Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Row Your Boat

If you like to kayak, there are many great kayaking spots on Long Island. Depending upon the route (and your mood), the trip can be a couple of hours or an entire day. Today we're going to tell you about an approximately two-hour scenic trip. Keep in mind it could be longer if the current is strong or you can't resist stopping at a secluded beach area to enjoy the wildlife, lay out in the sun or swim.

Begin at Gold Star Battalion Beach in Huntington. If you haven't got a green pass or town sticker, you'll need to pay. We think the fee is between $5.00 and $10.00, but contact the beach at 631-261-7574. Goldstar is a great starting point because there is plenty of room to unload the kayak and park the car in the fairly large lot. 

Once in the water, paddle north, toward the channel. Take a quick break at the mouth of the channel to check out the ruins of the old lighthouse (you'll also see the newer lighthouse across the harbor). Staying on the west side of the shore, continue north and pass the interesting homes along the way. Also be sure to look for the osprey nest at the top of the channel marker. If you're there on the right day, you also may see a World War II plane flying overhead.  In the water, check out the horseshoe crabs, waterfowl and jellyfish. The scenery is beautiful and can be distracting so also be mindful of the rocks on this side of the channel. They're fairly obvious, especially when the tide is low, but it's important to be aware of them, particularly if the current is strong.

Head past the rocks to approach the more open water of the Long Island Sound. While staying along the west side of the shore, continue north and eventually come to Target Rock's half-mile rocky beach. Target Rock National Wildlife Refuge is an 80-acre park containing several ponds and an oak-hickory forest. A variety of songbirds, ducks, fish, reptiles and mammals call this area home. The piping plover forages here and an occasional harbor seal may be seen at the right time of year (between January and the end of April).

When you're ready to head back to Goldstar Battalion Beach, you may decide to paddle around the renovated Huntington Lighthouse before heading into the channel. If you're too tired, you can always come back again. Boat tours of the lighthouse are provided by the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, the non-profit group that restored the lighthouse. 


1 comment:

cosi said...

I have done some kayaking in Huntington Bay and it is a great place to have a relaxing day on the water. The water is usually calm and it is well protected. In fact you will see a lot of fellow kayakers and Canoeists along the way. Get out there and enjoy!