Southampton Trails Preservation Society
|Edge of Woods Road to Barrel Hill and the Paumanok Path
Generously Contributed by Ken Kindler
In North Sea, there is access to the top of Barrel Hill and then on to the Paumanok Path (PP) from
Edge of Woods Road. The directions to this Trailhead are as follows: heading east on CR 39, turn
left on North Sea Road; at the intersection with the Gulf and Mobile gas stations, and 7-11;
immediately bear right onto Majors Path, continue past the North Sea Mecox Road intersection;
after 1.4 miles turn right onto Edge Of Woods Road, pass the Long Springs Road intersection on
the right; after 0.9 miles just before where the power lines pass overhead, you will see the
Trailhead on the left side of the road.
A metal Southampton Town Trail marker designates the Trailhead (missing as of May 2008); the
trail is blazed with yellow owl plastic markers. On the right side of the road, there is room for two
cars to park on the shoulder. There is no sign indicating that this is a trail parking area and there
are no hiker signs cautioning approaching drivers that this is a trail access area.
Heading north, the trail traverses a narrow corridor with a driveway on the right and a house on
the left. The ground is scarred by construction equipment. There are piles of wood, large trimmed
branches have been dragged into the woods from the neighboring residences, and there are even
some beech trees that are partially excavated. After a short distance, the woods are no longer
disturbed and widen into a canopy with oak above and blueberry below. At the first trail
intersection the yellow owls continue on straight; Southampton Town has installed a hitching post
monument for Buzz Schwenk. The plaque reads: “Buzz's Bridle Path, dedicated to Edwin
"Buzz" Schwenk by the Southampton Town Board in recognition of his commitment to
Community Preservation. Spring 2007.”
Curiously, the nearby parking area is not large enough to accommodate a horse trailer; one
wonders about access to this trail if transporting a horse.
After a short distance, there is a "T" intersection; turn right to follow the yellow trail, continuing
north. Or, you can turn left and start following the blue owls to the Barrel Hill summit. If you have
followed the yellow owls after about three quarters of a mile you will have passed the summit of
Barrel Hill and rejoined the other end of the blue owl loop. The summit of Barrel Hill is a short
detour to the left following the blue owls from this intersection. At the top of Barrel Hill is a
geodetic survey marker dated 1932; you've reached the high altitude of 239 feet above sea level,
with winter views to Connecticut on a clear day.
Note as you go back down this north side of Barrel Hill you are adjacent to a county antenna and a
trail being used by illegal trail bikers. Rejoin the yellow owl trail turning left, North, through the
newest trail addition in this area. After winding through untouched woods the yellow trail crosses
a well-worn woods road and then arrives at the PP; Montauk Point to the right and Brookhaven’s
Rocky Point to the left. The PP blazes are white-painted rectangles. Turning left at this intersection
will take you adjacent to the Southampton Youth Services facility.
Turning left at this intersection can also take you to a Trailhead at the end of Wireless Way. Note
the Split Rock Sportsman's Association “No Trespassing” signs. This gun club has land
agreements with nearby owners, but if you stay on the PP, you are not trespassing. If you turn
right to follow the PP east, at the next “T” intersection the turn blaze has been painted over. This
is Split Rock "Road", a well established woods path that has been chopped up by vehicles.
Turn left and follow this straight sandy path north about one mile to the next turn blaze, where you
will find Split Rock. Split Rock, is a large glacial erratic. It’s a great place to sit and have lunch,
providing an excellent vantage point for watching the woods below. Unfortunately, the rock has
been defiled by spray paint and litter.
Continuing east, the PP can be followed across Great Hill Road, over a knob and kettle topography
with tantalizing glimpses (between houses) of the Peconic Bay with Nassau Point and Robins
Island in the distance. The PP continues to run almost straight north from here weaving its way
between backyards almost to Noyac Road. The trail is pushed north of the deepest, most crucial
ground water deposits by residential development.
In future generations, I’m sure that thirsty Long Islanders will not care so much that the PP must
run north here to go east, but they may wish that we could have better protected this area from
Despite the closeness of residential development, these trails offer a very pleasant escape into