Where: Pine Trial Nature Preserve: Ridge, NY
What: Hike (Trail, Unpaved)
Snacks: Waterdrinker Farms: Manorville, NY
Pine Trail is neat and vast. The entrance is on 25 and if you blink you’ll miss it. The trailhead is just west of Misfit Tavern on the same side of the road. Look for green hiker signs and a sizable dirt lot.
Pine Trail doesn’t make a loop but if you’re feeling up to the challenge you can take it to Manorville, into Rocky Point or to the Brookhaven Trail. Further, part of the Pine Barrens Trail and the Paumanok Path cut through here. Don’t trespass onto Brookhaven Lab! Fences will tell you when you’ve found it. Yes, even if the fence isn’t locked. Yes, I know it is tempting.
When I come here, I make my own short out and back in an attempt to mitigate the expanse of the trail network. Typically, I hug left, following the white blazes and walk to the trail sign for the Brookhaven Trail and turn back. It takes about an hour. I have yet to explore the other options. So much trail. So little time.
There isn’t much to see here, unfortunately, the trail hugs a residential area in some places and you end up under power lines in another. Dogs bark at you, people in their backyards stare at you like they forget that their house backs up to public land. The trail is very narrow in some places and the brush tickles at your ankles. Be sure to check for ticks once you exit.
The best part happens to be all of the local farm stands! The afternoon was spent at Finks, Lenny Bruno and Waterdrinker. Finks doesn’t let you into the U-Pick area if they have a field trip and Lenny Bruno is cash only. Pumpkins! Gourds! Purple cauliflower! Roast corn!
See you on the trails,