Montauk Point State Park

Montauk Point Lighthouse near the park
Photo by: theakshay, Creative Commons

Rounding off the long stretch of Long Island’s South Fork at the east is the village of Montauk. This small hamlet is home to some of the Empire State’s best beaches and state parks, a beautiful and relaxing respite from the hectic city life. From east to west, there are six popular state parks in Montauk: Hither Hills State Park, Shadmoor State Park, Montauk Downs State Park, Amsterdam Beach State Park, Camp Hero State Park, and finally Montauk Point State Park.

Montauk Point State Park is a heavily wooded tundra that offers beautiful views of the converging Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound tides during those rare moments when the waters are calm. The park is also home to wildlife creatures like raccoons, red fox, rabbits, white-tailed deer, weasels, and a lot more. Along the rocky coast are harbor seals that occasionally drop by to groom themselves on the shores of the beach. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities within the area such as daytime wildlife viewing, quiet picnics, hiking, and their specialty surf fishing.

Visitors will always find something to do in Montauk Point State Park, regardless of the season. There are a variety of nature trails that visitors can explore. Hikers can access the Paumanok Path which features Stephen Talkhouse Path, East Hampton’s Northwest Path, and the largest and last remaining wilderness area of Long Island, the Pine Barrens. During the winter season, visitors can indulge themselves in some cross-country skiing on the park’s trails.

Montauk Point State Park is also where you can find one of the island’s most recognizable landmarks, the Montauk Point Lighthouse. Commissioned by then-President George Washington in 1792, it is the first lighthouse to be constructed in the state of New York and is the fourth oldest lighthouse still in operation in the country.

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