Wednesday, April 24, 2013, looked like it was to be a beautiful, warmish day. So, my husband and I decided to take the Greenport, NY North Ferry to Shelter Island and then the South Ferry from Shelter to North Haven. From there, we drove through Sag Harbor to East Hampton, NY, and on to Montauk. In our opinion, East Hampton is the prettiest of the "Hamptons" that we have driven through - not that we would want to live there. We actually prefer quieter towns with less traffic and no celebrities. Haha!
Our first adventure was to hike the "Walking Dunes of Montauk". The dunes are part of Hither Hills State Park on the east side of Napeague Harbor. The Walking Dunes can reach a height of 80 feet and are slowly moving southeast. The dunes will "walk" when strong winds cause them to move, but as they walk, they bury forests, trees and anything that stands in their way. The average dune "walks" about 3/12 feet per year. Headlands are responsible for the accumulation of sand to the area. These "headlands" are points of land that stick out into nearby Gardiner's Bay. Ocean currents erode the sand from the beaches on the headlands, carry it into the area, then wash up on the beach where it is picked up by the wind.
The Walking Dunes were truly unique! All of the trails were made of sand, which was a challenge to walk in. While walking on the trail, it was not windy, but once we crested the tall dune and came down into a "bowl" it was quite windy.
Our second adventure was to hike the Shadmoor Park and Nature Preserve Trail. Shadmoor Preserve was established in 2000, after being purchased by the Town, County and State, thereby rescuing it from becoming a subdivision (thank goodness!). It is a 99-acre State Park. Shadmoor at one time belonged to the Montaukett Indians who occupied the Montauk Penisula before East Hampton was settled by Europeans. Montauk was then purchased by East Hampton's first citizens for the Indians in the latter part of the 1600s. Some of Teddy Roosevelt's troops were encamped for a "quarantine" period here after fighting in the War of 1898 to free Cuba from Spanish control.
At Shadmoor, we followed the Roosevelt Trail to a beautiful ocean overlook. Taking a short detour on this trail you can still see the remains of the concrete bunkers that were erected during WWII for the purpose of artilliary ranging. After admiring the view at the overlook, we continued walking along the cliff edge overlooking the ocean. The shoreline here is made of dramatic bluffs which are being eaten away by erosion into fantastic forms called "hoodoos". This area was particularly awe-inspiring.
I hope you enjoy my ramblings!