7 Awesome Hikes on the East End
Not that you’d ever get tired of the beach, but if you need a change of pace, you’ll find plenty of hikes to channel your inner outdoorswoman in the Hamptons. From magnificent dune walks to historic cranberry bogs to quiet wetlands, Long Island’s East End is home to some of the most picturesque trails around.
Head to the southern part of Shelter Island for an all-day excursion at the Mashomack Preserve. This massive park covers 2,039 acres (a third of the island). You can opt to hike one of the many trails on the preserve or download the marine trail and kayak around. Whether you choose to explore by land or water, keep your eyes peeled for ospreys and other wildlife.
How to get there: Take the South Ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island and follow Route 114 one mile north to the preserve.
QUOGUE WILDLIFE REFUGE
Leave the beach crowds behind and enjoy the solace of the 300-acre, seven-mile stretch of trails in the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. You can hike by forests and ponds and then check out the nature library.
How to get there: From Route 27, take exit 64 South and head south on Route 104. Go two miles and turn right onto Old Country Road.
LIGHTHOUSE LOOP TRAIL AT CEDAR POINT COUNTY PARK
Gather your four-legged bestie, pack lots of water and snacks, and head to Cedar Point County Park for a 5.3-mile hike. This is an easy hike, but dogs should be leashed (no letting them chase the wild turkeys). The path will take you past an old lighthouse and the crumbling 1800s summer estate of the Munster family.
How to get there: From East Hampton, take County Road 40 and Springy Banks Road north to Alewife Brook Road, which will lead you to the park entrance.
SWEEZY POND LOOP AT CRANBERRY BOG PRESERVE COUNTY PARK
The Cranberry Bog Preserve in Riverhead provides 165 acres of outdoor fun with history at every turn. The loop around Sweezy Pond is only about a mile, but it’ll take you through wetlands once home to Long Island’s cranberry bogs. See if you can spot the remains of the pump house.
How to get there: Take 495 to exit 71. At the traffic circle in Riverhead, take County Road 63 (the first road off the right) and drive about a mile to the County Park parking area.
WALKING DUNES AT HITHER HILLS STATE PARK
Be sure to wear your swimsuit and waterproof sunscreen for this unique hike. The nearly three-mile trek takes you through the constantly shifting dunes, while red-tailed hawks and ospreys fly overhead. See if you can spot the forgotten forest before cooling off with a dip in the ocean.
How to get there: Take Route 27 to Napeague Harbor Road and the entrance of Hither Hills State Park.
SHADMOOR STATE PARK
You can take your dog with you on this short loop (1.2 miles) in Shadmoor State Park. The moderate hike will take you past a river and bunkers constructed during World War II. Pack a lunch for a beach picnic afterward.
How to get there: Take Route 27 to South Emery Street in Montauk and continue onto Surfside Avenue. The park is located at 900 Montauk Highway.
LONG POND GREENBELT TRAIL
Get lost in the beauty of wetlands in Bridgehampton. The 3.8-mile out-and-back Long Pond Greenbelt Trail takes you past ponds and through woods and wetlands. Stay quiet and you might see some of the rare species that call the park home. You can extend the hike by connecting it with Sprig Tree Path.
How to get there: From Route 27, take the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike north. The entrance is on the right, just past the turnoff for Channing Daughters Winery.