Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Fair Hills Lane Access Trail

 

 

Last Thursday I helped cut and blaze a new trail in Bridgehampton.  Every week an e-mail notification tells me where and when the Southampton Trails Preservation Society (STPS) trail work crew will meet.  If you wish to be included in this e-mail, contact Ken Bieger, STPS Trail Maintenance Chair (631-283-5432). To get to this brand new trail, travel east through Water Mill on Montauk Highway; look for Scuttle Hole Road.  There is a Hess Gas Station (with restroom facilities and a mini-mart) at the corner on the left side of Montauk Highway.  Scuttle Hole Road is just after that.  Turn left onto Scuttle Hole Road.  Travel 3 miles until you see Brick Kiln Road; make a left onto it. Travel 0.3 of a mile to Fair Hills Lane on the right.  Follow the road 0.4 miles to a cul-de-sac.  As you first enter the cul-de-sac, look up-slope to your right for the trail entrance. 

The trail is marked by plastic blazes with black owls imprinted on them.  If you didn’t know the trail was there, you would not see it.  Walk up the steep incline on manicured grass, and suddenly you are in the shady woods.  Feel the thick duff of accumulated leaves underfoot.  First, the upland woods include oak, mountain laurel, beech, and hickory, then the trail drops down into wetlands where sweet pepper bush and swamp maple grow.  Note how well-engineered the trail is; it runs along ridges and cuts across slopes.  Laura Smith of the Southampton Town Community Preservation Fund, and the STPS Trail Crew built this great trail.

This black owl trail connects to a red trail.  This red trail is marked by the older red owl blazes that are actually brown, while the new red blazes are a deeper red.  Travel this trail to the left and it takes you to another trailhead off of Brick Kiln Road a short distance north of Fair Hills Lane.  If you turn to the right from the black trail onto the red trail, you will, in about one mile, reach the Mulvihill loop. The trail continues past Mulvihill Pond on the left.  You will cross over two small wooden bridges.  The second one crosses the stream that feeds the Mulvihill Pond; note the cement dam used to create the pond.  Approximately 60 yards past the second bridge, you will approach a woods road forming a four-way intersection.  Walking to the right would take you towards private property, walking straight ahead or to the left will take you on a loop about 2.5 miles long, and bring you back to this intersection.  The Mulvihill Loop is marked with yellow owl blazes.  The STPS Trail Crew erected a sign here to keep hikers from getting lost, unfortunately, it was vandalized.  I suggest that you begin hiking the loop by turning left rather than going straight ahead. 

The trail travels along the western edge of the Great Swamp.  Here it visits a huge American beech tree and a vernal pond. Continue to follow the yellow owl blazes.  You will find yourself walking on a raised linear mound dating back to the 1700’s.  During this time period, when wood was scarce, these mounds were built to act as fences in order to contain livestock. You will then pass through a stand of white pine trees, planted by the Mulvihill family during the 1920’s.  Soon after, you will see a Paumanok Path emblem and white rectangular blazes marking the place where this loop intersects with the Paumanok Path.  Along the way, you will see both occasional yellow owl blazes and white rectangular blazes because this section of the trail encompasses both the Yellow Owl Loop and the Paumanok Path.  Follow the Paumanok Path until you see two yellow owl blazes.  The top blaze will be set off to the left.  Go left in order to continue the Yellow Owl Loop.   The loop then returns through the Greenbelt to the four-way intersection, where you walk straight across the woods road and continue back following the “red” blazes through the corridor of laurel woods to your starting point at Fair Hills Lane.

In East Hampton, I’m told that there is a small crew going out every day to cut trails. For general information about hiking in East Hampton, go to www.ehtps.org or e-mail ehtps@hotmail.com.  In Southampton, if you are looking for general trails information call 631-537-5202.  They have several new trails which means there will be several new hikes in the near future.

 

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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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