Montauk’s many parks offer miles of hiking trails, mountain biking paths, hidden ponds for kayaking, and vistas of sea and sky. Take Rover for a walk too, most parks are dog friendly, although some require leashing.
Several groups offer guided walks throughout the year. Information about our parks and guided hikes of Montauk's trails are conducted by the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society www.hike-li.com and the Nature Conservancy.
Amsterdam Beach Preserve
This 200-acre park was a joint purchase by NY State, Suffolk County, and the Town of East Hampton. A passive use park, the land stretches from Ranch Road at Indian Field on the east to the Montauk Association houses (seven cottages deigned by the firm of McKim, Mead and White in the 1880's) to the west. It is bordered on the north by Montauk Highway and extends southward to the Atlantic Ocean and the ocean beach. It is situated near other protected lands, such as Shadmoor, Montauk Point, and Camp Hero State Parks. Fifty-four acres of tidal and freshwater wetlands are interspersed throughout maritime shrublands. This natural topography is called "Montauk Moorlands", and provides critical habitat to several rare and endangered species such as the northern harrier, the spotted turtle and the Cooper's hawk, and hosts several species of spring migrating birds and other shore birds.
Camp Hero State Park
This 755-acre State Park formerly housed U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force bases. Several buildings, bunkers, batteries, and an old radar building (a National Historic Site) remain, although they remain off limits to the public. Roads cross the park, along with an extensive system of trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding, a beach used by surfers and surfcasters, a picnic area with grills and an old maritime forest. Enter the park at the main entrance (East Gate) a half mile west of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, and park at one of two small parking fields; fee is $8. Open daily year round from sunrise to sunset. For more information about guided nature walks, historical tours, and environmental programs, call the park office
This park is named after the HMS Culloden, a British 74-gun warship sailing with the Channel Fleet during the American Revolutionary War. On January 23, 1781, as she was on her way to Newport, Rhode Island to intercept French ships attempting to run a British blockade, she ran into severe weather and ran aground at what is now called Culloden Point. This wreck, just offshore, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is popular with scuba divers. The natural wooded area leading up to the shoreline of Culloden is also public. Access is on Flamingo Avenue, at a parking lot just north of Will Point Road. The natural wooded area and shoreline has seen little change from the days when the Montaukett Indians lived here in a world of hidden ponds, specimen trees, wetlands, and a beautiful shoreline.
Hither Hills State Park
Located four miles west of the Village of Montauk on the Old Montauk Highway, with a two and a half mile beach along the Atlantic Ocean and 1,755 acres of parkland. Hither Hills has 168 campsites along with hiking and nature trails. Activities include ocean swimming, saltwater fishing, weekly square dancing, movies, guided nature hikes, and children's programs. Non-campers welcome, but must pay a $10 daily parking fee. Open year round from sunrise to sunset. Camping from April 29 through November 18. Call 1-800-456-2267 to reserve a campsite, 8 am–8 pm daily, 9 am–3 pm weekends, or reserve online at ReserveAmerica.com Reservations accepted up to nine months in advance. Reserve early as these sites book quickly for the summer season. Charges for NY State residents — $28/day weekdays, $32/day weekends; nonresidents $56 weekday and $64 a day for weekends.
Hither Woods Preserve & Lee Koppelman Nature Preserve Kirk Park
These two preserves and adjacent Hither Hills State Park are Montauk's prime mountain biking areas, located north of the Montauk Highway between Napeague and the Village of Montauk with 40 miles of trails
A beautiful three-acre park maintained by the Montauk Village Association, located just west of the Village, includes Fort Pond, the second largest freshwater lake on Long Island. Contains a picnic area, a pavilion on Fort Pond, and is next to Second House Museum, which hosts many events throughout the year. Freshwater fishing permitted.
A six-acre preserve area maintained by the Nature Conservancy. To get there, follow Second House Road north 0.7 miles to an asphalt road on the left. Park at the end of the asphalt road by the Nature Conservancy sign. The preserve is at the end of the road past the last house on the right.
