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Sandy Island
Beach

 

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Sandy Island Beach State Park is located on the eastern shores of Lake Ontario, near Sandy Creek, NY.  It has been said that the eastern end of Lake Ontario contains the best sandy beaches and the best wildlife habitat on the entire lake.  At only 13 acres, Sandy Island Beach State Park is the smallest New York State Park.  The state park is adjacent to the 120 acre Sandy Island Beach Unique Area.

Sandy Island Beach State Park's main highlight is a 1,500-foot natural sandy beach. The park is near the southern end of a notable 17 mile length of sandy shoreline, coastal dunes, and wetlands known as the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetlands.

History of Sandy Island Beach State Park

In the 1950s, Sandy Island Beach was opened as a private beach resort by LeGrande and Eva Smith.  Following LeGrande Smith's death in 1966 and a decline in its popularity, the resort was closed in the early 1970s.  In 1980, the resort was purchased from the Smiths by Ed Wyroba and Dyke Riggs.  The resort was reopened in 1981 until it was shut down in 1991.

In 1999, The Nature Conservancy stepped in to protect this special natural resource.  In partnership with Oswego County and the State of New York, the Central & Western New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy acquired much of the land from the Riggs' heirs. The Conservancy then conveyed 13 acres on the beachfront to Oswego County for a park.  New York State then purchased 120 acres from the Conservancy and created the Sandy Island Beach Unique Area.

Oswego County ran the beach park for a number of years and built a new bathhouse, picnic pavilions plus a boardwalk.  In 2005, Oswego County transferred the park to the New York State Park system. 

Visitors enjoying Sandy Island Beach State Park.

Directions:  I-81 to exit 37.  Take Oswego County Route 15 west, past US 11 and NY 3 to West Shores Road.  How do I get to Sandy Island Beach State Park?

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