Old Estates being Put to Good Public Use

There are many old estates on Long Island that were given or bought by the state of New York Parks Department. They are beautiful reminders of the bygone age of decadence and extreme wealth by a handful of tycoons in turn of the century. As the country grew and the Internal Revenue Service was formed to pay for services, the enormous tax bills forced many of these properties to be sold off or given away.

Luckily some forward thinking individual in private and government employment thought to preserve our history and land for the future, The history of such places such as the Vanderbilt Museum on one of the old Vanderbilt properties on the north shore of Nassau County, New York, the Southside Hunting Lodge, now the Connetquot River State Park on the south shore of Suffolk County and  Belmont Lake State Park, established in 1926;formally known as "Nursery Stud Farm", a thoroughbred horse farm owned by August Belmont, according to Wikipedia.

The Belmont Lake State Park sits on the Southern State Parkway in Babylon, New York. It is very well used ,with a large main lake, and a walking trail that heads south to two more lake that are not officially park of the park. I have been to this park many times and it never disappoints.

Belmont Lake Dam

 The Belmont lake dam is
small but useful as it created
a large lake enjoyed by fishermen and small paddle boats alike.

The weekends are popular for large hiking groups to visit.

Belmont Lake Trail

a captured cannon sits on the estates lawn

The  walkers enter a tunnel under the parkway and further south , there is another tunnel that runs under a highway.
The trails run along the Carlls River
It was becoming cloudy so the last 2 images aren't very clear, but this is another large body of water called Southards Pond that is connected to the trails that runs from Belmont Lake State park.
Southards Pond is a favorite of fishermen.

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