Though Bayard Cutting Arboretum is normally closed on Mondays, it is open for Columbus Day. If you make it over on the 13th, though, you can catch the Dahlia Show/Photo Exhibit 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM. The dahlia garden here is really worth seeing, and these fall flowers are at their peak right now. See the pictures I just took here: More pictures www.pinterest.com/writewaypro/bayard-cutting-arboretum-october-2013/
*An extra bonus for visiting now is seeing the really impressive scarecrow displays, including an Alice in Wonderland one and photo ops for couples to look like scarecrows. See pictures here
The park's hours are 10 am to 5 pm. A NYS Entrance Fees of $8 per vehicle is charged from April through November. If you purchase an Empire Passport for $65 (the passports are also available for sale at the park) your parking fee is covered.Bayard Cutting Arboretum.
The name of the park does not refer to tree cuttings but to the names of the original owner of the house and grounds. Mrs. William Bayard Cutting and her daughter, Mrs. Olivia James, donated the estate to New York state in memory of her husband, William Bayard Cutting. The intent of the donation was “to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting.”
Quiet is a key word here. Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park is a passive park, which means that outdoor sports or activities like biking or picnicking are restricted. The upside of that is that it is wonderful place to enjoy natural beauty in peace with no disruptions from the noise of activity outside.
You can always get into the manor house and view the ground floor, Tuesdays through Sundays when it is open. But you cannot see any of the rooms on the second floor without a tour, which costs $8 per person and lasts over an hour. It is worthwhile to see more of the house and learn about its history. Tours are available at 2 PM every Sunday, according to the site, though it is best to confirm by calling ahead at 631.581.1002.
Photography is permitted even in the house, something that is typically restricted at historic sites. Flash photography is only prohibited in the dining room. But if you want to take wedding pictures on the grounds, you would to have to first get an event photography permit, which costs $100. Wedding ceremonies are also permitted on the grounds, but only for up to 20 people with no chairs, decorations, etc. There are a number of restrictions for weddings and event photography as detailed on the Weddings & Photography page.
It is worth visiting in different seasons, as early spring shows one set of flowers, and late spring will show a different set. In late summer/early autumn, for example the dahlia garden is filled with a dazzling array of these flowers in every color, though it is rather barren at this time of year. There's also a cooperative farm and chickens near the dahlia garden. And, no matter what the season, there are always beautiful water views, a variety of evergreen trees, and many benches set out for visitors.
The location is: 440 Montauk Highway,Great River, NY 11739. GPS Coordinates 40.739184,-73.162858
More pictures of this park and others on my Pinterest page.