Montauk Point State Park
This was the third of five hikes we did on the southern fork of Long Island the week of April 2. It's Hike #20 ("Montauk Point State Park") in the book Best Easy Day Hikes Long Island, a nice little book although the latitude and longitude of the trail head are completely wrong. They put you in the Atlantic Ocean, just southeast of the lightouse. While I'm sure the view of the lighthouse is magnificent from there, those without James Bond-like amphibian cars are advised to consult the book's map instead. The parking spot indicated on the book's map is very accurate. The area is also covered in the book Trail Guide to the Southern Fork, as well as in the book Hiking Long Island, another terrific book of the area.

The highlights of today's hike were not only the magnificent lighthouse (which was closed), the oldest in New York, but the seals! Part of the first half of the hike uses the Sail Haulout Trail which leads to a look-out over some rocks where the seals sun themselves. But our story is even better! On the way to that point, about halfway to the lookout, we were walking along the beach when we were both startled by a loud mooing! We looked around frantically and noticed a seal camouflaged on some rocks 20 feet away, sunning himself! And he wasn't happy that we got so close, even if it was unintentional, making some fake charge motions! At this moment we were between the seal and the ocean. So we decided to give him a wide berth by heading into the ocean, carefully walking on slippery algae-covered rocks. The seal watched our every move and went back to sleep on the rocks when we were no longer a threat. It's not often that we have close encounters with seals while hiking, so this was quite memorable.

Total distance hiked today was about 5 miles in about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

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Steps to the ...

... Montauk Point lighthouse

No surfing? But it's a balmy 36 F!

Montauk Point is eroding too

Zoom to lighthouse

A rocky beach west


Both standing tall


[Photo by Laura]

Lighthouse peeking

Heading west

Atlantic Ocean

At right about this ...

... point we heard ...


Look at that face!

He kept on eye on us ...

... as we gave him a ...

... very wide berth

He was satisfied

Seagull watching all of this

Heading west

Memorial to a fisherman

Abandoned lobster cage

Road off beach

A bit wet


No beach walking beyond here

On Red trail in forest


At the seal haul out


Another with some gulls!

Informative signs at look out

Must watch from above

View north

View from hut

Sunning themselves

Eroded bluff

One of them sees me

What a life!

Back in ...

... the woods

West in places

Oyster Pond

Phragmites at Oyster Pond


[Photo by Laura]


Skunk cabbage

Swamp boardwalk



Loads of ...

... beautiful holly ...

... in swamp

Money Pond

Captain Kidd dumped treasure in here

Beautiful twisted trees

View of Atlantic from above

Lighthouse peeking over bush

Road back to car

Lighthouse high above

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