Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Noyac

Paumanok Path - Noyac to Roses Grove

 

 

Last week I walked a section of the Paumanok Path (PP) that’s in a residential area between Noyac and Roses Grove with fellow Southampton Trails Preservation Society Board member, Tony Garro.  The natural beauty of this area, so close to development always impresses me.  We parked our cars on Deerfield Road in Noyac, across from Laurel Valley County Park.  The wide shoulders on either side of the road can accommodate parking for several cars.  The Suffolk County Water Authority plans to erect a well here with a blowoff basin, chemical treatment building, and modest parking area for hikers.  The SCWA and SCP are assuring the public that these changes will have as little negative visual and environmental impact on this lovely park as possible. 

Walking across Deerfield Road from Laurel Valley I wasn’t able to see where the PP enters the woods alongside Deerwood Path.  I remember painting a white rectangular blaze on a huge birch tree a couple of years ago at the entrance to North Side Hills.  This tree has since been cut down.  That day, after painting the blaze and affixing the PP emblem to the tree, I heard a scrabbling noise above me. I looked up, and saw looking down at me with keen interest, a flying squirrel.  It stayed perfectly still, a few feet above me, gazing with its enormous, night-vision adapted eyes.  I took a camera out of my backpack and proceeded to take his picture.  Now that that tree is gone, visibility is improved for motorists turning right out of North Side Hills, but the blaze and PP emblem need to be restored on another tree.  I trust the squirrel has found other trees in which to play.

The trail runs alongside Deerwood Path (the entry road to North Side Hills) and takes an arc around a vernal pond, through a field of fern, then onto the road.  Tony and I followed the Paumanok Path through the residential community and discussed how to make the trail safe, easy-to-follow, and visually attractive.  We came out onto Deerwood Path, turned left, then continued on the road, making a left onto Northside Drive.  Just past the Rolling Hill Court intersection with Northside Drive the trail enters the woods on the left side of the road, heading south.  Here we get a sample of the lovely knob and kettle topography, as well as the mature laurel that must have been the inspiration for the name of this community and its streets.  The trail comes out for a while onto Rolling Hill Court as a right turn onto the road then a left back into the woods. In this small enclave of nature there lingers a diverse ecology; you will see fern, laurel, oak, hickory, sassafras, beech, birch, and dogwood growing here.  The brush layer is sparse because the dense canopy overhead blocks much of the sunlight.  We followed the white rectangular blazes of the PP to Laurel Valley Drive, where we turned right for a walk to the end of the road.  The PP blazes led us straight ahead onto a wide straight dirt path heading west.  The trail continues west until it cuts across the end of Forrest Drive in Roses Grove, linking another community to the path.

There is a kiosk on Deerfield Rd. marking the Laurel Valley County Park in Noyac. It is opposite the entrance to North Side Hills (Deerwood Path), 0.7 mile south of Noyac Rd.  To get to the Forrest Drive trailhead from Noyac Road, take Peconic Hills Drive to Woodland Drive, then follow Forrest Drive to its end.  Tony left for another appointment and I returned to walk this lovely 1.5-mile section of trail again.  This time I saw someone running the trail, and I thought that if I lived here I might start jogging again or at least take part of my daily walk in this pretty place. 

This time of year, remember that the ticks are out in large numbers.  When you walk the trails always wear light colored pants tucked into closely-woven, light-colored socks.  If used as directed, permethrin-based insect repellents are very effective against ticks.  If you encounter a trail that is overgrown with brush or tall grass, turn around and walk somewhere else where the trail is more open.
 

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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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