Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Bridgehampton / Sag Harbor

Walking From East Hampton to Southampton Nature Center

 

 

Hike leaders are always thinking about, and discussing new routes for hikes.  It is a creative process, we look at maps, walk trails, discuss building new or resurrecting old trails.  At the September Southampton Trails Preservation Society meeting, the members of the Board began brainstorming for new and exciting hikes.  All the members of the Board are lead hikes.  The idea that caught my imagination was a hike that ties East Hampton to Southampton.

The Paumanok Path (PP) runs through the two towns, but just inside Southampton, there is almost a mile of road walking.  The hike I envisioned was a trek from Cedar Point Park, to the Long Pond Greenbelt.  It’s an 11 mile hike, so 1 mile of road walking would hardly be noticeable.  I walked the hike with my friend Ken and found it to be so enjoyable that I wrote an article for Dan’s Paper’s that was so long, it had to be cut into two-parts.  East Hampton Trails Preservation Society recently started leading one long hike each month, that they call their “Longshanks Hike.”   I thought this hike would be a great addition to this series.  I contacted Richard Lupoletti, Vice President Members’ Services.  Richard has been helping set up the Longshank hikes for EHTPS, so he readily agreed to walk a preview of the hike with me.

We decided to cut a couple of miles off the hike, to bring it within the reach of more of the members, so for the preview hike, instead of starting from Alewive Brook Landing, we started on Northwest Road by the Van Scoy Cemetery and Schoolhouse Plaque.  While we were walking, I told Richard that I like the fact that this hike physically ties the two towns together and that having the new Nature Center at the Schaffner House as our destination will help familiarize hikers with this new facility.  “In that case” Richard said, “you want to attract a large number of people to this hike, so you need to make it shorter.”  He suggested that we cut the hike down to less than 5 miles and start on Wainscott Northwest Road for our walk between towns, to the Nature Center. 

We met once again to preview the revised shorter hike.  I left my car parked outside the gate to the Shaffner House, on the road shoulder, not blocking the driveway.  Richard drove us to Wainscott Northwest Road and explained that the Airport cuts across this road.  It changes into Daniel’s Hole Road, which is really a separate road you can catch further east on Montauk Highway.

We passed Daniel’s Hole on the left side of the road, and continued under power lines strung between large towers along a LIPA right-of-way (ROW) and parked on the road shoulder.  I was surprised; I had thought that we were going to hike from where the PP crosses further north on this road, instead we started from the Switchback Trail.  This trail runs north of the power lines, and another trail that runs along the south side of the power lines will each get you to the PP.  Even though these trails are unmarked, it is impossible to walk them, without intercepting the 75 feet of the PP that connects them to the west.

Traveling west on the PP we come to Sagg Road.  This is where the road-walk begins.  We turned right onto Sagg Road and then after a short distance we turned left onto Widow Gavitts Road.  Richard said that this was a pleasant street to walk, and then before we knew it, we turned right onto the Trustee Road into the Greenbelt.  We were walking once again, parallel to, or on the power line ROW.  After the PP returns to the ROW and heads up an incline, we saw the entrance to some trails; the second trail to the left is the old railroad spur. It was decommissioned and the rails were salvaged during WWII.  Recently, motorized vehicles have created an exceptionally uneven surface to walk on.  After walking this for the second time in several days, Richard and I, in desperation, developed an alternate route.  We walked back to where the trails intersected the ROW and took the first trail on our left.  This is the Sprig Tree Path.  If you look to the right, you will see that this trail continues as the PP on the right side of the ROW.  We followed the Sprig Tree Path to an intersection, where we turned right onto the Crooked Pond Trail.  We walked on this trail a quarter mile to a right turn, that takes you up a hill, across the old RR spur, and around some post and rail fencing to where we had parked by the new Nature Center.

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Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate
Post Office Box 1466
Sayville NY 11782
ken@litlc.org

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