Now that swimsuit season is in the rearview mirror, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors by exploring the East End’s incredible system of hiking trails. From waterside paths to walks through wetlands, forests, and dunes—the Hamptons boast some of the most accessible, scenic trails around. Here are some of my favorite fall hiking spots:
WALKING DUNES, NAPEAGUE | Located off Route 27 heading east (just past the Clam Bar), the 2.7-mile Walking Dune loop trail within Hither Hills State Park is one of the East End’s most unique. Trekking through the shifting dune system you can explore the “phantom forest” and native cranberry bog, climb dunes up to 80 feet tall, spot osprey and red-tailed hawks soaring above, and enjoy spectacular views of Napeague Harbor and beyond. Learn more, here and here.
PAUMANOK PATH | Marking its 25th anniversary this month, the Paumanok Path hiking trail goes from Rocky Point to Montauk Point, spanning a total of 125 miles and travelling through Southampton and East Hampton Towns. Now through November 18th, the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society is celebrating this milestone anniversary by leading a series of hikes through the East Hampton Town portions of the trail. Learn more about the series and register for a hike here.
CEDAR POINT LIGHTHOUSE LOOP TRAIL | With beautiful views of Gardiner’s Bay, the 607-acre Cedar Point Park in East Hampton has a variety of well-maintained hiking trails to explore. Try the popular 5.3-mile Lighthouse Loop Trail—meandering through forests, bluffs, marshes and beach—which features the historic, decommissioned Cedar Point Lighthouse (built in 1860). Learn more here.
ELIZABETH A. MORTON WILDLIFE REFUGE | Located just west of Sag Harbor in Noyack, this is a great spot to bring the kids for a hike. Covering 187 acres, the refuge protects a peninsula of land that features a diverse habitat of beaches and wooded bluffs overlooking Noyack and Little Peconic Bays. There are a variety of trails to explore, including the self-guided 1.2-mile Wild Birds Nature Trail that winds through the woodland areas out onto the beach. Keep an eye out for osprey, bald eagles and herons—all of which can be found within the preserve. Learn more, here.
QUOGUE WILDLIFE REFUGE | Encompassing more than 300 acres and seven miles of trails, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge nature preserve offers a variety of trails featuring forests, ponds, and diverse habitats to explore. Their nature center has wildlife exhibits, live animals, a library, and a gift shop and their Outdoor Wildlife Complex houses injured birds and wildlife. A visit here for a hearty hike is a great weekend family activity. Learn more, here.
MORE HAMPTONS HIKING RESOURCES