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

Hither Hills
 

If you love being near the water, you will love this hike; when you walk it you will visit three bodies of water. If I were walking at top speed, I could easily complete this hike in two hours, but it has never taken me less than five. I feel the need to stop and swim in (or at least gaze upon) each body of water.

After spending a whole week sitting in front of my computer watching one beautiful summer day after anther pass me by, I decided I needed a mini-holiday so I headed out east, right into the Shinnecock Hills bottleneck. The traffic crawled all the way to Bridgehampton. I was in the car for two hours and my eyeballs were floating. Traveling east a short distance past the Dan’s Papers building, on the left side I found, between Thayer’s Hardware and the Golden Pear Café, a parking lot and a public restroom. I lucked out, found a parking space and the men’s room was free. Feeling much relieved, I continued my journey east through Amagansett, taking the left fork (where Route 27 splits into Montauk Highway and Old Montauk Highway) and traveling 0.9 miles to Hither Hills West Overlook parking area.


In my rush to get out of the house, I had forgotten to bring along a map, so I turned away from the breathtakingly beautiful panoramic view and walked to the east end of the parking lot, where, secluded from sight by luxuriantly leafed oak limbs, is an information kiosk. Posted there is an excellent map of the Park with complimentary interpretive material and trails maps. You can use one of these maps to follow the route I took.

I walked back to the west end of the parking lot, past the two new informational kiosks and followed the nearby sign to the Petticoat Hill Trail. I then followed the North Trail for a few yards, making a right and a quick left onto Elisha’s Valley Trail, then again after a short walk, a right and quick left, this time walking on Old Tar Road for a few yards. I crossed over the railroad tracks, then took a right turn onto the Paumanok Path. This portion of the Path is known as the Stephen Talkhouse Path. It will take you to Fresh Pond. After visiting the pond, I continued to Fresh Pond Landing Road, where I turned left (north) and visited Napeague Bay. After enjoying the Bay for a while, I headed back south on Fresh Pond Landing Road over the railroad tracks.

Here the map shows the trail cutting directly over the Old Tar Road, but in reality, you again visit the Old Tar Road for several yards, making a quick right and left to stay on Fresh Pond Landing Road. I then followed Old North Road for a short distance north to get to the Ocean View Trail. This trail has loose rocks in places, so watch your footing. During the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, you can see the ocean from parts of this trail. At the south end of the Ocean Trail, I turned right onto the Serpent’s Back Trail and walked a short distance, then followed the Parkway Trail back to the parking lot. At this point, I was all hot, sweaty, and anxious to take another swim, so I headed back out on the Petticoat Trail, and then instead of turning right, I headed left onto the North Trail and followed it over Montauk Highway. I traveled 0.4 miles to a fork in the trail and turned right, then after a very short distance, arrived at Old Montauk Highway. I walked diagonally across Old Montauk Highway and then across the parking lot, down the stairs, past the comfort stations, and cut across the camping area, where I looked for the sign that says “Bathing Between Green Flags.” There I found a trail that cuts across the dunes to the ocean beach. Ah, more water and another swim.

On the way back to the Overlook, I met a man who was parked in the Overlook parking area. He asked me where he could get a map of the trails. You need to really look for that informational kiosk; it’s so easy to get swept away by the view. Have a great time!

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