Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters- USFWS
P.O. Box 21, Smith Road, Shirley, NY 11967


Take the Long Island Expressway to exit 68 for the William Floyd Parkway south; drive 3 miles to Montauk Highway (County Route 80); turn right (west) and drive 0.7 of a mile and turn left (south) onto Old River Road (which soon becomes Smith Road); drive a short distance to the preserve entrance on the right. 


The refuge, located on Long Island's south shore, is bisected by the Carmens River - a NYS designated Wild and Scenic River.


pre-European times  --  the land inhabited by the Unkechaug Indians.

European settlement  --  Europeans utilized the area to harvest firewood and salt hay.

1906  -- Maurice Wertheim graduates from Harvard.

1912  --  Alma and Maurice Wertheim give birth to the future historian Barbara Wertheim Tuchman.  She wrote The Guns of August about the outbreak of the First World War.

1935 --  Maurice Wertheim purchases The Nation. He later turned against the era of the New Deal and gave the magazine to his daughter Barbara.

1947  --  Cecile Wertheim and Maurice Wertheim, a New York banker, donate 1,800 acres to the land to the government.

1951  --  Maurice gives the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard a gift of 43 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by 18 artists.

1989  -- death of Barbara Tuchman.


The refuge contains fields, oak-pine woodlands, ponds, streams and marshes which support a wide variety of wildlife from box turtles to white-tailed deer to song birds and waterfowl. The refuge is managed to protect the Carmans River estuary for use by migratory waterfowl and other birds, and to increase habitat diversity.

Wertheim is part of the NYS Central Pine Barrens , a unique forest type in NY. You can enjoy the refuge by canoe or kayack on the river, or along the trails in any season.


Buildings Complex Headquarters, information kiosk, restrooms, nature trails.
Wheelchair access Restrooms and headquarters are accessible
Visitor Focus Schools, General Public
Picnic Area Yes (Carry in/Carry out Policy) Hours Daily 8AM to 4:30PM
Fees None

Seven stands of black tupelo trees along the Carmen River, some 150 years old.  (LIBS Newsletter, Winter 2004, Vol. 14, No. 1.)