Nothing beats the outdoors in the Hamptons. After a few days at the beach, how about a hike along one of the East End’s beautiful trails? Throw on your sneakers, sunglasses, sunscreen and bug spray, pack some trail mix and water, and you’re ready to go. There are numerous trails to choose from, but to make decisions easier, here are a few local favorites. For more, check out southamptontrails.org, ehtps.org, montauktrails.com, the Parks Department at suffolkcountyny.gov, or pick up your very own copy of Mike Bottini’s The Trail Guide to the South Fork.
Sears Bellows County Park
Within the Long Island Pine Barrens, this trail system attracts hikers, horseback riders and bikers. Rowboat rentals and campsites are also available. Freshwater fishing is permitted too. Bellows Pond Road, Hampton Bays
Cranberry Bog Preserve
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the wetlands of eastern Long Island were cultivated as cranberry bogs. At one time Suffolk County was the third-largest producer of cranberries in the U.S. with 390 acres. Take a walk on the trail around Sweezy Pond, where you’ll see remains of a pump house from the days of the cranberry business and sights of Little Peconic River. Riverhead Moriches Road, Riverhead
Emma Rose Elliston Park
This bird and wildlife sanctuary on the shore of Big Fresh Pond offers a short hiking trail through native trees. Parking at Elliston Park is for Southampton Town residents only. Nonresidents can travel down Millstone Brook Road to the Scott’s Road intersection and park there. You’ll see the entrance to Wolf Swamp, another loop trail connected to more challenging trails. 40 Millstone Brook Road, Southampton