May 10 2017

Sam & Dave’s “Excellent Motor Parkway Hike” III: Bethpage State Park to Round Swamp Road, Bethpage

In the third of the series, Sammy and Dave documented their excellent Motor Parkway hike from Bethpage State Park to Round Swamp Road in Bethpage including new discoveries.
Howard Kroplick

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, Dave Russo and his 12-year old son Sammy embarked on their third annual "Vanderbilt Day". Instead of duplicating the Queens to Melville route, they decided to hike the "unknown" sections of the Motor Parkway from Bethpage to Dix Hills.
Dave Russo April 2, 2017: "The original plan was to start at the Maxess Road Bridge and work our way east but we feared that would not be long enough so we decided on a new starting point.....The starting point was Stewart Avenue in Bethpage and we made our way to Dix Hills. This time we left the bikes at home and walked 13 miles. And not a normal 13 miles, there were large portions of the exploration through woods, thorns and thickets. We both came out with many scratches and bites, but at the end of the day we completed our mission and can add another chapter to the memory book!"

Hike Area

Bethpage State Park

Motor Parkway pavement in Bethpage State Park, heading east. It's surprising there is a fair amount of pavement left along the side of the bike path, and several posts as well.

Note the banking of the road at the curve.

A lonely concrete fence-post.

In March 2012, a large section of the expanded Bethpage State Parkway Bikeway was built over the Motor Parkway right-of way. As documented on, the workers were surpeised that they had uncovered the world's oldest parkway.

West of Round Swamp Round

Behind this St. Mary's Church on Round Swamp Road there is pavement and a post.

Pavement behind the church.

A concrete fence-post remnant.

Site of the Round Swamp Road Motor Parkway Bridge

Sammy looking at the remnants of the east embankment.

Sammy on top of the east embankment of the bridge heading into the Battle Row campgrounds.

Looking south, the Round Swamp Road Bridge under construction, circa 1910. The east embankment is on the left.

Bethpage Lodge and Round Swamp Road Bridge, circa 1912.

Round Swamp Round Bridge and Bethpage Lodge, October 16, 1935

Courtesy of Frank Femenias.


May 11 2017 Brian D McCarthy 3:04 PM

You guys took great photos of this segment ( Dave, I like how you utilized Sammy as a LIMP model. I’d say he had a growth spurt, too. ) The rear parking lot of the church is deep. Not surprised there’s remnants back there.

May 11 2017 frank femenias 9:28 PM

Great area photos indeed Sam and Dave. You guys have covered it well once again. And great supporting evidence Howard. This is as clear as it gets. Sam, Dave -  It looks like rough terrain ahead, hope all went well. Anticipating the next move!

May 11 2017 Dave Russo 10:58 PM

The area behind the church was the exciting find in this segment. I’ve never seen any reference to this location on any blogs. There’s quite a bit of pavement pieces/chunks and finding that little post knob was pretty cool.

There are lots of posts starting at Round Swamp Road and heading east, on both sides.

Love the old pics you posted here Howard. Cool stuff. And Franks detailed overlay of the Rounds Swamp Road spot is fantastic.

May 14 2017 S. Berliner, III 10:58 PM

Gotta chime in on this one.  Love this series; thanks muchly.  That post “remnant” behind St. Mary’s - unless it’s broken off, it looks to me like the very tip of a deeply buried post.  You guys missed the embankment along the north side of the north driveway of the OB firehouse-cum-maintenance complex, in the line of trees.  Sam, III
Howard Kroplick
Sam, that embankment was taken down a few years ago when the firehouse expanded their driveway.

May 15 2017 Janet Epstein 7:53 AM

Great work Sam and Dave!  When you find a post it’s like finding a treasure

May 18 2017 Tom 7:57 PM

Good finds on this exploration!

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