Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Montauk

Paumanok Path; Kirks Park to Third House

 

 

In order to prepare to lead the last leg of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society’s (EHTPS) annual four-part Paumanok Path series of walks, Richard Lupoletti, Chair of the Member’s Services Committee offered to preview the hike with me.  He, my friend John, and I parked one of our cars at Montauk Point and then drove back to the parking lot opposite Kirk’s Park.  This east end group has been improving their trails at such a tremendous rate that it is difficult to keep track of them.

We left the Kirk’s Beach parking lot, crossed the highway, and headed east on the sidewalk.  If we had headed west, the trail would have taken us through Kirk’s Park to Hither Hills Preserve.  Instead, we walked east to Theodore Roosevelt County Park and followed the white rectangular blazes that are marked on trees, telephone poles, and the sidewalk.  To our left was Kirk’s Park and the south shore of Fort Pond.  We followed the blazes left on South Emery Street and right onto South Euclid Avenue.  We passed the police sub-station and public restrooms as we turned the corner onto South Embassy Street.  Turning right, we followed the white blazes on the poles along South Erie Avenue.  We crossed Edgemere Street very carefully; it’s a busy road with fast moving traffic. We walked past a memorial to Henry Hank Zebrowski as we crossed the Lion’s Field recreation area, headed around the back of the baseball backstop, and then up an abruptly steep incline.  We saw a turn blaze painted on the wall of a hockey ring and followed it; this led us across Essex Street. 

As we walked the LIPA power line right-of-way (LIPA ROW) on a makeshift boardwalk of old timbers, we discussed trail hydrology and possible re-routes.  The park corridor is narrow here; the trail stays close to the highway and the ROW.  Shortly after crossing South Fox Street, we left the trail and walked along the highway, passing the entrance to Shadmore Preserve on the opposite side of the road.  Sections of the ROW trail periodically flood.  Orange ribbons mark the sections of trail that are too wet to walk.  We were walking in a narrow corridor of parkland along Montauk Highway on boardwalks and short bridges.  If you are a person who worries about getting lost in the woods this is the trail for you because although it’s a virtual jungle, it is, at most, only a few dozen feet away from a major road. After the trail cuts across West Lake Drive we passed by Rita’s Stables where we saw some beautiful horses out grazing in the pasture by a pond. 

Crossing over Old West Lake Drive, South Lake Drive, and East Lake Drive, it was necessary to walk along the highway again for a short distance because of flooding.  Flexible stakes mark where the trail crosses these streets.  About an hour and a half into the hike, the trail opened up into a wide meadow.  In the near distance, we could see Third House and the parking area nearby where many EHTPS hikes begin.  The park headquarters and museum are presently closed for renovation.

In order to continue along the Paumanok Path, we would have turned left and walked along the edge of the woods to the pasture fence. White rectangular blazes are painted on posts on the fence line.  Instead, we headed straight ahead for the restrooms and picnic tables.  Unfortunately, the restrooms are closed for the winter.  After we had rested, we cut across the meadow to the fence.  Here the trail took us between the fence and the back of cabins.  We then turned left through a gate.  This is where you can enter the Paumanok Path if you park in the lot alongside Third House and walk further up the driveway.

 

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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
Phone:(631) 563-4354

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