KDHamptons Fitness: Hike the Hoodoos at Shadmoor State Park In Montauk

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Hiking in the Hamptons is more of a hobby for full-time residents than the summer masses. In fact, we wouldn’t want it any other way. On most of my favorite trails, I am usually hiking alone peacefully, except for the sound of birds, the waves crashing, crickets chirping and creatures you can’t see rustling the bushes. Ninety-nine acre Shadmoor State Park, located east of Montauk Village, is one of my favorite Hamptons hiking trails, especially in the early spring.

Shadmoor State Park features more than 2,400 feet of ocean beach. Named for its open, rolling geography and the shadbush that grows there, the park boasts beautiful bluffs, freshwater wetlands, a few hiking trails and elevated platforms for birdwatchers, photographers, nature lovers, — KDHamptons hears the old bunker at Shadmoor is the secret party spot for Montauk teens at night.  SHH! Don’t tell their parents.

The park’s foliage includes black cherry trees and clusters of the rare and federally-endangered sand plain gerardia plant. Of historical note, two concrete bunkers, erected during World War II and once equipped with artillery guns to protect the coast from enemy invasion, remain on the property. Shadmoor does not charge for parking, and my favorite time to hike the trail is in the late afternoon to snap some great sunset photos over Ditch Plains beach where you will always find a surfing crew of locals paddling after waves.

Shadmoor is legendary because of the craggly “hoodoos” that line the edge of the trail cliff. Never heard of a hoodoo? Typically found in the west, it’s a name for eroded sandstone and limestone formations, creating dramatic and treacherous looking shapes. Legend has it that the term is an alternate take on the word voodoo and may have African origins. Montauk’s  hoodoo formations continually erode, shift, and reshape so you will never have the same view twice on this hike.

Climb down one of the hoodoos [carefully!] and finish your hike along the surf heading towards Ditch Plains beach.Do you really need anything else? The perfect beach cottage perched on the dunes at Ditch.

** For more information please go to: Shadmoor State Park

Hours of Operation: Park hours and facility operations are subject to change. Patrons are encouraged to contact the park directly to confirm operating hours before traveling. See more http://www.nysparks.com/parks/16/hours-of-operation.aspx#sthash.7Kzrybei.dpuf“>HERE

Location: 900 Montauk Highway, Montauk