Walk, Hike and Explore on Beautiful North Fork Trails

Hiking Trail Marker at Lake Superior Provincial Park
Photo: iStock

The North Fork is filled with wineries, farm stands and outdoor beauty. You can experience some of that beauty on one of the many trails sprinkled throughout the area, from Laurel to Orient. Here are some lovely trails for walking, hiking and exploring on the North Fork.

Laurel Lake Preserve, not far from the welcoming Laurel Lake Vineyard, is home to a 70-foot-deep kettle hole with a diverse fish population of bass, pickerel and perch. Along the looping 2-mile trail are cedar, oak, dogwood and laurel trees. There’s also a man-made irrigation pond containing frogs, toads, turtles and fish. The trail itself has diamond-shaped plastic blazes to help you along. Laurel Lake Preserve is located at 5145 Route 25, Laurel.

Mill Road Preserve in Mattituck is a 27-acre parcel located south of the Old Mill Inn. There are two main trails that wind through about 9 acres of shrub and grassland and 18 acres of woodland. Mill Road Preserve is located at 1900 West Mill Road, Mattituck.

Downs Farm Preserve in Cutchogue is a 51-acre parcel that contains Native American Fort Corchaug, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s a mile of trails that adjoin farmlands and tidal wetlands of Downs Creek. Downs Farm Preserve is located at 23800 Route 25, Cutchogue.

Goldsmith Inlet County Park in Peconic has a half-mile trail that crosses a small footbridge over a tidal pond and has a gorgeous view of the Long Island Sound. The trail descends to an open beach. Wildlife includes ospreys, shorebirds and winter waterfowl. The mouth of Goldsmith Inlet is a well-known fishing spot. Goldsmith Inlet County Park is located at 1585 Soundview Avenue, Peconic.

Cedar Beach County Park in Southold offers beautiful vistas of Shelter Island and Cedar Beach Harbor. The park is 68 acres and contains over 2,800 feet on the Shelter Island Sound. Cedar Beach County Park is located at 3690 Cedar Beach Road, Southold.

Arshamomaque Pond Preserve in Southold has several trails to follow. Along the way, you’ll cross over Long Island Railroad tracks, be able to watch Osprey as they fly over Arshamomaque Pond, see ferns and vernal ponds and more. Arshamomaque Pond Preserve is located at 63445 Route 25, Southold.

Arshamomaque Preserve in Southold is a 120-acre preserve. There are 1.3 miles of trails that will take you through mature woodlands, wetlands and open fields. Arshamomaque Preserve is located at 1105 Chapel Lane, Greenport.

Inlet Pond County Park in Greenport is a 55-acre preserve with 1.6 miles of trails. The North Fork Audubon Society has programs here. Inlet Pond County Park is located at 65275 Route 48, Greenport.

Dam Pond Maritime Reserve in East Marion is a 36-acre reserve. There’s a protected bay, scrubland, grasslands, tidal flats and woodlands. There’s also a 1.2-mile trail that goes through the preserve.  Dam Pond Maritime Reserve is located at 11855 Route 48, East Marion.

Orient Beach State Park in Orient has a maritime forest with red cedar, blackjack oak trees and prickly pear cactus. Visitors can hike or ride their bicycles through the nature trail there. Orient Beach State Park is located at 40000 Route 25, Orient.

Orient Point County Park in Orient has a half-mile hiking trail for bird watching, surfcasting and views of the Long Island Sound. Orient Point County Park is located at 41425 Route 25, Orient.

Shelter Island’s Mashomack Preserve is a natural area edged in white by 10 miles of coastline. Experience magnificent scenic beauty in its almost 2,100 acres of tidal creeks, woodlands, fields and salt marshes—the breeding ground and nursery for the smallest links in the marine chain of life. The Pine Swamp complex at the western edge of the Preserve has been designated a freshwater wetland of unique local importance by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Located at 79 South Ferry Road.

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