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Our Magnificent Waterways

Suffolk County is a unique place, with the Long Island Sound to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south – and an abundance of harbors, bays, rivers and lakes, we are home to more than 1,000 miles of shoreline that provides scores of opportunities for recreation and ecotourism. Kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and rowing are wonderful ways to get out onto the water for exercise, appreciation of the natural environment or just enjoy a beautiful day on the water!

Suffolk County Launches the Blueway Trail Plan

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone launched the First Phase of the Suffolk County Blueway Trail Plan on National Canoe Day. The Blueway Trail Plan will make non-motorized water sports: kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and rowing more accessible to residents and visitors. Paddlers have long enjoyed the many waterways in Suffolk County, and we want to make it easier for residents and visitors to learn about how more people can take advantage of these sports as another way to enjoy the County’s expanse of shoreline.

A Blueway Trail is similar to a hiking trail, in that it provides suggested routes depending upon skill level and locations of features such as rest stops, scenic locations, good birdwatching and amenities such as restrooms, concessions, nearby businesses and parking. Unlike a hiking trail, a Blueway Trail does not have trail markers along the way, but, it does include wayfinding signage to help paddlers find launch locations and provides information such as maps, environmental educational information and safety information.

"The ultimate goal of this initiative is to link the Blueway Trail to our great recreational assets, such as parks, beaches and bike and hiking trails as well as to provide opportunities to advance ecotourism and economic development in Suffolk County,” said County Executive Bellone. “Paddling has become very popular as more of our citizens are looking to our waterways to enjoy the outdoors and exercise at the same time. The County is committed to helping our residents enjoy these opportunities by providing information that will be useful and add to the enjoyment of the experience."


Online Survey

As part of the First Phase of the Blueway Trail Plan, the County will inventory the existing resources for paddlers and solicit feedback from the public to help identify the various launch sites along the County’s more than 1,000 miles of waterfront. The County will then develop a wish list to improve the sites for water access and create a more user friendly experience.

It is challenging to identify all of the launch opportunities that exist because of the large amount of shoreline throughout Suffolk County. Your knowledge and experience with the various launch sites throughout the County will be vital in identifying areas that are accessible. Please help us in this First Phase of the Blueway Trail Plan by providing YOUR feedback about locations where launch sites already exist or may be possible with some improvement.

Follow this link to our survey: or use the QR Code below

QR code for the Blueway Trail survey

Thank you in advance for your input. If you have any questions, you can send an email to:

The input received through the survey will be incorporated into a Suffolk County inventory map and an implementation strategy that will analyze potential candidates for improvements to enhance access for paddling and/or to provide amenities. The official data collection period ended on September 3, 2019, however, you are welcome to continue to share information about your favorite launch locations via the survey during the course of the project.

Working with our municipal partners, we will identify funding sources for site specific improvements and develop management, communication and marketing strategies. Our ultimate goal is to link the Blueway Trail to other recreational resources (parks, bike and hiking trails) as well as to provide opportunities to advance ecotourism and economic development in Suffolk County.

The Benefits of Paddling Are Numerous!

It’s good exercise, fun and a great way to appreciate our natural environment.

Additional Blueway Resources

This Blueway Trail project has been funded in part by the New York State Department of State (DOS) under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901