CALEB SMITH STATE PARK PRESERVE
Route 25 (southwest of the intersection of Routes 25 and 25A), Smithtown, Suffolk County, Long Island, NY
543 acres


Directions:

47 miles from Manhattan via Grand Central Parkway to Northern State Parkway to exit 45 north for the Sunken Meadow State Parkway and drive 1.8 miles to exit SM3E (Jericho Turnpike). From Sunken Meadow State Parkway, proceed for 3 miles to the park entrance, on the left.

The entrance (after you pass Old Willets Path) is off the northern side of the highway 3 miles east of the Sagtikos State Parkway. The preserve is northwest of Blydenburgh County Park.


Geology:

The Nissequogue River goes through part of the preserve on its way to the Long Island Sound. The rolling slopes and hillsides are part of the northern side of the Ronkonkoma Moraine.

The Nissequogue derives from springs in nearby Blydenburgh County Park and Weld Pond. It flows northward, cutting across both terminal moraines, and heads through Caleb Smith Park, turns brackish, and empties into Long Island Sound. In 1982 the state named the Nissequogue a Scenic and Recreational River.


History:

In 1663 the first Smith bought the land from the Indians. The Nesaquake Indians owned the land.

A portion of the Caleb Smith I house was built by his father, Daniel II, in 1752. A mill was added in 1795. (The house is now a museum containing some historical information on the park and the former gun club, as well as some animals and fish.)

Caleb Smith I (1724-1800) was the great grandson of Richard "Bull" Smythe (later Smith), the founding father of Smithtown. Caleb graduates from Yale University in 1744. He was later judge for the Court of Common Pleas of Suffolk County and a member of the State Assembly. His wife was named Martha.

Caleb Smith I was a patriot. In spite the fact that he was shot at, roused from bed and lashed with hickory switches by British soldiers, he refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown. There is a scar on one of the outside doors of the house. An angry Tory slashed at Caleb but missed and damaged the door.

200 years later Caleb Smith sold parts of the land to the Brooklyn Gun Club (later the Wyndanch Club). The Gun Club acquired more of the land and also expanded the house. In 1963 New York State bought the property. In 1974 it was made a state park.

A member of the Wyndanch Club allegedly took the door with the saber slash when the Club vacated the Caleb Smith house in 1974. A rumor is that the door was made into a coffee table.

Here also is the Aron Vail House, an inn on the old stagecoach route.

Park headquarters are located in the Smith farmhouse.


Habitats:

freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, fields and upland woods.


Trails:

There is a yellow, one-mile self-guided nature trail that is numbered. Don't confuse this with the numbers provided along the short, bluestone graveled, All Access Trail for handicapped persons and others. There is also a blue trail that is much longer, and an orange cross-country ski trail also. Here also is the Long Island Greenbelt trail. The preserve is bisected by Jericho Turnpike (Route 25). Only fishermen and women are allowed in the southern part of the preserve.


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, Judith Fitzgerald, Park Staff


Trees:
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fagus sylvestris (copper beech) planted
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus sp. (crab apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Sorbus sp. (mountain ash)
Taxus sp. (yew)

Shrubs:
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen) 6/12/01 soon
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Decodon verticillata (yellow loosestrife)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Ilex verticillata (Ilex verticillata)
Kalmia angustifolia (lambskill)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Ligustrum spp. (privet) 6/12/01
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Philadelphus coronarius? (mock orange) 6/12/01
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)
Rhododendron sp. (pinxter flower or swamp azalea)
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead) 6/12/01
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) 6/12/01
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry) 6/12/01
Syringa vulgaris (common lilac)
Vaccinium angustifolium (low bush blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (high bush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)) 6/12/01
Viburnum dentatum (hairy arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum sieboldii ? (Siebold's viburnum)?
Weigela sp. (weigela) 6/12/01 planted

Vines:
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Herbs:
Abutilon theophrasti (velvet-leaf)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 6/12/01
Ajuga reptans (ajuga)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 6/12/01
Allium canadense (wild onion)
Ambrosia sp. (ragweed)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)
Antennaria neglecta var. canadensis (field pussytoes)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium lappa (great burdock)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arenaria serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved sandwort)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias sp. (blunt-leaved milkweed)
Asclepias sp. (racemed milkwort)
Asclepias syriacus (common milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly-weed) 6/12/01
Asparagus officinalis (wild asparagus)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Callitriche sp. (water starwort)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 6/12/01
Cichorium intybus (chicory)
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Comandra umbellata (bastard toadflax) 6/12/01
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady slippers)
Datura stramonium (jimson weed)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 6/12/01
Eupatorium hyssopifolium (hyssop-leaved boneset)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Gaillardia aristata (Indian blanket) 6/12/01
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 6/12/01
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)
Helianthus sp. (sunflower)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day-lily)
Hesperis matronalis (dames rocket) 6/12/01
Hieracium (yellow king devil) 6/12/01
Hieracium pilosella (mouse-ear hawkweed) 6/12/01
Hieracium spp. (hawkweed)
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed) 6/12/01
Hypericum muticum (dwarf St. Johnswort)
Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lepidium virginicum (wild peppergrass)
Lespedeza cuneata (Chinese bush clover)
Lespedeza sp. (slender bush clover)?
Lilium superbum (Turk's-cap lily)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia horehound)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Medicago lupulina (black medick)
Melampyrum lineare (cowwheat) 6/12/01
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)
Mentha x piperita (peppermint)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myosotis laxa (smaller forget me not) 6/12/01
Myriophyllum sp. (water milfoil)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Ornithogallum umbellatum (star-of-Bethlehem)
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 6/12/01
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng)
Physalis heterophylla (clammy ground cherry)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 6/12/01
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum biflorum (smooth true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 6/12/01
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potamogeton spp. (pondweed)
Potentilla anserina (silvery cinquefoil) 6/12/01
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil) 6/12/01
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil) 6/12/01
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 6/12/01
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup)
Ranunculus recurvatus (hooked crowfoot)
Raphanus raphanistrum (wild radish) 6/12/01
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad leaved dock)
Silene armeria (sweet-William catchfly)
Silene latifolia (white campion) 6/12/01
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Spirodela polyrhiza (great duckweed)
Stellaria graminea (lesser stitchwort)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Tradescantia virginiana (spiderwort) planted?
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Trientalis borealis (star flower)
Trifolium arvense (rabbit foot clover)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover)
Trillium cernuum (nodding trillium)
Triodanis perfoliata (Venus' looking glass)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile bellwort)
Veratrum viride (swamp hellebore)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell) 6/12/01
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell) 6/12/01
Vicia villosa (hairy vetch)
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)
Viola spp. (violets)
Xanthium sp. (cocklebur)
Yucca filamentosa (yucca)
Zinnia sp. (zinnia) 6/12/01 planted

Sedges and Rushes:
Carex grayi type (sedge)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Deschampsia flexuosa (hair grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass)
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) 6/12/01

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Lycopodium complanatum (ground cedar clubmoss)
Lycopodium lucidulum (shining clubmoss)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine clubmoss)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis New York fern)

Others:
(reindeer lichen)