Queens County High Point Trip Report

Date: March 3, 2002
Author: Dan Case

I had the rare opportunity to drive into New York last weekend and took the opportunity to head out and do this one. (I had previously come real close to it during a visit to the area over a year ago, but didn't have the opportunity to stop.) As documented in previous reports, this area is a tough call due to both the access issues and disturbance. It's difficult to park anywhere within a sensible distance. I'm also glad I didn't have to go on the golf course. I doubt that, in post-9/11 NYC, you're going to get past any security guard without a good reason, like "I live here". The latter, for its part, would be interesting to address if an older, perhaps pre-1930s, edition of the Sea Cliff quad can be found (i.e., prior to the construction of either the apartments or the Grand Central Parkway). That road, incidentally, should be the preferred access. I took the Long Island Expressway and the directions reflect that and you can do it rather easily, but given the infamous traffic on it most of the time who would want to? Although most of the Nassau areas are on the same quad and thus nearby, due to the weather and problems with my car's windshield wipers I chose to leave the two Long Island suburban counties for another day, probably in the summer.

It's easiest to get here from the Grand Central Parkway (GCP) by getting off at the first exit in Nassau County (Long Island Jewish Hospital), but the Lakeville Road exit on the Long Island Expressway (LIE) isn't too far away. Once you have done so, as documented elsewhere, you turn right at the service road just south of the GCP and follow it uphill past the savings bank and apartment complex, out of Lake Success and back into Queens. The road crests about a quarter-mile or so past the apartment complex entrance.

It's obvious this is the highpoint, but where to park? There is absolutely no shoulder or turnout on either side, and the nearest side street, 267th St., leads into a somewhat exclusive-looking residential neighborhood where conspicuous signs warn that random patrols will be checking you out, so it's probably not a good idea to park here for even a short walk up the road. I finally decided to use one of the curb cuts along the sidewalk a couple of hundred feet to the west of the HP area. Here I could at least get half my vehicle off the road, and dash along the side to make it look like I was looking for something that fell off. Putting hazard lights on if doing this might not be a bad idea, as some part of the vehicle will be sticking out into the lane, and traffic here is, while not as busy as on the nearby GCP, certainly not nonexistent either.

Looking through the fence from the highest point of the sidewalk, the 17th tee area of the golf course seems very obviously artificial. Much of this area has been worked on to create the golf links, and indeed the area near the fence seems to have been cleared in the last few years, exposing it as lower than the sidewalk.

I then went across the road, looking over the view of the Grand Central as mentioned in the NY Times story, and found a high area just by the side of the road (wasn't sure about the nearby tree, though it may have been a black oak all right) and touched that. Here, too, very little seems to remain in its original state due to the highway construction of many years ago.