|Fire Island National Seashore|
Fire Island National Seashore’s 22 miles of barrier beach annually provides millions of visitors quality recreational experiences. Besides the more easily accessed sites described here, private boats or passenger ferries enable visits to Sailors Haven from Sayville and Watch Hill from Patchogue. ...
Montauk Point State Park
|Description: While visiting famous Montauk Lighthouse, stand on the surrounding bluffs
to get a dramatic view of land’s end and the Atlantic Ocean at this park, which
encompasses much of the eastern tip of Long Island. The view is unique because,
when the water is calm, visitors can clearly see the “race” of converging tides
from the Atlantic and Block Island Sound.|
Scrub, dense stands of trees and wetland ponds provide shelter for a variety
of birds and mammals. Surprisingly, several types of high-altitude mosses and
lichens normally associated with northern mountains thrive in the uplands. As
you climb down from the bluffs, the terrain quickly changes to sand and rockstrewn
beach, pounded by relentless ocean surf.
Because Montauk is at the end of Long Island, which thrusts more than 100
miles into the Atlantic, it is world renowned as a launching site for deep sea fishing
and whale watching expeditions. Exciting marine creatures of the deep, from
whales and sharks to large sea turtles, are encountered only a short boat trip
away from Montauk Point.
Wildlife to Watch: From bluffs and beach, watch a variety of seabirds gliding on ocean breezes
or floating on the waves offshore. In winter, these include harlequin ducks,
eiders, red-breasted mergansers, surf and black scoters, gulls, terns and razorbills,
as well as pelagic birds that occasionally fly in from the open ocean. During spring and fall, watch for myriad shorebirds that scamper along the
sand, rushing in and out with the passing of each wave.
Harbor seals regularly haul themselves out to rest on rocks a short distance
from the beach. During marine migratory periods, you’ll often see pods of
playful white-sided, common and bottlenose dolphins gorging on small fish
that congregate in massive numbers at certain times of the year. Humpback,
pilot and minke whales also take advantage of these schooling periods to
occasionally feast within sight of the beach. From late spring through summer,
whale-watch boats in nearby Montauk take the adventurous out to see finback,
sperm and right whales; blue, mako, thresher, great white, hammerhead
and basking sharks; ocean sunfish, bluefin tuna and leatherback sea turtles.
The park’s forests hold a good variety of songbirds. White-tailed deer and
cottontail rabbits are often encountered, and seasonal game hunting is allowed
for both species. Raccoons, red foxes and weasels also call the woods home.
Eastern box turtles appear on the trails as they lumber around searching for
places to dig nests and lay their eggs.
Special Tips: 631-668-3781, 2000 Montauk Hwy., Montauk, NY 11954,
Other Activities: Five miles of trails offer hiking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.
Observation blinds at some locations provide perfect places for wildlife
Ownership: NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Size: 724 acres
Closest Town: Montauk
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: