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The Barcelona Neck Preserve - #Top10HamptonsTrails

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

I wasn't panicked about the Coronavirus until I went to the grocery store and saw how offensively crazy and uncivilized people were behaving. Panicking won't help! Covid-19 will take its course and if you follow what the CDC encourages us to do to stay safe, we should be fine. But be aware that this is indeed a serious matter not to be taken at all lightly, and young people especially need to step up their game of playing mature if they don't want death on their conscience.

In the meantime, I have had to cancel my trip to Ireland and to satisfy my itch to travel, I decided to take short road trips into my backyard! The Hamptons is full of little spots off the beaten path that most people don't venture to because they just want to hang at the beach or in the comfort of their own backyard with pool.

So here is one of my top 5 most traveled paths: the BARCELONA NECK PRESERVE, also knows as the Linda Gronlund Memorial Nature Preserve.

Linda Gronlund was aboard the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania during the 9-11 attacks. The preserve was dedicated by New York State DEC, owners of the property on Saturday, September 11, 2004.

Consisting of more than 500 acres of coastal and pine barrens habitat, this unspoiled, wooded peninsula in the Peconic Bay is rimmed with sandy beach and encompasses Little Northwest Creek, a high-quality tidal wetland. The blue-blazed foot trail provides an easy 4 to 5 mile loop hike. Look for rare plants including bushy rockrose, marsh fimbry and beach knotweed. Diamond-back terrapin and Southern leopard frogs live here, along with white-tailed deer, red fox and a host of other native fauna. Be sure to climb one of several hills that provide scenic vistas.

There is a harbor view and huge beds of cinnamon fern nestled between upland forest and lowland swamps on the shoulder of Swamp Road, where it intersects with Edwards Hole Road and becomes East Side Road.

The Neck juts into Northwest Harbor and features seven miles of trails, some of which date back to the 1700s. Steeped in history, rich in ecological resources, and with scenic panorama atop 80-foot tall bluffs plus extensive tidal wetlands and wooded swamps, this preserve is a wonderful place to explore.  Forest species such as tupelo, sweet pepperbush, chokeberry, and swamp azalea abound.

The preserve was once known as Russell's Neck after an early settler of that name. To get there you drive through the Sag Harbor Golf Curse and right along the road to the right, you will see a small cemetery lot. This tiny plot of bygone settlers marks the resting place of the Russell family members.

More historical reminders... Along the path as you go in, you'll see ruins of a cabin just about 50 yards from the path. Those are the ruins of the Connor Family House, built in the 1920s, which are a reminder of a time before the area became a preserve.

The property is located on Route 114, five miles north of Main Street (Route 27/Montauk Highway) in East Hampton and two miles south of Main Street in Sag Harbor. Parking is conveniently located in the Sag Harbor Golf Club lot located within the preserve.

Enjoy the video below and if you ever find yourself venturing out here on the East End of Long Island, NY, make sure you walk this trail!

The trails are marked as "Dirt Road" (dashed lines)


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