Walking Dunes

Walking Dunes (4/2/2013)

This was the first of five amazing hikes we did on the southern fork of Long Island the week of April 2. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. The sky was blue about 95% of the time, but wow was it windy and cold! And yes, Long Island is mostly flat, but it's also breathtakingly beautiful with ocean views in so many places.

We did this relatively short hike the day we arrived, after driving nearly 3 hours. It was a great way to stretch our legs after the long drive. It's Hike #19 ("The Walking Dunes") in the book Best Easy Day Hikes Long Island, a nice little book although the latitude and longitude of the trail head are wrong (the parking spot and trail head are about 0.3 miles further north on Napeague Harbor Rd than indicated by the lat/long). The hike is also covered, with a very extensive write-up, in the book Trail Guide to the Southern Fork, as well as in the book Hiking Long Island, another terrific book of this area.

The Walking Dunes were quite unlike anything we had ever seen. They are three major dunes that keep shifting because of the constant winds. And it was windy! At one point (you can see it in one of the photos), an entire birch tree is almost completely buried with only the top branches still exposed. In some years the entire tree will be completely buried, as are most of the trees in this area already.

Total distance hiked today was about 1 mile in about 1 hour (we took our time and enjoyed the surroundings).

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Napeague Harbor view south

View north

Piping Plover informational sign

Walking Dunes informational sign

It's like a beach ...

... with lots of trees


Awesome patterns

That's a buried birch tree!

Ascending to highest point

People on another dune

View to the bay

Looking for the ...

... Phantom Forest

Like the moon

Phantom Forest sign

Laura on the Moon

Some trees ...

... still exist ...

... in the forest

Inviting path

Many trees are buried

Gorgeous colors ...

... along the path

Another dune

This vegetation will be ...

... buried one day

View back to the dunes

Heading to the beach


Reaching ...

... the bay

A windy beach

[Photo by Laura]

It is?

View north

View south

Choppy bay waters

Goose prints



Gorgeous colors

Beach patterns

View north

Napeague Bay information sign

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