Robert Cushman Murphy County Park

Suffolk County, NY


Directions:

LIE (495) to exit 70; CR 111 south to Halsey Manor Rd; Left turn at Halsey Manor Rd; follow north, across the LIE and railroad tracks. Halsey Manor Rd becomes Connecticut Ave once railroad tracks have been crossed. Follow Connecticut Ave north to River Rd. Make left turn at River Rd and make next left turn at Old River Rd. Follow Old River Rd to the first entrance on your right (north side of the road).

Another dirt road entry point is on Middle Country Road, directly opposite a paved road named Panamoka Trail.

This linear park is located south of Middle Country Road (Route 25) and west of Wading River-Schultz Road (Route 25).


Geology:

The Peconic River is the longest river on Long Island.


Habitats:

Here there is rare coastal plain pondshore habitat. There are many ponds.

Ponds (north to south):
Round Pond
Peasys Pond
Woodchoppers Pond
Duck Pond
Sandy Pond
Grassy Pond
Twin Ponds
Cyran Pond
Kents Pond
Zeeks Pond


Facilities and Activities:

Fishing, boating, hiking, hunting, and a biological research center. Hunting, managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, is permitted seasonally, on portions of the property.


Suffolk County Dept of Parks says:

Calverton/Manorville; Robert Cushman Murphy, the county's first natural park offers:

Fishing, boating, hiking, hunting, and a biological research center

This park is a favorite of hikers and bird watchers. Rare coastal plain pondshore habitat provides professional scientists with opportunities to conduct important biological experiments and inventories. Hunting, managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, is permitted seasonally, on portions of the property. Fishing for large mouth bass, eastern chain pickerel, yellow perch, blue gill, bullhead catfish and pumpkinseed sunfish is permitted to NYS licensed fishermen on the 60 acre Swan Pond. Suffolk County Parks Key Cards are also required for fishing, as they are for all other forms of access to the park.


PECONIC RIVER HEADWATERS UPLANDS
October, 1991 newsletter NYFA

Eighteen members of NYFA met in Riverhead, N Y on September 22 for a hike through several exemplary Long Island plant communities. The weather was sunny and warm. The first stop was the pine barrens and associated ponds in the headwaters of the Peconic River. We walked through the woods from Route 25 to the northern end of Peasy's Pond and then walked through Peasy's as far as Sandy Pond. The water level was nearly at its highest with only a small area of exposed margin. Although many of the species seen during low water years were not present, we recorded many bladderwort species and 14 species that are listed as rare in New York by the New York Natural Heritage Program.

The second stop was along the southeast side of Hubbard Creek Marsh in Flanders to visit one of Long Island's best salt marshes. Phragmites occurs only locally at this site which has both high productivity stands of low marsh cordgrass and large patches of high-salinity upper marsh.
The final stop was at the Dwarf pine barrens in the area southwest of Interchange 63 on the Sunrise Highway. We walked a old cinder road into a characteristic site with stunted pitch pine.
Base species lists were compiled from Heritage work over several years. The followings lists were made from additions by Betty Lotowycy, Barbara Conolly, Chris Mangels, Steve Clements, and David Hunt.


PLANT  LIST:

Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus prinoides (chestnut oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

Shrubs:
Amelanchier canadensis (shadbush)
Amelanchier arborea var. laevis (smooth shadbush)
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry)
Aronia prunifolia
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush)
Gaultheria procumbens (teaberry; checkerberry)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Gaylussacia frondosa (blue huckleberry)
Ilex glabra (inkberry)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Myrica gale
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Quercus ilicifolia (shrub oak)
Rubus flagellaris (dewberry)
Rubus hispidus (dewberry)
Salix bebbiana (willow)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum cassinoides

Vines:
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Centaurea maculosa (striped wintergreen)
Chamaecrista nictitans (wild sensitive plant)
Conyza canadensis var. pusilla (horseweed)
Cypripedium acaule (pink lady's slipper)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Diodia teres (buttonweed)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Eupatorium hyssopifolium (hyssop-leaved boneset)
Euphorbia cyparssias (cypress spurge)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Euthamia tenuifolia (narrow-leaved goldenrod)
Galium mollugo (wild madder)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium
Helianthemum canadense
Hypericum gentianoides (orange grass)
Hypericum dissimulatum
Hypericum canadense (Canada St. Johnswort)
Lechea maritima (pinweed)
Lechea racemulosa (pinweed)
Lechea villosa (pinweed)
Leucanthemum vulgare
Mollugo verticillata (carpetweed)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian plant)
Plantago aristata (bracted plantain)
Polygonella articulata (coastal jointweed)
Polygonum arenastrum (knotweed)
Solidago puberula (downy goldenrod)

Rushes:
Juncus dichotomus
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Cyperus dentatus
Rhynchospora capitellata (beakrush)

Grasses:
Agrostis perennans
Aristida dichotoma
Cenchrus longispinus
Deschampsia flexuosa
Digitaria sanguinalis
Digitaria ischaemum
Eragrostis spectabilis
Eragrostis pectinacea
Panicum acuminatum
Panicum depauperatum
Panicum dichotomiflorum
Panicum dichotomum
Panicum linearifolium
Panicum oligosanthes
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns:
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)