Updated: Jun 17, 2020
One of the Hamptons gems to retreat too is Trout Pond. This park is conveniently located right off one of the main roads in the Hamptons, Nock Road and just a couple miles aways from the Elizabeth Morton Wildlife Refuge in one direction and the Foster Memorial Town Beach in the other.
Historically, it is one two native encampments, the English called Weecatucks and Noyacs, inhabited the area. They lived near a stream that came to be called the Noyac River.
Noyac and Weecatuck were Algonquin words indicating the place, not people; Noyac meaning “a point of land”, Weecatuck “edge of woods”. These people were Manhansets, one of the thirteen tribes of Long Island. The Manhanset’s tribal lands were Shelter, Ram,
English settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts, founded Southampton in 1640. They did not spread into the land they called Noyac until 1679. In 1690 John Parker built the first mill on the Noyac River. For the next 200 years there were mills on the site. The mill dam is still used as part of the trail system at Trout Pond Park.
In the 19th century the mill was owned by a Thomas Eldridge. He built a large house for his family of 10 children, its foundation can still be seen off Rugg’s Path. The family also ran a boarding house to supplement their income. Henry Chadwick, a sports writer from Brooklyn,
and a frequent guest, bought the mill and property from Eldridge in 1875. Chadwick was no ordinary sports writer. He is one of the few members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, who never played or coached the game. The National League called him the Father of Baseball. He was the “inventor” of the box score which has allowed consistent statistical analysis of baseball.
--> Photos courtesy of BASEBALLHALL.ORG
Taking advantage of the expansion of the Long Island Railroad to Sag Harbor, G.W.Thompson built a large rooming house just south of the Mill Pond, catering to the carriage trade from the city. He raised trout to stock the Pond, which forever changed its name to "Trout Pond." Hiking trails, fishing and other family recreation were provided. This “resort” was called the Oak Grove Inn.
Today the land surrounding the old Mill Pond is a 50 acre town park. Since the great fire of 1944, a beautiful forest has grown around the pond. The hiking trails, maintained and blazed by the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, provide a serene respite for all who are looking for refuge and peace and also being close to the beach. The nearest beach is the famous Long Beach of the Hamptons, more formerly, Foster Memorial Beach.
Another interesting fact I found was the legend of The Snapper - there are tales told of two young girls who disappeared after going for a swim naked in the pond at night while camping with other teens. Their bodies were never found and the rumor has it that a legendary 150-pound snapping turtle named "The Snapper" would have killed them. Who knows!
All you really need to know is that the Trout Pond trails are fabulous and makes you lose track of time. Just bring your swimsuit, your insect repellent, water, snacks and enjoy the experience of Trout Pond!
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