I recently blogged about our spectacular Ocean Beaches, but don’t spend all your time on the ocean. Our bay and harbor beaches are remarkable, too!
The water is calmer (good for swimming and paddling) and warmer (especially nice in the early summer when the ocean is still icy) and, somehow, it doesn’t make you feel so small …
Most of the Bay and Harbor Beaches require a Town Beach Permit for parking (which we are happy to supply to our guests). Permits are also required for driving on the beach and shell fishing (though we recommend stopping at Stuart’s Seafood Market instead — they will even pack your “catch” in ice for your trip home).
Let’s get started!
Starting your exploration from the northwest corner of East Hampton and continuing east, your first stop would be Northwest Harbor at the end of Northwest Landing Road.
The sandy trail from the right corner of the parking lot takes you to a seldom-visited beach, excellent for collecting shells and wading. It is fairly shallow, so you have to wade out pretty far to swim, but it’s worth the effort if you like to swim long laps.
Cedar Point County Park
Continue east to Cedar Point County Park and hike out to the lighthouse.
If you don’t want to pay for access to the Suffolk County Park you can park your car at the end of Alewife Brook Road and launch your kayak from there to explore Cedar Point or Alewife Pond.
Sammy’s Beach Nature Preserve
The 116-acre Sammy’s Beach Nature Preserve, at the mouth of Three Mile Harbor, is accessible by foot from the parking lot at the end of Sammy’s Beach Road, or with an East Hampton Town Beach Driving Permit.
When the Snappers (young Blue Fish) are biting (and they will bite almost anything!) this is a favorite fishing spot for snapper devotees of all ages. Across the harbor is Maidstone Beach, which offers a great vantage point for watching the boats coming & going, and of Orient Point across Gardiner’s Bay.
Springs to Acabonac
In Springs, drive out Springs Fireplace Road past the Pollack-Krasner Museum and out Gerard Drive to the end, between Acabonac Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay. The harbor is amazingly peaceful, dotted with small islands, Osprey nests on high platforms, and clammers in rubber waders with clam rakes and floating baskets. Across the bay you have great views of Gardiner’s Island (more about that in a future blog!) Look for the white windmill.
On the opposite side of the Acabonac gut is Louse Point, a favorite for families with young children as the inside beach is particularly calm and shallow. This is also a great spot to launch your kayak or canoe to explore the harbor.
South to Napeague Bay
Continue south on Old Stone Road to Albert’s Landing Road. The Napeague Bay beach at Albert’s Landing has a lifeguard so it is very popular with families. For even more seclusion, detour to the rarely visited Little Albert’s Landing — my personal favorite swimming beach. It is just about one mile from jetty to jetty and the water is just deep enough to swim vigorously, but not too deep to be worrisome. Great for picnicking, too.
Most of the roads going east off Old Stone Road end in a beach (dog friendly). There is a ballpark and picnic area at the end of Fresh Pond Road, and the Devon Yacht Club is at the end of Abrahams Landing Road – stake out your spot early to watch the July 4th fireworks.
Then take Cranberry Hole Road east to Lazy Point on Napeague Harbor, a favorite spot for windsurfing (just as much fun to watch as to try). Continue east, rejoin the highway for a short stretch and take a left at the tennis club onto Napeague Harbor Road.
Park at the end and hike out along the beach. It’s worth the effort to make it all the way out to the point between Napeague Harbor and the bay — when the tide is going in or out you can jump in for a wild “water chute” ride! And, on the bay side, this is the very best beach for collecting seashells.
Hike up to the Walking Dunes on the east side of Napeague Harbor. Strong winds cause the dunes to move; as they “walk” they bury the scrub pine trees in their way. You can see the tops of trees that are slowly being covered by sand.
It’s worth getting sand in your shoes climbing to the top for 360º water views. Imagine yourself as Rudolph Valentino in the silent film “The Sheik” which was shot here in 1922 (before Thomas Edison’s goons chased the film industry out west to California). And, in early fall, the scrub brush is filled with Monarch Butterflies migrating through … Bring your camera.
From the Walking Dunes, explore the trails through Hither Hills State Park and discover the hidden Fresh Pond, separated from the salt water by a thin line of scrub pines and a shell-covered bay beach. A perfect place to wash off the salt and sand before coming home to the Mill House Inn!
If you need help making your bay and harbor beach plans, just ask us. We’re happy to share our favorite spots! Call or email us today.