Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

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Wainscott / East Hampton Village

Town Line to Edwards Hole

 

 

East Hampton Trails Preservation Society (EHTPS) has been working to facilitate parking areas for their trailheads.  For about two years now I’ve been hearing about a Trailhead Project on CR 114 that is part of a larger project being funded by a grant written by EHTPS member Ray Hartjen.  For as long as I can remember, people have parked on CR 114 by Edwards Hole Road because of its proximity to several hiking and mountain biking trails.  These trails run through the Northwest Woods, and to the Long Pond Greenbelt, Cedar Point, the Grace Estate, and Barcelona Neck. 

Establishing a formal trailhead is a daunting endeavor.  Many concerns must be addressed, including the number of cars that will be accommodated, whether or not the parking area should be close to the main road or recessed, the kind of surface that should be used, what the signage on the kiosk will be, and how to avoid conflicts between the various users of the trails.  When creating a parking area, safety must be considered, along with its impact on the environment and its impact on neighbors to the site. All the people involved in the project then need to agree on its implementation.  Considering the size of the challenge, EHTPS should be congratulated on their willingness to address these issues.  Obviously, for the trail system to be fully utilized and appreciated it needs to be convenient for people to access.

East Hampton Trails has an “Adopt-a-Trail” program.  The segment of the Paumanok Path that I adopted under this program has its western terminus at this trailhead.  This section of the path connects Southampton to East Hampton, giving access to the Long Pond Greenbelt.  Last weekend I decided to walk my section of the Paumanok Path so I could report on its condition to the EHTPS Adopt-A-Trail Committee.

To get to this trailhead from Montauk Highway, take Steven Hands Path to Route 114.  Follow Route 114 north.  Approximately one mile after passing Whooping Hollow Lane you will find the dirt entrance to Edwards Hole Road on your right.  Please do not block the road. This is an issue now but won’t be when the new parking area is completed. When facing across Route 114 from where the new parking area will be, you can see where the Paumanok Path continues west towards the Long Pond Greenbelt.

The blazing on the trail is good, but needs some work near Town Line Road. The plastic Paumanok Path emblems are turning brittle and popping off the trees.  The trail is being impacted by illegal ATV use near the power line right-of-way and Town Line Road.  There are several short segments of trail west of Wainscott NW Road that have erosion issues.  There are no trees or branches blocking the trail.  A lot of the garbage dumped along the power line and Town Line Road has been removed, and the rest of the trail is virtually clean.

Overall, this section of trail is very pleasant to walk.  Much of the trail tread is padded with a soft duff.  The trail comes close to some residential areas, but also runs through some large sections of woods.  The knob and kettle topography gives visual interest to the walk.  Heading west, pitch pine and oak predominate, but soon laurel replaces the pine.  Just before Wainscott NW Road note the enormous glacial erratic.  Also of interest is the unusually abundant dark green moss growing up the tree trunks.

The trail by the power line right-of-way is hard to follow and uncomfortable to walk.  I know that Southampton Trails Preservation Society has plans to improve this section of trail in the near future.  Until that time, you may wish to walk only to the power lines and then walk back for an enjoyable 5-mile hike in the woods.  If you are intent on making it to the Greenbelt, you can presently follow the trail to Sagg Road at which point you will turn right and then left down Widow Gavitts Road.

 

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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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