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Northwest Woods

Northwest Path, Foster’s Path Loop

 

 

Here is another great hike; (9 miles!) to take from the proposed trailhead at Edward’s Hole Road and CR 114. 

Park on the shoulder of CR 114, near the entrance of Edwards Hole Road, and head north following the white rectangles of the Paumanok Path.  This trail takes you through a pitch pine, oak woods that gradually becomes predominantly white pine.  After approximately a half mile there are some isolated portions of trail that are badly eroded, but still walkable.  An occasional yellow triangular blaze reassures hikers that they are on a trail corridor shared by the Northwest Path.  When you cross over Two Holes of Water Road, you will encounter a roadside “Hikers” sign facing the trail.  The trail runs parallel to the east side of Chatfield’s Hole, a dynamic pond that changes in shape and size, season-to-season, year-to-year. After approximately one mile, you arrive at Wilson’s Grove.  The signage here is confusing.  Hikers should just follow the white rectangles of the Paumanok Path.  This path takes you to Old Northwest Road, where it intersects with Northwest Road.  There is a Paumanok Path blaze, but it is barely perceptible when looking diagonally across that wide intersection; there is nothing indicating that you are following the Northwest Path.  Once you cross the road and re-enter the woods, the trail is easy to follow and the occasional yellow triangles reappear.  After about a half mile you will encounter, on the west side of the trail, a very pronounced depression called Samp Mortar Hollow.  A short distance further, standing on the edge of another kettlehole, you will find Standing Rock.  On the windy day that I hiked this, the large erratic made a splendid windbreak to rest and have a snack.  Continuing north, you will find yourself at Five Corners, situated in the center of a wide tract of protected land.  The trail cuts straight across this intersection.  If you don’t see a blaze within about 200 paces after crossing the intersection, suspect that you have lost the trail.  You can turn around and check for blazes in the opposite direction to see whether or not you are still on the trail.

About a half mile further on, just south of Scoy Pond, the Paumanok Path and the Northwest Path separate.  The Paumanok Path runs along the southern edge of the pond and the Northwest Path runs north to Cedar Point Park.  For a short distance the only blazes you will see are the white rectangles of the Paumanok Path, however when you cross Northwest Road the white blazes are joined by the orange rectangular blazes of Foster’s Path.  Cut across a dirt parking area, and follow the path up a small hill to the Scoy Cemetery.

As the trail heads south, the oak and pine are replaced by stands of cedar, indicating a recent disturbance to the woods.  The trail skirts a residential area, where you will see many “No Hunting” signs and bullet holes in trees.  When the trail enters back into the oak and pine forest, it zigzags so much that it is disorienting. Fear not, the trail is well blazed here.  The trail now leaves the large contiguous tracts of preserved land and enters a narrow corridor, winding its way through a residential area.

Soon Foster’s Path and the Paumanok Path split.  The Paumanok Path heads in an easterly direction and Foster’s Path turns to the right. Continue to follow the red blazes of Foster’s Path.  After a few hundred yards you will pass the entrance to a blue-blazed trail; it runs west to the Northwest Path.  Foster’s Path makes its way to Old Northwest Road where you turn left and follow the blazes on the telephone poles along the shoulder of the road.  At Mulford Ave. follow the right turn blaze (an upside down orange “L”) across the street onto what looks like a driveway.  Pass by the right side of Jason’s Rock and follow the trail as it winds its way through a residential section.  The trail crosses over driveways and parallels roads.  Look for a right turn blaze that takes you onto Lower Bull Path.  You can turn back onto the Paumanok Path when you first approach Chatfield’s Hole, or follow the trail to the Foster’s Path trailhead located a couple of hundred feet south (to the left) of where the Paumanok Path crosses Two Holes of Water Road.  A mile walk west along the Paumanok Path, brings you back to the site of the proposed trailhead at Edward’s Hole Road.

This is an invigorating walk for the experienced hiker.
 

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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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