Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails



Paumanok Path Parkway Trail: Montauk’s Secret Trail



With all the rain we’ve had over the last few weeks it has been difficult for me to plan my hiking days, especially when the hike is a two-hour drive from home.  Sometimes the weather “up-Island” is quite different than it is out east.  On Wednesday, July 5, with rain in the forecast, Eva Moore led about twenty intrepid hikers, “two miles along the seldom-traveled fern-lined Right-of-Way Trail in Montauk to a quiet lake beach….”  The Right-of-Way Trail (aka the Parkway Trail) is a section of the Paumanok Path that runs along the Montauk Highway right-of-way from east of the Montauk Public Library at South Fox Street, past East Lake Drive almost to Third House.  We would be walking 2.5 miles east, down South Lake Drive, and then returning on the same trail.

We met at the Montauk Public Library Parking Lot on the east side of town. Look for the sign on the north side of the road. We parked at the northern end of the parking lot.  A short trail led to the Paumanok Path, where we turned right (east). 

This section of trail is Eva’s adopted section.  East Hampton Trails Preservation Society has an “adopt-a-trail” program.  If you are interested in adopting a trail, call Angela Albanese (516) 458-6739. Eva periodically walks the trail and reports any maintenance issues to the EHTPS Trail Crew.  It was the last section of trail cut in 1998 when EHTPS finished the East Hampton 45-mile segment of the Paumanok Path.  To a large extent, it is a tunnel that is cut through shad, pepperbush, bayberry, black cherry, and vines, often running through carpets of New York fern.

This is a very densely wooded area and even more so with all the rain we’ve had in recent weeks. The East Hampton Trail Preservation Society Maintenance team periodically cuts the trail, but this day the trail was a bit overgrown, and even with all the bridges and boardwalks there were some places where the trail was submerged in rainwater. Eva, a conscientious hike leader had previewed the hike several days prior.  She found a number of places where the trail was impassible due to standing water.  Eva had us walk along the highway to get around those places.  The hike is even lovelier when you can stay on a dry trail, as I’m sure it will be as the season progresses.

We crossed South Fox Street where a short distance up from the highway there is room for a couple of cars to park on the shoulder of the road.  Shadmoor State Preserve, a 100-acre State Preserve, is just opposite this section of South Fox Street.  Shadmoor State Preserve was established several years ago and the well-blazed trails and parking lot were built.  You can also park on South Fox St. to access the Paumanok Path or walk across the road to visit Shadmoor.

We walked across Old West Lake Drive, then we turned left onto South Lake Drive and walked down to the shore beach of Lake Montauk.  There is Town parking here as well restrooms.  Eva kindly supplied us with snacks and drinks.  We then rapidly returned to our cars at the Library parking lot since fat raindrops had begun to slap our heads.  Later that day we were in for yet more rain.  Good thing the hike was scheduled for early in the day; we just beat the rain.

This hike is an easy, flat, five-mile walk in total.  Since the hike travels through a riot of verdant growth, and also includes a lovely beach vista it is a really pleasant and very “do-able” hike for almost anyone.  Check it out!

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Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate
Post Office Box 1466
Sayville NY 11782
Phone:(631) 563-4354

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