Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails

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North Fork

Inlet Pond; Southold

 

 

Here’s a short (1.5-mile walk) that you can take through hardwood forest and maritime wood by a freshwater pond and along a magnificent Long Island Sound beachfront.  This is an exceptionally well-built and well-maintained trail system on fifty acres of preserved parkland.  The trails are easy to follow and have well placed signs and blazes. You can walk through the butterfly garden, with its many flowers and birdhouses, and discover the kiosk by the trailhead.  Visit the North Fork Audubon Society website, (www.northforkaudubon.org); click on “About Us” and then on “Trail Map”; print out the map and drive to 64399 North Road in Greenport.  You are in for a delightful outing.

The signs in front of the bright red house on North Road read “North Fork Audubon Society”, and “Inlet Pond County Park; Park Stewardship by the Town of Southold in Partnership with the North Fork Audubon Society.”  If you were taking a leisurely drive to Orient Point, these signs may entice you to drive up a driveway to the parking area.  If the front door of the red house were partially open, chances are good that a delightfully friendly and helpful fellow from the LI Wine Council (they have an office here) would explain what the park is all about. However, if you were not taking a leisurely drive out to Orient Point, chances are good that you would never know about this ecological jewel on the North Fork.

The park is 12.4 miles east of where Sound Avenue becomes CR-48; it is located on the north side of the road. Don’t worry if you forget to bring a map with you; the kiosk has a large map, there are signs at all the trail intersections, and sometimes there are maps to borrow available in a mailbox near the kiosk.  There are two entrances to the trails.  The white trailhead by the kiosk is obvious and easy to see, but the red trailhead is off to the left, behind the house and you need to look for it.  The trail blazes are plastic diamonds with white arrows; the background color of the diamond indicates which one of the trails you are on. The blazes for the white trail have black arrows with a white background.  I walked the red trail, and passed by pretty Prentice Pond. I then followed the yellow trail along a bluff.  A bit further along the trail, I found another trail that provides access to the beach.  First I walked along the beach and then returned to the yellow trail by which I gained access to the blue trail.  The blue trail circumnavigates Inlet Pond.  Along the way you are treated to many excellent water views.  The small trail to the “North Entrance” provides access to the park for the nearby residents, but is of little interest to the visiting hiker.  I then followed the white trail back to the trailhead in the backyard of the red house.

The Town of Southold and The Suffolk County Parks Department should be commended for protecting this property, and the North Fork Audubon Society should be proud of the great job they have done in stewarding this site.  Visit this spectacular trail system created and maintained by NFAS volunteers.
 

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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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