My first impression of Long Pond over three decades ago came when I came upon this beautiful pond while hiking. My first impression was one of awe and appreciation of the beauty of the area. When water levels have dropped enough, the entire northern half of the pond becomes a bog and plants like the carnivorous sundews appear as does the beautiful bloom of St. John’s wort.
Experiencing the pond from the water is a special treat. There is a boat ramp off Widow Gavits Road, entering just south of the power lines. Turn right before the hill leading to the old railroad spur and there you will find a small launching area. When you launch, look for two cypress trees on your left. They’re unusual on Long Island, in that they are somewhat north of their standard range.
About a half-mile long, Long Pond lives up to its name and provides a good amount of undisturbed shorefront. You may often see turtles dive and fish splash as you paddle. Osprey, hawks and owls frequent this area as well as the occasional bald eagle. Though eagles have been spotted flying in the vicinity of Long Pond, no nesting site has been confirmed.
In summer the northern half of the pond is transformed by a thick, almost impenetrable maze of water lilies, creating a truly breathtaking scene when the petals are open in the morning. Lily pads are a favorite resting place damsel and dragonflies, who are, regrettably, among the favorite prey of the ever-present tree swallow and king bird.
In May and June the larger blue flag iris can be found in large stands at the pond’s edge. With a little perseverance in late spring, the memorable wild orchid, known as pink lady’s slipper, may be seen. It’s one of nature’s true beauties, once seen, a lady slipper is never forgotten. In June and July, the understory in the woodlands around the pond are rife with high and low bush blueberries.
When you visit Long Pond, bring your field guide, binoculars, and camera, and you won’t be disappointed. The more you look the more you will find. Adapted from an article by John Mahoney.