Montauk Lighthouse Trip A: the Long Island Ocean Trail

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Starfish at the Atlantis Aquarium in Riverhead.


The Windmill near Bridgehampton.

Hither Hills

The wild sand dunes at Hither Hills, west of Montauk.

Shelter Island Inn

Victorian Inn on Shelter Island, located between the two forks of the Island.


The small fishing village of Greenport on the North Fork of Long Island.

Trip A: Long Island Ocean Trail

New York's Playground by the Sea!

You can't make a mistake in the Empire State!

The Long Island Ocean Trail follows the coast line of eastern Long Island. It is far beyond the sprawl of New York City's suburbs, an interesting mixture of wild coast lines and playgrounds for the rich (and maybe famous). It includes a ferry ride to Shelter Island and stops in fishing towns with a New England flavor.

Trip A Map

Description of the Route:

A good place to start this road trip is in the Suffolk County seat of Riverhead, located at the head of the Great Peconic Bay that separates the two forks of eastern Long Island. Visit the new attraction, the Atlantis Aquarium. This is a great resource for this part of Long Island, which has depended so long on the sea for survival.
Take Route 24 south out of Riverhead. Near Flanders watch out for the Duck, a whimsical tribute to the Island's long duck-farming tradition (see photo on the right).
Soon afterwards, the road intersects with Route 27, which is an expressway. here. Go east and cross the Shinnecock Canal.
Now you are in the playground of the rich and maybe-famous... The Hamptons. All of these resort communities have their charm. Even if you aren't staying, you can browse the shops and "hang-out" on a warm summers night.

The Duck

North Coast Beach
Route 27 continues its eastward trek past the windmill in Bridgehampton, through Amagansett along the coast of the South Fork. Make sure you stop in Hither Hills State Park to enjoy the wild dunes and the great swimming beach. (The camping is excellent here, too.)
Your destination is the famed Montauk Lighthouse, at the eastern-most tip of New York State. Learn about its long history, and stroll along the unusual beach, littered with boulders amidst the sand.
Next, you backtrack along Route 27 to East Hampton. Take Route 114 north to the fishing village of Sag Harbor.  Tour the Whaling Museum to learn about the proud past of Long Island that inspired Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
Now you board the ferry to Shelter Island. In season the boats run frequently. This island within The Island is famous for its Victorian homes and inns.
You leave Shelter Island by another ferry that takes you to the North Fork village of Greenport. You are in the middle of Long Island's wine country, but the ocean is never far away. (There are several quaint light- houses, here too. Take Routes 25 adn 25A west along the north shore. Stop at Wildwood State Park to picnic and to swim. Notice that the coast of Long Island Sound differs from the south shore. This is where a glacial moraine meets the sea.
To return to Riverhead, pick up Route 25 east again. It intersects with Highway 24.

Great places to go to see New York Geography up close and personal. 

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Road Trips
Scenic Views
Historic Places
Cultural Gems
Short Walks
Living Museums

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