Christopher Morley Park

Searingtown Rd., Roslyn-North Hills, Nassau County, NY

98 acres


Directions:

Searingtown Rd., just north of LIE Exit 36, on Searingtown Road.


History:

early 1900s  --  Mrs. Frank Griswald buit a mansion here.  Later it was purchased by John Dennis Ryan, an official of Anaconda. He build a second mansion on the property, this one for his son, John Carlos Ryan, but, because of a dispute, his son never lived in the estate. 

The Giswald/Ryan estate burned to the ground.  The Renaissance Country Club used the John Carlos Ryan House.  

1965 -- Christopher Morley County Park opens; it was named for the novelist, poet, and essayist who lived nearby.

Christopher Morely was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He worked as a journalist in New York City and resided in Roslyn Heights. He wrote the novel "Kitty Foyle." He was also an editor who promoted the writing of Joseph Conrad and Sherwood Anderson and a judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club for almost thirty years. The park contains Knothole, the log cabin in which Morley did most of his writing.

1966  --  the cabin moved into what Morely called Santa Claus Woods because it is where he walked with his children on Christmas Eve. 

(Cynthia Blair, Newsday Names of Long Island; http://www.newsday.com/features/custom/names)


Facilities and Activities:

Hobby enthusiasts can enjoy the 140X300 foot boat basin designed for model boating.

A playground features such equipment as the traditional swings and slides and the not-so-traditional imaginative climbing apparatus.

Soccer is available and there are three softball fields, and an assortment of court games including basketball, paddleball, volleyball, paddle tennis, horseshoes, and shuffleboard.

A seasonal, hourly fee is charged for use of the five outdoor tennis courts.

The nine hole par 30 golf course in adjacent to a private putting green and charges an entry fee (Golf office 571-8120; waiting time 571-8119).

Morley Park is active through all seasons, accommodating both winter and water sports. An outdoor artificial ice skating rink is open in the fall and winter months, while the opening of the sled hill and the cross country ski trail are contingent upon the weather.

The swimming complex features pools for all levels of swimming, including an Olympic size pool, a "kiddie" pool, and a diving tank with boards and platforms.

There is also a picnic area.


Trails:

Christopher Morley Park features over a mile of walkways and nature trail meandering through 30 acres of naturally wooded preserve. There is also a two mile jogging course which cuts through the park.


Nassau County Dept. of Parks:

With a variety of amenities, Christopher Morley Park’s attractions range from the peacefully serene to the wildly energetic, and everywhere in between. Over a mile of walkways and nature trail meander through 30 acres of naturally wooded preserve, making the nature area and walk an ideal place for a leisurely stroll. For a more brisk pace, try the two mile jogging course which cuts through the park. Hobby enthusiasts can enjoy the 140X300 foot boat basin designed for model boating.  A new, modern state-of-the-art playground features such equipment as the traditional swings and slides and the not-so-traditional imaginative climbing apparatus. Soccer is available at Christopher Morley. There are three softball fields, and an assortment of court games including basketball, paddleball, volleyball, paddle tennis, horseshoes, and shuffleboard. A seasonal, hourly fee is charged for use of the five outdoor tennis courts. The nine hole par 30 golf course is adjacent to a practice putting green and charges an entry fee (Golf office 571-8120; waiting time 571-8119).

Morley Park is active through all seasons, accommodating both winter and water sports. An outdoor artificial ice skating rink is open in the fall and winter months (fee is charged), while the openings of the sled hill and the cross country ski trail are contingent upon the weather. The swimming complex features pools for all levels of swimming, including an Olympic size pool, a "kiddie" pool, and a diving tank with boards and platforms; a fee is applicable for use of the complex.  For patrons’ convenience, the Park has two concession stands (pool area and ice skating rink), restrooms, and an on-site First-Aid Office, and Leisure Pass Office.

Picnic Area - 1 reserved area. Additional area, 7 first-come, first-served.