap parking available just a few yards away from the playset. A long ramp provides easy entry to the platforms, and there are wide bridgeways that connect the two areas. Play spots like the steering wheel are close to the ground, and they are all seamlessly integrated with more challenging play equipment.
There are a number of nature trails that guide visitors through the park's preserve. It's almost completely boardwalk and hard sand, so taking a stroller through the trails is no problem. Kids may not always be so excited by a long walk through the woods, but the trails at Lakeland have their rewards. There are many opportunities to see wildlife, including fish, turtles, frogs, birds, ducks, geese -- we even saw some chipmunks. The woods here are full of sights & sounds, not to mention a little adventure. There were no trail maps during our visit, so we were never quite sure where we were.
Lakeland County Park is open every day until sunset. There are public restrooms that are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Despite its proximity to the Long Island Expressway and Vet's Highway, it's a nice spot for a quiet walk through the woods and some fun on a playground that is built for just about anyone.
Lakeland County ParkOfficial Site: http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/
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