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Northwest Woods

Northwest Harbor Loop Trail

 

 

Being a person who is attracted to bodies of water, both fresh and salt, I just had to go on the hike led by Nick Bryan and Jeri Wellman last Wednesday.  It was titled “Northwest Delights,” an invitation to explore some of Nick and Jeri’s favorite woodland paths and beaches. We were an unusually small group for an East Hampton Trails Preservation Society Hike; only seven including the hike leaders.   We walked through the Grace Estate and the lower part of Cedar Point County Park, a 4.5-mile hike in one hour and 40 minutes.  If you look at the East Hampton trail map (call Richard at 631-324-1127) you can see that the outer perimeter of this hike is bordered by water.

We met at the dirt parking area on Northwest Road in East Hampton's Northwest. On Montauk Highway heading east you will see the Wainscott Town sign.  Pass Daniel’s 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 Road until you reach Northwest Road.  Turn right onto Northwest Road. Park by the School House Plaque parking area on the right side of Northwest Road, about 3/10 miles south of the intersection with Alewive Brook Road.

Following the Paumanok Path (PP) across Northwest Road, through a metal gate, we proceeded towards Scoy Pond.  After a short distance we passed by the side-trail to the left that leads to Scoy Pond.  We followed the PP into the Grace Estate on what was formally a woods road called Scoy Pond Road. At a crossroads we turned left (south) continuing on the PP.  Here the trail is marked by the white rectangles of the PP and the yellow triangles of the NW Path; this is a corridor shared by two trails.  We then turned right at Five Corners onto Whalebone Landing Road.  Where the trail splits we continued to the left.  As we approached Whalebone Landing we could see reeds off to our left indicating a wetland area.  In the winter you can see Fresh Pond through the bare trees.  We arrived at the shore and surveyed the view across the harbor.  To our extreme left we could see many boats anchored by Sag Harbor.  Scanning in a clockwise direction you can see North Haven, Mashomack Point, and all the way to our right we could make out the Cedar Point Lighthouse.

Heading back into the woods, we immediately turned to our left, walking north to our next destination, Kirk’s Place.  When you visit here, note the Linden Tree planted by Kirk.  It’s all that’s left to mark where his home once stood.  From Kirk’s Place we walked north along the shoreline.  We passed Split Rock jutting out of the water and then, after a 1-mile shore walk, arrived at Alewive Brook Landing.  There is a boat ramp here at the end of Alewive Brook Road; a great place to park to take a walk or launch a kayak.  We traveled up Alewive Brook Road and then turned left, walking through Gate 3. This is a gate in the fence along the perimeter or the county park, opposite Terry Road. Walking along the brook that gave the road its name, we headed east.  Here we noticed faded yellow blazes left from when this section of trail was part of the NW Path.  I stopped and took a picture of the hiking group with the lovely brook as a background.  A little further along the trail, we passed an artist working to capture this scene on canvas; later, an occupied osprey platform where we were greeted by the angry chiding of protective parents.  Wishing to minimize the disturbance we left quickly.  We followed the trail out of Gate 2, onto Alewive Brook Road and turned left. When walking here, please remember to close the gates behind you.  At a curve in the road we headed towards a wide trail opening on the south side of the road (our left).  The trail opening is gated and has several notices posted including a “No Wood Cutting” sign.  After a short distance, at an intersection, we turned right and headed south, crossing the wooden bridge over Scoy Run.  Scoy Run carries the water from Scoy’s Pond into Alewive Pond.  Heading left around the southern edge of Scoy Pond we left the NW Path and followed the white blazes of the PP back to the parking area on Northwest Road.

As Nick and Jeri promised, this hike has some of the best water views on the Southfork!

 

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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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