Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Northwest Woods

Northwest Woods / Grace Estate Loop

 

 

Back in 1997, I wandered through the woods of East Hampton with several friends in an attempt to hike the newly completed sections of the Paumanok Path.  The trail was still new then, and somewhat difficult to follow.  Without Larry Paul’s maps of the Pine Barrens, we would have never made it through Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays.  At that time, the Paumanok Path didn’t resume again until you reached the western border of East Hampton.  As we were hiking there we found the trail well marked and easy to follow, but when we had hiked for some time without seeing a white rectangle blaze (the blaze used to mark the Paumanok Path), we stopped to look at our compass and map. A friendly guy walked over and reassured us that yes, we were in fact on the Paumanok Path.  He helped us to get oriented with our maps, gave us membership cards for EHTPS, and introduced himself as Gene Makl. 

Gene, who had greeted us that day from a trail near his backyard, later become a very practical, “get things done” President of EHTPS.  Gene served as President from 1999-2001.

This past week I had the pleasure of hiking with Gene again as he led the EHTPS weekly Wednesday hike.  This one met on Northwest Road by the Van Scoy Cemetery and the School House Plaque.  I arrived late, so I had to catch up with the group and was disappointed when I realized that I had missed hearing Gene’s historical introductory narrative.  I quickly headed east, stepping past the newly refurbished Van Scoy Cemetery, so that I could catch up with the rest of the group. 

The Paumanok Path follows Scoy’s Pond Road here.   On the west side of Northwest Road this woods road takes you past Scoy’s Pond.  Traveling southeast from the side of the road the parking area is on, the trail enters the Grassy Hollow Preserve.  Along with the white rectangle blazes, there are also the orange rectangle blazes of Foster’s Path.  These two trails travel south together about 4 miles to Chatfield’s Hole, off Two Holes of Water Road.  We followed these trails for about 1.5 miles to a powder blue-blazed trail, that heads east back to Northwest Road. We turned right (north) and walked along the shoulder of Northwest Road for a short distance.  We then entered Whalebone Landing Road, and walked through a metal gate on the west side of the road.  Whalebone Landing is a woods road. It runs through the “five corners intersection”, and continues west to Northwest Harbor.  We rested a bit while enjoying a beautiful view of the harbor.  Then we turned around, and headed back down Whalebone Landing Rd. This time we took an immediate left onto a trail running north along the shore, to Kirk’s Place.  Here we gazed out across the harbor at the bluffs of Barcelona Neck State Preserve, North Haven, and the lighthouse at Cedar Point County Park.  Josiah Kirk settled here in the 1860’s.  He was the owner of a beautiful 230-acre homestead that unfortunately fell to ruin while he fought in the courts for the exclusive rights to the eelgrass that washed ashore on his beach.  Eelgrass was a useful commodity at that time and evidently worth fighting for.

We followed Scoy’s Pond Road east, past the spur trail on our left leading to Scoy Pond. Scoy Pond is part of the Headwaters of Alewife Brook that flows to Alewife Brook, through the southern section of Cedar Point Park, out to Northwest Harbor.  We then crossed Northwest Road to the dirt parking area. 

Directions to the School House Plaque on Northwest Rd in East Hampton's Northwest: On Montauk Highway (heading east) you will see the Wainscott town sign.  Pass Daniels Hole Road (this is the road for the East Hampton Airport.)  Take the next left turn (North) Stephen Hands Path.  Bear left onto Old Northwest Road.  Stay on Old NW RD until you reach Northwest Road.  Make a right onto Northwest Road. Park by the School House Plaque on Northwest Rd, about 3/10 mile from the intersection with Alewive Brook Rd.  You can follow the signs for Cedar Point Park onto Northwest Road.

 

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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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