The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (SoFo)
is the only state-of-the-art natural history museum on the South Fork of Long Island.
A visit to SoFo provides a day of fun and discovery for adults and children. The museum brings nature indoors, and a walk through the museum is like taking an interpretive nature hike. The museum even furnishes you with a field guide to the exhibits. Each of the displays engages all your senses, making you feel like a naturalist who is exploring a new territory and asking, "What have I come upon?" and "Why is it here?"
On the main floor of the museum huge nature murals of the area surround you. As you enter, a four-minute video describes how glaciers created Long Island. Then take a step to your left and open the door to the naturalist's closet where you'll discover what a naturalist uses to research and record what he or she sees on a discovery walk.
By then you're off to explore the innovative, interactive habitat exhibits
that are full of surprises. All of the exhibits are exploratory, with hidden doors and drawers
to open and focus cases to
peer into that are like little portholes in the wall, giving unique visual perspectives. Each display includes the sounds appropriate to the environment it simulates. There is even a place on the wall where you can smell the scent of a fox.
As you continue on the indoor hike you encounter a salt marsh, a fresh water coastal plain pond, an ephemeral vernal pond, and a beach, all with live and recreated animals. You'll also come upon box turtles and have a look inside a decomposing tree to see how it provides sustenance and shelter for a myriad of organisms.
The expedition continues
in the downstairs galleries. Here you'll have up close and personal encounters with live native reptiles and amphibians
---turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders. Watch them as they hop, swim, wiggle, or slither and find out who eats crickets and who prefers earthworms. And to top off your live animal experiences, reach into the illuminated pool of the marine touch tank
and hold some of our native marine animals, collected from the nearby Atlantic Ocean and bays.
After your indoor visit, go out onto the museum's 15-by-45-foot panoramic deck with a 180-degree view
of 70 preserved acres of scenic fields and woodlands. Along the rails of the deck are colorfully designed exhibits that interpret the history of these fields and woodlands.
Check out the museum's weather station and look out at the field through telescopes mounted on the deck to get an up close view of the animals and plants that live there.
After your visit to the deck, take an outdoors nature walk. Begin behind the museum and walk into the field where you'll find the Vineyard Nature Trail.
This trail meets up with a nine-mile trail system known as the Long Pond Greenbelt
, an expanse of interconnected ponds, woods, and wetlands stretching from Sag Harbor to the Atlantic Ocean, spectacular for its wealth of rare plants, animals, and ecological communities.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m
(except for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's day).
Museum Members: Free
Adults: $7 Each
Children 3 - 12 years: $5 Each
Children 2 years & Under: Free
Admission to weekend programming includes admission to the museum for that day.
377 Bridgehampton / Sag Harbor Turnpike
P.O. Box 455
Bridgehampton, NY 11932-0455
The South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center - SoFo is located in eastern Suffolk County in the hamlet of Bridgehampton in the township of Southampton at 377 Bridgehampton / Sag Harbor Turnpike (County Road 79), in Bridgehampton, New York. It is easily accessed from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
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