Christopher Morley Park
Christopher Morley Park
Christopher Morley Park, set on 98 acres is centrally located in the northern part of the county. The park has been in the Nassau County park system since 1961. The County paid $704,000 for the property, which was the former Estate of Nettie Ryan and included the Links Golf Club. The park is named after Christopher Morley, one of the foremost American "men of letters" in the 20th century, a prolific writer who produced more than 50 books, including several popular novels, plays, poetry and essays. He also edited two volumes of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" and was a founder of the Book of the Month Club.
Christopher Morley Park provides a range of recreational activities and beautiful hiking trails.
A great deal of Christopher Morley's work was done in a functional one-room studio called the "Knothole" (see a more full description in the list below), located on his property in Roslyn on the North Shore and constructed in 1934. "I built myself a pine-wood cabin, as aloofly as a Long Island suburb would permit, to consort with the shade of John Bartlett," wrote Morley.
In 1966, nine years after Christopher Morley's death, the writer's friends and neighbors had the Knothole transferred to one of Nassau County's parks in Roslyn-North Hills, subsequently named Christopher Morley Park. The renovated Knothole includes built-in bookshelves, a fireplace and a bunkbed. But the public has been most intrigued over the years by the Knothole's "dymaxion" bathroom, which was designed in 1936 by Morley's friend, Buckminster Fuller, the renowned scientist and inventor. It is a one-piece, pre-assembled unit.
The park provides numerous opportunities for recreation:
- There are 10 indoor tennis courts; for more information visit Christopher Morley Tennis
- Four handball/paddleball courts (no lights);
- Four basketball courts;
- Athletic fields include three baseball fields (softball and hardball, including Little League) and volleyball courts.
- A recently renovated playground provides a variety of activities, including a nontraditional climbing apparatus.
- There are unreserved and reserved (fee) picnic areas, which include barbecue equipment. Leisure Pass and fee required for reserved areas; call 516-571-8113. See "News & Events" for more information.
- The park features a 9-hole, par-30 golf course. The course is 1,603 yards, with holes ranging from 97 yards to 267 yards. Nassau County Golf.
- The park has a one-mile Fitness Trail that provides a jogging or walking trail and 20 attractive and simple fitness stations incorporating a variety of exercises. These include stretching, pull-ups, sit-ups and balance walking exercises that increase slightly in difficulty as the trail proceeds. The trail begins on the north side of the park entrance by Searingtown Road, heads east past both the Dog Run and the woods before working its way past the baseball fields and playground, finally ending by the parking area overlooking the pond. The Fitness Trail is open year round.
- Christopher Morley's outdoor ice skating rink, a community fixture since 1966,was named by News 12 Long Islandviewers as the best outdoor skating rink on Long Island. The facility, which is 200-feet by 80-feet, is used by recreational skaters and hockey teams. The ice rink opens the Saturday after Thanksgiving through mid-March (weather permitting). Ice charter rentals for parties and hockey teams are also available.
Fees (per session):
- Resident Adult with Leisure Pass: $9.00
- Adult without Leisure Pass: $15.00
- Resident child (17 & under) with Leisure Pass: $6.00
- Child (17 & under) without Leisure Pass: $10.00
- Veterans, Seniors, Firefighters, Ambulance Corps, & Auxiliary Police with Leisure Pass: $5.00
- Skate Rental: $5.00
- The outdoor swimming pool complex includes an Olympic-sized pool, diving tankwith boards and a "kiddie" pool. Lockers and showers are available. Swimming pool will be open late June, through Labor Day.
- Hours: Mon.-Sun., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Fees (daily): Resident adult, $7; resident child (4-17 years of age), $5; senior, disabled, vol. firefighter, ambulance corps, auxiliary police, veterans, $5; non-resident adult, $16, non-resident child, $11. A Leisure Pass is required for residents to receive the resident rate.
- A dog run is located on the north side of the parking lot by the Christopher Morley "Knothole." The dog run is open year round. Please note that dogs are allowed on the nature trails as long as they are leashed.
- The park features 30 acres of peaceful and beautiful wooded nature trails that provide an ideal area for a leisurely stroll or jogging.
- There are courts for horseshoes and shuffleboard.
- A Farmer's Market operates at the park on Wednesday's from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is open mid-May through late November.
Christopher Morley "Knothole":
The Christopher Morley "Knothole" is a tiny one-room wooden cabin formerly used as a studio by prominent 20th-century Long Island editor and writer Christopher Morley (who authored such novels as "Thunder on the Left" and "Kitty Foyle"); it was later transported to the park. The facility is located by the dog run and is closed for public programs.
Constructed in 1934, the Knothole includes built-inbookshelves, a fireplace and a bunkbed. But the public has been most intrigued over the years by the Knothole’s "dymaxion" bathroom, which was designed in 1936 by Morley’s friend, Buckminster Fuller, the renowned scientist and inventor. It is a one-piece, pre-assembled unit, similar to the bathrooms in use on airplanes.
In 2006, the County completed renovation work on the Knothole. The renovations involved replacing damaged siding, a task that required creating new siding to replicate the thick and irregularly shaped "wavy"-edge style of the original. The renovations also included adding a new roof, flashings, rebuilding windows and window sills. The porch was also refurbished and new handicapped-accessible ramp was installed.
Camps, daycare centers, church groups, etc. have additional requirements for pool visits. Click on the link below for more information:
camps, groups, and organizations
To reach Christopher Morley Park, take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 36/Searingtown Road exit (from east or west). Take Searingtown Road North and look for the park entrance on right (about 200 yards from the LIE).