Located in Queens on an inlet of Little Neck Bay in the Long Island Sound between the Douglaston and Great Neck peninsulas, this 42.77-acre preserve was established as a result of nearly 50 years of community advocacy. Udall’s Cove Preservation Committee, formed in 1969, initiated its purchase, and has since pushed state and federal lawmakers to expand protection on its diverse wetlands, forests, and salt marshes. Udall’s Cove Park Preserve was formed in 1972 as the result of a cooperative agreement between the New York City Department of Parks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Udall’s Cove, the northern portion of about 30 acres which ends at 39th Street, was initially the focus of the campaigns. Over time, these efforts expanded south to include the associated ravine and woodlands, whose approximately fourteen acres still partially reside under private ownership. The city and state have been slowly securing this valuable habitat piece by piece via purchase and eminent domain, as development continues to be a threat. While the state owns most of the land, it is managed by the New York City Department of Parks.
The preserve extends more than a mile from its southern boundary at Northern Boulevard to the shoreline of Udall’s Cove in the north. A thriving salt marsh is located at the head of the cove. At the base of the ravine is Gabler’s Creek, which is surrounded by steep, forested slopes. The creek empties into a freshwater pond, from which it flows through the marsh to the cove. The preserve is accessible to visitors via numerous hiking trails, with photography, bird watching, and fishing being the most popular recreational activities. In 2003, conservation efforts, including the installation of wooden railings along the park’s boundaries, began to be carried out.