Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails



Middle Line Highway to Trout Pond



In Noyac, a link in the Paumanok Path (PP) was secured as a result of converting the Bridgehampton Racetrack property into Golf at the Bridge.  The path runs through a narrow easement on this property, then along some straight survey lines of properties recently purchased for preservation by Southampton Town.  The majority of the funding for this land preservation is derived from the Community Preservation Fund (CPF).  The five East End towns have created land preservation funds generating more than $300 million.  In the Town of Southampton the CPF has through February 2006 raised 194 million, preserving 2212 acres.

I had lost the Paumanok Path here last time I was walking it and vowed to come back and figure out where I had gone wrong.  Rudi Lemp and Tony Garro, leader of the trail work parties that cut that portion of the Paumanok Path, joined me.

We met at the Trout Pond parking lot, 0.5 mile east of Millstone Road on the south side of Noyac Road.  Tony suggested we leave our cars here and hike back to them, thus turning this expedition into an enjoyable hike.  In Rudi’s car, we headed east on Noyac Road and continued past Long Beach Road, and then took the right fork onto Stony Hill Road.  When we reached Brick Kiln Road, we parked on the shoulder opposite the opening to Middle Line Highway.  There is no designated parking here; park with all four tires off of the pavement, avoid sand, and don’t obstruct any critical lines of sight.  If we were to enter the woods on the east side of the road, the PP would take us to the Mulvihill Preserve and the Long Pond Greenbelt.  Heading west on the PP, the opening to Middle Line Highway looks like a driveway. Disregard the “Private Drive” sign.  We followed the white blazes up Middle Line Highway past a driveway, through a cleared area, up a hill and back into the woods.  After a short distance, we found ourselves on the woods road that follows the route of the aborted extension of Middle Line Highway.  The PP originally ran along this woods road past the sandpit and across Millstone Road to the paved portion of Middle Line Highway. Near the sandpit the elevation is 280’; the cleared land to the north allows a magnificent view of Peconic Bay.  If you follow the paved portion of Middle Line Highway 0.5 mile after crossing Millstone Rd. you will reach the back entrance to Laurel Valley.  A 1.3-mile walk, following the white rectangles, will take you west to the informal road shoulder parking and information kiosk on Deerfield Road (0.6 mi south of Noyac Rd.). 

We however, continued walking Middle Line Highway a short distance and arrived at a trails crossroads.  Some of the trails are marked with silver spray paint.  These are not part of the PP.  Tony pointed to a trail off to the right that ran straight north.  I painted a turn blaze and removed a silver blaze that led to private property.  We continued our walk, traveling along the western edge of Golf on the Bridge.  Our route was along straight trails that evolved out of the boundaries of property lines.  Since these boundary line trails follow straight lines, they run directly up and down hills.  On hills the rainwater funnels into these trails and they erode and form ravines that scar the environment and are awkward to walk on.  By using some of the land newly acquired by Community Preservation Fund monies, we could re-route the trail to run along a ridge, making it more sustainable and kinder to these lovely laurel woods.  We then came upon the turn that I had missed last time I walked here.  I painted some white turn blazes onto a trail I had painted yellow four years ago.  When we built this segment of trail there was a mile of the PP in Laurel Valley and the next segment of trail was in North Sea or the Long Pond Greenbelt.  We were concerned that if someone found a trail painted white, they would think it was contiguous with the rest of the PP.  At the time we didn’t know if or when the path would connect with this segment of trail.  The PP is contiguous now so the blazes have been changed from yellow to white.

We turned left and began traveling along the northern section of the golf course.  After a short distance we came upon a trail to our right (heading north) marked with yellow owl blazes.  We followed this trail across Ruggs Path to the blue owl loop that circles Trout Pond and soon found ourselves back in the Trout Pond parking lot. 

Tony led us on a new 4-mile hike through trails that I know we will be visiting in the near future for trail work.  There are a lot of stumps to remove, branches to cut, and blazes to paint; contact Ken Bieger (kbieger@optonline.net) to help.

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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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