For all the open land that you can drive by and see as you travel around the Hamptons, you can often feel a little hemmed in. Much of the open land you see is private or its provenance is not readily apparent. One way to get out and about on the land is to go visit a public park. At a minimum, you can stretch your legs and get some exercise by walking. Many of these places offer other things for you to do: horseback riding, swimming, boating, camping, playgrounds, and more are all available.
The list of places here are some of the larger areas. If you hunt around anyplace that you are staying you should be able to find other smaller parks and publicly accessible greenways. If you are renting a place, your landlord should be able to give you some information about where you to find the more hidden and oftentimes wonderful local natural areas you can visit.
Before heading out for a walk or other park related activity, you may want to keep a few things in mind. There are a lot of water bodies in the Hampton’s. With that comes lots of biting insects. Many a fine sunset or sunrise excursion has been less than spectacular because folks fail to prepare for what is often the busiest time of the day for biting insects. Consider covering up or bringing some repellent if you are going to be outdoors in any natural areas. Also bring some water if you are going for a hike. Especially during a hot summer day when you are sweating a lot, keeping yourself hydrated will go a long way in helping you to make sure your enjoy your outing.
Hither Hills State Park
About 4 miles west of Montauk.
This park provides ocean access, camping, and natural areas. With the facilities available (restrooms, showers, picnic areas, etc.) it serves as a nice public beach that anyone can visit. The park also has a large campground, ball fields, woodlands, and trails for hiking, biking and horse back riding.
Theodore Roosevelt County Park
About 3 miles east of Montauk village.
After fighting in the Spanish American War Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, along with 28,000 quarantined soldiers, spent time at Camp Wikoff in Montauk. The park includes a museum that includes memorabilia from the camp. There are also hiking and horse trails, a picnic area and camping for self-contained four wheel drive vehicles.
Montauk Downs State Park
Purely a place to play, as opposed to enjoying nature. There is a golf course, driving range, putting green, tennis courts and a pool. You can also enjoy lunch or dinner in their restaurant.
Shadmoor State Park
About 2.5 miles east of Montauk Village
A half mile of ocean front beach is the big attraction at this nice park. The geography is also of interest, as there are cliffs found along the shoreline along this portion of Long Island.
Sears Bellows County Park
This park is nestled within the Long Island Pine Barrens. There are opportunities for camping, hiking, horseback riding, renting rowboats and more.
Cedar Point County Park
This park overlooks and provides access to Gardiner’s Bay. There are group camping areas, boats, trails and picnic areas.