Local environmental restoration organization Group for the East End is working with North Fork community members to clean up land that will be part of the Bay to Sound Trail System, a series of interconnected trails from Peconic Bay to the Long Island Sound.
The years-long effort to get the trail completed began with a 2011 approval. As the project moves into phases two and three, the organization completed beach and land cleanups in late April and early May — the first of which totaled 3040 pounds of trash including tires, piping, a washing machine, and other residential items. On both days, volunteers removed brush and trash, and cleared paths for hikers.
“Anticipated completion for phase two includes new trails, boardwalks observation towers, parking areas, and removal of an old house,” said John Sepenoski, a member of the Southold town’s land preservation committee. “Phase three will include removal of dilapidated buildings and a creation of a new trail in 2019,” he noted.
The group’s Jessica Kennelly and Aaron Virgin spearheaded the cleanups. The group was joined by local businesses and volunteers including Jason Peters of North Fork Pool Care and Ian Zuhoski of Motts Tree Service who brought machines, tools, and some of their staff to help with clearing the land.
The GEE was contracted by the Town of Southold to lead the volunteer effort to get the project started after it received a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to add to existing trails. The trail system is expected to measure approximately four miles and the goal is two-fold, aiming to connect preserved land while offering nature lovers an uninterrupted experience between the North Fork’s prized natural resources.
Some of the trails that will be part of the Bay to Sound Trail system have been in place for years, and some will be new additions to the North Fork. The trails are expected to begin at Sound Beach and Inlet Pond County Park and wind through Moore’s Woods and Silver Lake in Greenport. From there, those involved hope it will continue through Arshamomaque Preserve and Pipes Cove.