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Back by popular demand .... the East Hampton Trail Maps!

The Black Owl Loop
 

The parkland in Flanders has some remarkably beautiful places to visit.  The following 7-mile hike treats you to a wide range of ecological experiences as you walk through upland woods, over streams, past creeks, and ponds.

Traveling east on the Long Island Expressway take exit 71 towards Riverhead.  You are now traveling east on C.R. 94.  At the circle in Riverhead take Route 24 south into Flanders. You will find the right turn for Spinney Road North on the south side of the road, just east of Birch Creek.  Look for a large paved parking lot with a kiosk.  The entrance to the Owl Pond Trail begins by this kiosk.  Don’t stray from the main trail and look carefully for the old faded yellow blazes.  The sides of this trail are closing in but it is still passable.  After walking about a half-mile you reach Owl Pond.  You will see a white and blue Paumanok Path emblem on a tree; turn left.  As you make the turn you will see a small cement enclosure; if you approach it quietly you will see a large frog within, perched on a partially submerged branch.


Cross a makeshift bridge and then walk about a mile until you reach a “T” intersection.  Here you turn right onto the Black Owl Loop.  This portion of trail is shar
ed by “George’s One-Way Blue Loop”, with its blue painted rectangular blazes, the Paumanok Path, with its white blazes, and the Black Owl Loop marked with plastic black owls.  The trail becomes a bit muddy as you approach Sears Pond, but if you watch your footing it is easily passable.  Where you see a sign for Sears Pond continue following the multi-blazed trail, and stay on this trail until you reach the left turn that takes you past House Pond.  At this turn the George’s Trail continues straight across the woods road.  This woods road will take you across Route 24 and Red Creek Road and then through the gate to Hubbard County Park.  Here you travel up a dirt driveway towards Black Duck Lodge; you leave the Paumanok Path here, and you continue past several private structures. 

At this point in the loop the trail becomes hard to follow.  Where the driveway veers to the right, head straight and you will find where the Black Owl Loop continues.  Here some of the black blazes are blue and red blazes take you north towards Ghost Woods Beach.  Follow the blue / black blazes.  After you cross over a bridge turn right by a tree with one blue and two black blazes.  Once again cross over Route 24, here the blazes are far apart, but the trail is well defined.   Follow this trail for about a mile until you reach the Paumanok Path.  Be careful not to continue back around the Black Owl Loop; keep an eye out to your left for where the white rectangular blazes lead you west.

The Southampton Trails Preservation Society’s map of Hubbard, Red Creek and Sears Bellows Parks is the only map available showing the Black Owl Loop. The Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference (LIGTC) sells a map (Pine Barrens east section) that shows all the surrounding trails, many not found on the STPS map, but it was produced before the Black Owl Loop was blazed.  For LIGTC call 631-360-0753, for STPS call 631-537-5202.

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