Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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David A. Sarnoff Preserve

LIPA ROW, Ticks and ATVs
 

 

To protect against ticks, wear light colored clothing and tuck your pant bottoms into your socks.  I often wear tight woven support socks over my regular socks to protect against the small larval ticks of the late summer.  I also suggest that you treat your pants socks and shoes with a permethrin based insect repellent. Most ticks wait on ends of grass or low shrubs for passers-by.  When you brush against the plants they’re on, you pick up an uninvited passenger; consistently check for them.  Even tiny deer ticks are visible against light colored fabric; pick them off and flick them back into the woods.  Ticks don’t bite or sting, and the process of attaching themselves takes a while, so you can hold them between your fingers without fear.  Generally, once ticks get on you, they will travel upward until they hit an obstruction.  That’s why not tucking your pants into your socks will allow them to travel up your legs and attach at your underwear or beltline.  I usually spot them before they get above my knees.  When I think ticks might be on my clothes, I put my clothes in a dryer on high for 20 minutes.  After every hike and work outing I check my whole body and feel for any new small bumps.  If I find an attached tick, I remove it.  Grab the tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out.  Once these precautions become a routine, they take very little effort and are very effective.  Ticks can carry Lyme disease or other illnesses; if you are in the woods often, a periodic blood test is a recommended practice. 

To get to the David Sarnoff Preserve State Department of Environmental Conservation parking area in Riverhead:

The dirt parking lot is on the west side of C.R. 104 midway between where the road intersects with C.R. 105 to the north and C.R. 31 to the south.  From the Riverhead circle, take C.R. 104 south approximately 2 miles.  From Sunrise Highway heading east, take Exit 63 (C.R. 31 North) to C.R. 104 North.  Travel a short distance and the parking lot will be on the left side of the road.

Drive south on C.R. 104.  Just before reaching Sunrise Highway, I turned left onto Pleasure Drive.  After 100 yards, the road expands into a parking area with a guardrail.  Walk around the guardrail.  The LIPA right-of-way (ROW) is a major road for illegal ATV use and offers a throughway into much of the preserved open space.  The ROW crosses Pleasure Drive here so there is a network of ATV trails nearby.  I decided that I would walk some of the most heavily used ATV trails and see where they might lead.  At first, I followed a couple of loops that ran between the Paumanok Path and the ROW.  The erosion caused by illegal ATV use is extensive.  Ground wires and footings for the electrical towers are exposed and deep trenches have been cut into the Paumanok Path.  I walked the ROW a short distance until I reached an unmarked straight boundary road, running north-south, parallel to and east of Pleasure Drive.  The churned-up tread attested to its popularity with the ATV crowd.  Before the advent of the Long Island trails initiative, boundary roads, firebreaks and ROWs were the common hiking routes into the woods.

I walked this road approximately 1.5 miles and started looking for a trail that would take me west across Pleasure Drive.  The first few ATV trails I followed west went up to a driveway or through a fence into residential property.  Finally, I found a path that cut between two properties and took me across the road and into the informal trail system on the west side of Pleasure Drive.  I followed these trails into some lovely wetlands

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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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