Southampton Trails Preservation Society
SOUTHAMPTON TRAILS PRESERVATION SOCIETY
We Are A 501(C)(3) Not For Profit

P.O. Box 1171
Bridgehampton, NY 11932

info@southamptontrails.org
by Ken Kindler
Seal Haulout Trail, Montauk









The Seal Haulout Trail is a popular trail because it’s easy to follow and it takes you to a lovely
destination in a reasonable amount of time. The maritime woods surrounding it are beautiful and
filled with wildlife.  
  • The entrance to this trail is on the shoulder of Montauk Highway, past Teddy Roosevelt
    Park, and the Montauk Point East Overlook (also known as the Oyster Pond Overlook).  It is
    on the north side of the road, and the shoulder there is wide enough to accommodate
    parking.  
  • As you enter Montauk though, there is a sign admonishing drivers that it is illegal to park
    on the shoulder of the Highway as well as a DEC sign by the trail entrance that says
    “Parking Only With Permit.”  
  • No sign designates this as a trailhead parking area.
  • Continue a short distance to Camp Hero Road, turn right and park by the entrance of the
    Point Woods Trail.  
  • At the opening of the path is a trail marker that is almost obscured by the lush foliage of the
    Norway maple to which it is nailed.  There is also a sign a few feet beyond the entrance to
    the Point Woods Trail that reads “No Parking Service Access Only.”  

In late winter and spring harbor seals frequent the rocky shoreline east of Oyster Pond.  They
haul themselves out of the water onto these rocks to sunbathe.  NYS Parks and the trails groups
lead seal walks from November through April to an area where you can view these  pinnepeds.  
These woods are remarkably beautiful during the summer and a paradise for a camera buff after
a snowfall.  During summer there are cormorants, seagulls, and terns perching on the rocks.

You can proceed in a northeasterly direction along the Block Island Sound shoreline walking
towards Oyster Pond.  There is a walkway down through the bluffs from the viewing area.  
Beach fence is used to keep it selectively accessible to pedestrians, and to keep motor vehicles
out.  After a mile walk along a rocky coastline, there is an opening in the bluffs dividing the Pond
from the Sound.

About one half-mile there is a cleft in the bluffs that appears to be an entrance to a horse trail.
This is where East Oyster Pond Road opens to Block Island Sound. The trail becomes a bit
marshy, but the tread isn’t badly churned up and the low spots have been built up with wood
chips.  After walking a while you reach an intersection of trails.  As is the case with many trail
intersections in the Montauk area there were several very helpful arrow signs placed here by
NYS Parks.  One of them said “Paumanok Path West.” Since I knew I wanted to follow theTo
return to the start, follow the Paumanok Path east. Walk in the opposite direction from where the
arrow points.  Walk back past the beginning of the Seal Haulout Trail, over Montauk Highway,
and back along the Point Woods Trail to your car.