Tucked away behind the Playland amusement park is Rye’s Edith Read Sanctuary. The 179 acre park, administered by the Westchester County Parks conservation division, is on the shore of the Long Island Sound and along a migratory flyway. The property includes half a mile of shore line and an 85 acre lake and is noted as an "Important Bird Area" by the Audubon Society of New York.
Many say this is one of the best birding spots in Westchester County and The Hudson River Audubon Society of Westchester reports one can see loons, grebes, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, Scoters and Northern Gannet and if you are lucky rare birds such as Snow Bunting, Snowy Owl, Barrows Goldeneye, Red-necked Grebe and Eared Grebe.
The park is named after Rye’s own Edith Read, who died in April 2006 at the age of 102. Read was a force in environmental conservation across Westchester and New York State. In addition to working on the preservation of her eponymous park, she worked on the protection of the 47 acre Rye Nature Center and a wetland area on Beaver Swamp Brook called Parcels A and B. She also served on the Rye Landmark Committee, where she helped to preserve the John Jay property.
To reach the property, enter the Playland parking lot and drive all the way down. At the very end of the lot on the right, you will see signs for Edith Read and you may see a sign that says do not enter. Enter. Drive all the way down, past a pedestrian entrance to Playland and you will see parking on the right and further down on the left there is another parking area in front of the interpretive center and closer to the woodland trails. The shoreline is quickly and easily accessible if you have younger children that may not want more than a short hike.
(ABOVE) Video shows part of the half mile of publicly accessible Long Island Sound shoreline at Edith Read Sanctuary and park in Rye, NY.