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Paumanok Path Part XII

Along the Parkway and Right of Way (ROW) Trails

 

 This hike begins at the Montauk Recycling Center, one and a half miles west of downtown Montauk, off Montauk Highway.  It ends at Third House, Theodore Roosevelt County Park, approximately three miles east of Montauk Village. During the summer this trail has often been overgrown; it is cleared in fall or winter.  When I mentioned to Bill Nicholas, V.P. for Trails Maintenance of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, that I would be describing this section of the Paumanok Path (PP) for my next Dan’s Papers column, the crew organized a special work outing to transform this area from a forbidding jungle to a user-friendly trail.  The EHTPS crew meets every Tuesday morning; about a dozen people prepare the trails for upcoming hikes every week.  They are a very effective trail crew, but also a realistic one; they readily admit that they cannot keep up with all the trail work that needs to be done.  If you would like to participate in these outings or if you have any other questions about EHTPS, your e-mail to ehtps@hotmail.com will receive a quick response.

On the north side of Montauk Highway, just after entering the Recycling Center driveway, the trail begins directly across from the parking area. This trail is not part of the PP so it’s not marked with white rectangular blazes. It is very easy to follow though, and within two-tenths of a mile, it intersects with the blazed trail. When you first see the white rectangular blazes of the PP, bear right to head east.  The first “road” you cross is in fact the Suffolk County Water Authority driveway.  The facility has a chain-link fence perimeter north of the trail. The first actual road you cross is Upland Road; where it crosses, the trail continues offset a little to the right.  Watch for flexi-stakes with the white Paumanok Path blazes on either side of So. Delphi, So. Delray, and Second House Roads to lead you across these roads. The PP takes you across Second House Road, into Kirk Park along the edge of Fort Pond.  There is no blazing here.  Follow the trail that runs between the wetlands and a holly tree with a bench in front of it.   Approaching the Village of Montauk, and Montauk Highway, there is a blaze on a tree and then a left turn blaze on a post and rail fence, leading to the sidewalk along the highway.  The trail exits the park by a kiosk that designates the Paumanok Path as the Paumonok Trail.  Follow the blazes along the sidewalk; they are painted on utility poles and trees.  Turn left onto Emory, right onto Euclid, and then left onto South Embassy.  There are public restrooms at the corner of South Embassy and Euclid Ave.  Turn right onto So. Erie Avenue, pass more restrooms and the N.Y. State D.E.C. Fort Pond Fishing Access Site.  You’ll pass public parking left of a soccer field at the corner of So. Erie and Edgemere Rd.  Follow blazes that are painted on utility poles.  Cross over So. Edgemere.  There is more public parking along the Henry (“Hank”) Zebrowski Memorial Field; here you’ll pass more restrooms.  Follow the blazes on utility poles leading upslope behind a baseball backstop, then a left turn blaze on a hockey enclosure.  Cross Essex Street and walk on planking over wetlands.

The trail branches off to the right towards the Montauk Library, instead, continue straight ahead.  The next section of trail cuts through a lovely copse of iron wood and shad.  Several small bridges span streams.  Cross over South Fox Street; from here if you cross the highway, a short distance east is the Shadmoor Preserve parking area.  Boardwalks and bridges help in traversing the wetlands running alongside the parkway.  Here, the trail is mainly on the LIPA Right of Way (ROW); the blazes are on utility poles.  Cross West Lake Drive; Rita’s Stables are to the left. In two places, flexi-stakes lead you on short excursions away from the LIPA ROW.

At Old West Lake Drive, the water from Crane Creek moves the trail along the road shoulder (step over the guardrail).  Cross a redstone driveway, then South Lake Drive, and East Lake Drive.  Many small bridges attest to the presence of wetlands.  A left turn takes you across a wide bridge towards Third House.  Follow the mostly unblazed trail to the left along the perimeter of a meadow’s edge, north to a fence.  The trail runs between the fence and cabins, and then turns left through a gate.  The parking area for Third House is to the right.

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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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