Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails




Owl Pond to Black Owl Loop



The parkland in Flanders has some remarkably beautiful places to visit.  The following 7-mile hike treats you to a wide range of ecological experiences as you walk through upland woods, over streams, past creeks, and ponds.

Traveling east on the Long Island Expressway take exit 71 towards Riverhead.  You are now traveling east on C.R. 94.  At the circle in Riverhead take Route 24 south into Flanders. You will find the right turn for Spinny Road North on the south side of the road, just east of Birch Creek.  Look for a large paved parking lot on the right side of the road.  Park by the kiosk.  The entrance to the Owl Pond Trail begins behind this kiosk.  Don’t stray from the main trail and look carefully for the old faded yellow blazes.  The sides of this trail are closing in but it is still passable.  After walking about a half-mile you reach Owl Pond.  You will see a white and blue Paumanok Path emblem on a tree; turn left.  As you make the turn you will see a small cement enclosure; if you approach it quietly you will see a large frog within, perched on a partially submerged branch.

Cross a makeshift bridge and then walk about a mile until you reach a “T” intersection.  Here you turn right onto the Black Owl Loop.  This portion of trail is shared by “George’s One-Way Blue Loop”, with its blue painted rectangular blazes, the Paumanok Path, with its white blazes, and the Black Owl Loop marked with plastic black owls.  \At this point, the trail comes within a couple hundred yards of the southern portion of Sears Pond. Where you see a sign for Sears Pond continue following the multi-blazed trail, and stay on this trail until you reach the left turn that takes you past House Pond.  After the turn, you can see the water through the branches on the right side of the trail.  At this turn the blue Trail continues straight across the woods road to Bellows Pond and Munns Pond..  The Paumanok Path follows the woods road across Route 24 and Red Creek Road and then through the gate to Hubbard County Park.  Travel up a dirt driveway towards Black Duck Lodge; you leave the Paumanok Path here, it turns to the right and you continue straight ahead passing in front of Black Duck Lodge. 

At this point in the loop the trail is hard to follow.  Where the driveway veers to the right, head straight and you will find where the Black Owl Loop continues.  Walk around the horizontal bar gate.  The red blazed trail to the right takes you north towards Ghost Woods Beach.  Follow the black owl blazes over a bridge. And once again cross over Route 24, here the blazes are far apart, but the trail is well defined.   Follow this trail for about a mile until you reach the Paumanok Path.  Be careful not to continue back around the Black Owl Loop; keep an eye out to your left for where the white rectangular blazes lead you west to Owl Pond and the Spinny Road parking area..

The Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference (LIGTC) sells a map (Pine Barrens east section) that shows all the surrounding trails, however it is being updated now. For LIGTC call 631-360-0753.

***Possible trailhead: If an unused trail were to be restored, the north rest area, east of Spinny Rd. could offer another safe, close access point to the nearby trail network.  Now, if you wish to access the trails from here, you must walk east along Rte. 24, turn right onto Red Creek Road, and then walk north along this road to where the Paumanok Path (PP) crosses it.

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Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate
Post Office Box 1466
Sayville NY 11782

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