Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails



Laurel Valley Trails



Southampton Trails Preservation Society (STPS) had their Thursday work outing, and again I missed it.  Ken Bieger (kbieger@optonline.net) STPS Trail Crew Leader sends the volunteers an e-mail every week telling where to meet and what kind of work to expect, but I usually have someplace else I have to be on a Thursday morning. Last week the trail crew met in Laurel Valley, and I did manage to get there in the afternoon, after all the trail work was done.  I haven’t walked some of the trail segments in a while, so I decided to do a survey of the Laurel Valley trails.  To walk every part of every trail, even if I had to double back at some points.

The Paumanok Path runs through Laurel Valley County Park, between Deerfield Road and Middle Line Highway.  Less than a mile south of Noyac Road, there is the entrance to the park; located opposite the North Side Hills community.  Recessed into the woods along Deerfield Road there is a kiosk with a map of the trails and other information.  For a map of Laurel Valley, mail $5.00 to: Southampton Trails Preservation Society, P.O. Box 1171, Bridgehampton, New York 11932.

The Paumanok Path is the backbone of the trail system in eastern Suffolk County.  This nature and recreation trail runs from Rocky Point in Brookhaven to Montauk Point.  It travels approximately 125 miles.  This regional initiative is the result of the cooperative efforts of all the major land managers and many environmental groups.  Most of the trail corridor is secure.  Unfortunately, there are a few gaps in the PP in eastern Southampton, and we haven’t been able to raise enough resources to make the existing sections of trail sustainable. The trails in East Hampton though are well-maintained and there have been some exciting advances in the PP in Southampton.  Over all, the PP is a magnificent trail to walk, and large parts of it can be walked without a guide.  I continually walk survey hikes of the Paumanok Path, if you are interested in participating contact me at 631-563-4354.

To follow the route I took for the survey hike, enter the trail by the kiosk on the east side of Deerfield Road.  Walk a short distance to a “T” intersection, where a triangular island is formed.  The PP is to the right and the Blue Owl Loop Trail is to the left.  Head left to follow the Blue Owl Loop; walk up the check-step project completed by the STPS Trail Crew last year.  Further on, enter an area of fallen black locust trees.  The STPS Trail Crew periodically cuts the grass on the trails here.  The rolling knob and kettle terrain gives the trail a lot of visual interest.  There are wild sounding bird calls to be heard and hickory, dogwood, maple, oak, and of course laurel.  The trail comes out to an abandoned farm field.  It is covered in early-successional plants; cedar and bayberry.  The grassy trail is cut here as well.  At a fork, the Black Owl Trail is to the right; continue to the left on the Blue Owl Loop.  Descend a steep slope; the growth needs to be trimmed. There is erosion on some of the more steeply sloped trails. Soon the laurel becomes dense, shading out the brush and creating an evergreen tunnel over the trail. There are glimpses of Noyac Bay in the distance.  Noyac Golf and Country Club is in the foreground.  Turn left down the short Yellow Trail to Wildwood Road.  Wildwood Road is almost directly opposite the Morton Wildlife Preserve on Noyac Road.  If you wish to access the trails from here there is room to park cars at the end of the road. The trail needs maintenance, but is passable.  This Yellow Trail takes you down to a kettle hole with an interesting combination of laurel and swamp maple.  Return up the Yellow Trail to the Blue Loop.  Pass a couple of trail spurs that run into backyards of nearby residences.  At the intersection with the PP, take the left fork and follow the white rectangle blazes to Middle Line Highway.  There are no blazes showing that the trail turns left onto Middle Line Highway.  Turn around and follow the PP back to the Blue Owl Loop.  Follow the loop to the right fork onto the Black Owl Loop. Reach the intersection where you’ll see two signs.  Turn around and re-walk the Black Owl Trail so that you can turn right and continue the Blue Loop Trail.  Follow the PP blazes, walk through a beech grove and look down into a beautiful deep ravine.  Soon you are back to the triangular intersection.  Turn left and travel the short distance back to Deerfield Road.

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Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate
Post Office Box 1466
Sayville NY 11782

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