Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails

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Wainscott / East Hampton Village

From East Hampton to Southampton

 

 

 Many years ago while driving to a hike led by Richard Lupoletti in Miller’s Ground Preserve, I remember feeling terribly confused and lost.  Almost a decade later while Richard and I were driving between trailheads, developing a route for a shared hike between groups, he explained that originally Daniel’s Hole Road was meant to go through where the EH Airport is.  Instead, there is a gap in Daniel’s Hole Road here, and Wainscott Northwest Road takes you around the airport.  When you’re driving, it seems like Daniel’s Hole Road just magically changes into Wainscott Northwest Road.  That day, many years ago, I first went back south across Montauk Highway, thinking I might have misunderstood the directions, then I drove back up and through Wainscott NW Rd. back onto Daniel’s Hole Road.  Soon I was where the power lines cross the road.  There was a long line of parked cars, but the people had left.  I set out to walk on my own.  If you visit www.litlc.org you will find many hiking routes described, with explicit directions to the trailheads.  Please contact me if you wish to assist in expanding this free informational resource (ken@litlc.org). 

During this shared group hike between the Southampton Trails Preservation Society and the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society (from East Hampton to Southampton), one of the hikers, a photographer, remarked on how high the moss grows on the trunks of the trees here.  This brought me back to that day I set out to walk on my own, and first marveled at this phenomenon. “It is even more pronounced by the trail that runs just south of the power line right-of-way near Daniel’s Hole, near where we parked,” I replied. Another place in which to find excellent directions to trailheads is Mike Bottini’s Trail Guide to the South Fork. Mike notes this mossy phenomenon in his book as well.

Before a hike leader leads a hike, he or she previews the route the trails take to be sure that they are passable, safe, and easy-to-follow.  I decided to preview the hike, the day prior to the event.  I repaired a few poor blazes and marked my turns in the Long Pond Greenbelt with straight sticks by the side of the trail.  There was melting snow on the ground, and my hiking shoes got soaked.  I should have sprayed them with water repellent. When I got home, I wadded up newspaper and stuffed it in my shoes so they wouldn’t be misshapen when they dried.  I then treated them with a leather restorative and sprayed them with water repellent.

I was concerned; the forecast was for colder temperatures on the following day.  All this melting snow, I feared, would turn to ice.  The day of the hike, I arrived early, so I could check the trails for ice. This is probably why later when I came home there were several messages on my answering machine from the morning, asking for better directions. It has been my experience that people often do not plan ahead, so it will be good to have a place on the Internet with explicit driving directions to the trailheads.  Heck, it would also be nice if all the trailheads were marked, and the roads the trails crossed all had hiker warning signs to make drivers alert for hikers crossing the roads. It was with great relief that I found the snow still granulated, and only a few icy spots.  While hiking, I noticed that some of the hikers were wearing pro-traction devices over their shoes and sneakers.  This product is called “yaktrax” and is available to purchase at campmor.com or EMS.  As we finished the hike, I reminded Richard that originally, I had envisioned an 11 mile hike from Cedar Point to the Long Pond Greenbelt.  To this Richard responded “Let’s wait until it gets a little warmer.”

After the shared hike we all gathered at the Shaffner House (now known as the “Long Pond Greenbelt Nature Center”) for our movable feast; an EHTPS tradition in a Southampton venue.  People who found the hike through the media, and members of both hiking groups sat together discussing the walk we had just taken among other things and discovered in each other, kindred spirits who love to explore nature.  It is times like this when we feel like part of a larger hiking community. At this busy time of year especially, this is a great way to slow down and savor the natural beauty of the Island.
 

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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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