Montauk Point State Park
This 724-acre park, at the site of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, offers breathtaking views of the sea, Block Island Sound, and Block Island to the northeast, and is great for bird watching year round and seal watching in the winter months. Park your car and set off on foot to explore the area. Ask for a Montauk Point State Park trail map at the toll booth. The park has surfcasting, five miles of marked and unmarked hiking trails, a picnic area with tables, a playground, a restaurant, a gift shop, and restrooms. Daily parking costs $8. The Montauk Point Lighthouse, a museum run by the Montauk Historical Society, is open to the public daily in season.
Navy Road Park
Located at the western end of Fort Pond Bay near Rocky Point; the park has a parking lot, a deep water dock suitable for fishing, and a rocky beach. Offers easy access to trails in Hither Woods Preserve. Good place for launching kayaks and canoes, and many take their dogs to play. Open year round.
Shadmoor State Park
Located two miles east of the Village on Montauk Highway, this 99-acre tract of land has a half mile of ocean frontage where tall clay cliffs plunge down to a pebble strewn beach. If you are coming by car, park in the parking lot at the entrance to the park. About 30 percent of Shadmoor is freshwater wetlands with several small ponds hidden in the thickets. Trails and dirt roads lead to the bluffs from the entrance on Montauk Highway, offering an easy, though sometimes muddy, walk. A passive-use park, Shadmoor was home to two WWII gun emplacements sites trained on offshore waters to deter German submarines off Long Island's east end.
Montauk County Park
Two entrances: one at the end of East Lake Drive just north of the airport, where the park office is located, and the other at Third House, three miles east of the Village on Montauk Highway. A total of 1,126 acres features three and a half miles of nature trails suitable for hiking (a self-guided nature trail brochure available), five miles of bridle paths, a picnic area, freshwater fishing and canoeing at Big Reed Pond, surfcasting on the outer beach, and hunting in the winter, in season. Camping permitted for up to seven days from April through November on the outer beach for four wheel drive vehicles that are self-contained camping trailers. Buy a Green Key Card at any County Park, and then purchase a Suffolk County Camping Permit for outer beach access. Tents not allowed.
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. To get to the dunes, head west on Montauk Highway and turn right at Napeague Harbor Road, by the Hither Hills Racquet Club. Continue over the railroad tracks straight to the end of the paved road. Park your car here and take off on foot following the path to your right. Continue on this path and you will reach the dunes.
Montauk, a nature lover’s paradise, has preserved over 60% of its land for parks. Crossing these parks is an extensive marked trail system.
Amsterdam Beach Preserve Trail
This 200-acre Amsterdam Beach Preserve has a trail head on Montauk Highway. The approximately 1 mile hike to the ocean bluffs takes you through holly arbors and across streams. The hilly trail affords peeks of the ocean through the brambles. The trail ends at the ocean and takes you to either the beach or the bluffs. This easy-to-navigate trail offers spectacular views of pristine beaches and cliffs.
