Something that has really bothered me, in this time of COVID-19, was that we could not offer our dog guests (and their people) a beach parking permit for the East Hampton Town Beaches, which tend to be dog-friendly all day.
We do have permits for the East Hampton Village Beaches, which are generally the most popular beaches, but they only allow dogs before 9 am and after 6 pm.
What is a good dog supposed to do during the day?
East Hampton Town took the approach of limiting access to ‘residents only’ to deal with the prospect of overcrowding during the Pandemic – which is commendable – but what about people with dogs? You can’t leave them in your Suite alone – they tend to get lonely… and summer time is beach time for everyone!
So I thought… What about the Suffolk County Parks? So I took a drive… and a hike… and here is what I discovered:
Suffolk County’s Northwest Harbor park is not far (5.1 miles) from the Mill House Inn. No Parking Permits are required. And dogs are welcome – on leashes. (Maybe you can let them off the leash when they are in the water with you – but don’t tell anyone I said so… and do clean up after them – please!)
Here we go – for a fine dog day afternoon adventure:
- Turn left out of the Mill House Inn driveway
- At the second light, take another left onto Cedar Street
- At the end of Cedar Street, bear right onto Old Northwest Road
- Merge right onto Northwest Landing Road and stay right to the end
- No permit necessary to park!
To the right of the parking lot, which looks out across the harbor, there is a sandy road. Take your shoes off and enjoy the sand between your toes. Veer off to the left to the harbor beach or hike a bit further to the bay. You and your dog can explore all you want, just stay away from the ‘Tern Nesting’ areas which are cordoned off.
Once you reach the beach there are so many options:
Straight ahead is great wading, splashing, and swimming for dogs and children and grown-ups alike…
To the right will take you towards Cedar Point (another County Park, where parking is limited to ‘Residents Only’ – but you aren’t parking there – and you would have to swim or kayak across the Alewife Brook to get into the park and out to the Lighthouse).
To the left will take you back to the inlet of Northwest Harbor, and back to your car.
And you can launch your paddleboards or kayaks without a boat permit. Does your dog know how to paddleboard?