Welwyn Preserve County Park

April 24, 2016 – Glen Cove, Long Island

Difficulty: easy

Length: approximately 3 miles

Welwyn Preserve County Park is a sprawling 204-acre preserve, Welwyn is the former Estate of Harold Irving Pratt, heir to an oil fortune. The densely wooded preserve has four marked nature trails that provide access to a magnificent wooded stream valley, fresh water ponds, swamps, a coastal salt marsh and a stretch of Long Island Sound shoreline.

After deciding that I was going to visit Muttontown Preserve, I wanted to have a “Plan B” close by in case I couldn’t find King Zog’s ruins. This was about a 1/2 hour away and seemed interesting. Although I did locate the ruins at Muttontown, I figured since we were in the area, we might as well check this place out as well. So after we had a bite to eat, we arrived on location.

I always like to have a map of any trails I hike, but I couldn’t find one online or at the site. From my research I learned that the preserve features four marked nature trails, so off we went. We started off by walking to the left of the mansion which houses the Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County. This trail would lead us right to the shore which had a very cool gazebo at the end of a jetty.

It was a beautiful day and the combination of sun and breeze made us want to sit there for awhile and soak it all in. This was worth the drive in it’s own right, but we had ruins to find. We reluctantly continued on our way with no map, but plenty of determination.

We found a trail right off the beach which I assumed since it would be to the right of the mansion, would take us where we wanted to go. Well, after walking in a big circle it was time to try a different approach. I found an unmarked woods road that paralleled the mansion and proceeded on. After a mile or so of walking in the woods, lo and behold, there it was! I don’t know much information on the origins of these buildings except that they had one giant greenhouse and that the whole place was littered with graffiti.

We wandered around a bit and ran into several groups of people exploring the ruins. At one point I had to shine my flashlight as we walked through the basement. We continued to the upper floor and were greeted with yet more graffiti.

After wandering around the interior and shooting some photographs, we ventured outside to take a look at the greenhouse. It was massive.

I have seen photographs online of the greenhouse in summer with so much growth that it appears that you can’t even walk inside. Luckily that wasn’t an issue the day we visited. Once we got our fill of this unique place we headed out. We walked back to the woods road that we were previously on and in a few minutes were on the opposite side of the lot where we had parked. Another enjoyable day hike in the books.

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