Culloden Point Trail
Two miles past the Village on Flamingo Avenue you will find the trailhead on the left side of the road next to a small plaque commemorating the shipwreck of the HMS Culloden, which ran aground during a storm on January 24, 1781. The ship, stripped of valuables and burned, was discovered in the 1970’s and is now Long Island’s only underwater park. The marked trail from the parking area to Culloden Point is less than a mile through lots of rises and dips in the land and through forests and past streams and ponds. Attractions: Views of the bluffs at Culloden Point
Hither Hills State Park
Hither Woods Preserve
Lee Koppelman Nature Preserve
These adjacent multi–use parks contain 3,000 acres with 18 different trails covering over 40 miles of terrain. Hither Woods West has over 3,000 acres of woods and sandy beaches. Bike or hike to Fresh Pond, or take a beautiful coastal walk at Rocky Point; these loops are suitable for both walking and mountain biking. Here, trails, roads, and places retain their old colorful names. Even though the trails are blazed with color-coded markers, hikers should take maps. Park at either the overlook at Hither Woods, the recycling center (three miles west of the Village on Montauk Highway), or at the Navy Road Park parking lot. Take one of the free maps located in kiosks at these locations. The Montauk Bike Shop in the Village arranges group and corporate tours, rents mountain bikes, and gives advice. Attractions: Fresh Pond; trails skirting Block Island Sound; Napeague beach; and dunes
Montauk Point State Park
Camp Hero State Park
Look for the several hiking trails that cross these three interconnected parks. Park your car on Camp Hero Road (a right turn four miles east of the Village, not to be confused with the entrance to Camp Hero Park) for hiking trails to the north of Montauk Highway, Money Pond Trail, Oyster Pond trail, and the Seal Haul Out Trail, where seals can be seen on the rocks just offshore from December through April. These scenic trails are approximately one mile from the beach, and well worth the hike. Also, park here for Point Woods Trail, one of Montauk’s most beautiful trails, taking you south of the Montauk Highway, all the way to the bluffs. Park at Camp Hero Park (just west of the lighthouse) for trails and roads through Camp Hero, a decommissioned military installation converted to a state park in 2002, and a National Historic Site (also the home of conspiracy theories linked to the Philadelphia project). Trail maps available at the entrance to Camp Hero State Park. The unique maritime forest at Camp Hero has seen little recent disturbance from people and the high bluffs that face the Atlantic Ocean protect the trees and shrubs from being stunted by the salt-laden winds. Few places on Long Island have such large and mature bushes and trees. A paved road running south to the Atlantic bluffs offer a dramatic view of the Ocean. Attractions: Military buildings; wide, paved roads; beautiful maritime forests; great ocean views.
Shadmoor State Park
Ninety-nine acre Shadmoor State Park, located one-quarter-mile east of Montauk Village, features more than 2,400 feet of ocean beach. The park, named for its open, rolling geography and the shadbush that grows there, has bluffs, freshwater wetlands that are part of the preserve, and hiking trails. A good hike for the whole family. Attractions: See great dramatic vistas of Montauk shoreline, sea and rolling waves.
Montauk County Park
This 1,100 acre park has a trail system restricted for hikers. Look for the County Park sign on East Lake Drive near Big and Little Reed Pond and park in the parking lot. A three loop trail is marked and color coded, a blue (0.9 miles), a green (0.5 miles), and a brown (1.3 miles) loop, with maps displayed on kiosks throughout the trail system. The view of Big Reed Pond from the observation deck on the blue trail, will make you understand why Big Reed Pond is a Registered Natural Landmark. Attractions: Big Reed Pond; clear burbling brooks; fern-lined trails; and beautiful autumn colors.
A self-guided nature trail about 5 miles west of Montauk Village at the end of Napeague Harbor Road. To get there, make a right turn from Montauk Highway north onto Napeague Harbor Road, just past Cyril's, travel about 1.5 miles and park near the end of the road on the shoulder. The dunes are called walking dunes because strong prevailing Walking Duneswinter winds cause them to move in a SE direction by about three and a half feet each year. The mile-long loop-trail affords a great view of Napeague Harbor and winds atop the ridge of the North Dune, which is the most active of the three parabolic, or U-shaped dunes. Follow the arrows and look for the trail markers. This area is a natural wonder and deceptively fragile so stay on the trails. Attractions: 80-foot high sand dunes, water birds, and views of Napeague Harbor.
The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society
Conducts guided hikes year round of Montauk’s trails. Go to their web site for hike schedules, usually held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Concerned Citizens of Montauk
Offer free hikes guided by naturalists and other outdoor activities throughout the year. Drop by their new office at 6 South Elmwood Avenue in the Village for advice or maps. It's your walk-in resource to everything outdoors.
Ticks are a real menace but you can protect yourself from them. With a few simple precautions, hikers and walkers can enjoy walks through our beautiful woodlands. Experts recommend that you stay on the trails, wear light colors, make sure you are well covered, and use an insect repellent before setting off, as well as taking one with you. Ticks tend to congregate on tall grasses, so avoid walking through these areas. After your walk or bike, check the family for ticks.