The arboretum located at 440 Montauk Highway, in Great River, NY was donated to the Long Island State Park region by Mrs. William Bayard Cutting and her daughter, Mrs. Olivia James. Arboretum development began in 1887. When you walk around the arboretum it almost feels like another time and place. The beauty is inspiring and you can’t help but appreciate the design, talent and planning put forth in all it’s grandeur. Some trees are massive, majestic and aged to perfection, a true tribute to the memory of William Bayard Cutting.
There is a herb garden, honeybees, and a 3 acre working CSA farm, along with a chicken coup. The Manor House former Cutting residence [currently closed] houses the recently reopened Hidden Oak cafe which serves freshly prepared foods and also serves a “Victorian Tea”. There are ponds on the land and a picturesque River Walk along the Connetquot river. Created in the early 1900’s to accommodate passage to William K. Vanderbilt’s Idle Hour estate further upstream is Breezy Island. The arboretum is also home to wildlife sanctuary Paradise Island.
There was also a scarecrow retrospective display which was a salute to “the 1920’s” along the initial main entry walk path. The real unexpected highlight of our visit was The William Wolkoff Dahlia Garden! Many different varieties with an array of brilliant colors. It was magnificent!
A great place to visit, everyone was masked and there is plenty of room for social distancing. Give it a try!