QUOQUE WILDLIFE REFUGE
From NYC take the Belt (Cross Island) Parkway to exit 25A. From there go east about 62 miles, first on the Southern State Parkway to exit 44, then on the Sunrise Highway (Route 27). At exit 64, go south on Route 104 for two miles. Turn right onto Old Country Road; go 0.7 mile to the entrance, on the right.
North Pond is the second man-made body of water on refuge grounds. Main Pond is larger than North Pond and was created in 1913 by the Quogue Ice Company for the purpose of supplying ice to their customers. The company ceased ice harvesting with the advent of refrigeration, and the property was sold in the 1930s to a local waterfowl association. (A display of the ice-harvesting industry can be found in an old barn near the nature study center.) The pond averages 3 feet in depth, with a maximum of 5 feet. Quantuck Creek flows over a spillway at the south end of the pond and into Quantuck Bay, eventually reaching the Atlantic.
A rehabilitation center for animals, including a golden eagle, great horned owls, and turkey vultures, is also located here.
A housing development was planned for the forest on this side of the refuge, though local residents are fighting the project. If it is built, it would drastically reduce the region's so-called wildlife reservoir zone and almost certainly lead to the disappearance of certain species that need a large territory.
One of the most uncommon habitats on Long Island is the dwarf-pine plains, a scrubby forest where full-grown pitch pines seldom reach heights above 10 feet and are usually less than that. The dwarf-pine plains range over about 875 acres of land on Long Island. Quogue Wildlife Refuge contains a portion of this intriguing woodland, whose average height is only about 5 feet.
Here are the headwaters and dammed ponds of Quantuck Creek; a small bog; ponds; quartz-dominated sandy soils of the glacial outwash plain.
In the distance, to the northeast, is a low rise of hills; this is the Ronkonkoma Terminal Moraine, or the southernmost point of glacial advance.
upland, wetland, hiking trails, nature trails, handicapped access, parking lot, rest rooms, birdwatching, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Pass the animal cages to get to the hiking trails. Begin walking to the right of the rehabilitation complex on the so-called main trail and enter a pitch-pine and bear-oak forest.
You can make a figure 8 walk here. You can walk around Main Pond in the south and then make another circle north of Main Pond and circle to the southern edge of North Pond.
Audubon guide and Geffen and Berglie, 1996: Chapter 20
Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white-cedars)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry)
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
Gaylussacia sp. (huckleberry)
Ilex glabra (inkberry)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)
Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)
Vaccinium sp. (blueberry)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Drosera spp. (sundew)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)
Sarracenia purpurea (purple pitcher plant)
Utricularia sp. (bladderwort)
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)
Long Island Botanial Society field trip. August 17,2002.
Among the plants found were:
Aster nemoralis (bog aster)
Eupatorium rotundifolium v. sundersii (round-leaved thoroughwort)
Gaylussacia frondosa (dangleberry)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Planthera blephariglottis (white-fringed orchid)
Sarracenia purpurea (pitcher plant)
Thelypteris simulata (Massachusetts fern)
Trip leader Jenny Ulsheimer.