North Fork Long Island Winter Beach Adventures

December 29, 2012 by Wilfred Joseph

While the beaches of Long Island are certainly busier during the summer months, much activity still takes place along our coastline during the winter. Here are some fascinating activities taking place along the water’s edge this January:

The Storm Beach on Fire Island

On Saturday January 12th, at 1 p.m. learn about how recent Hurricane Sandy affected Fire Island. Sandy significantly transformed the landscape of Fire Island. Join this short outdoor program to compare the new landscape to what you may remember. Learn how the island has changed & how the park is responding to the challenges of a dynamic landscape. Dress for the weather & walking on sand. Rain/Snow Date: Sunday, January 13th.

Seal Walks at Montauk Point State Park

Winter on the North Fork of Long Island
Seal Viewing at Montauk Point State Park

Join Mike Bottini on a 3 mile round trip hike to view seals and learn about their habits, behavior, and population trends here on Long Island. Dress warm and wear comfortable hiking shoes; the tour takes place outdoors for about 2.5 hours. Binoculars are recommended but not necessary. Mike will bring a spotting scope that everyone will get a chance to use. This program is sponsored by New York State Parks, and is scheduled to coincide with low tide, when seals are most likely to be basking on the rocks. Reservations need to be made in advance, call 631-668-5000 for booking and additional information. Hikers meet at the Montauk Point concession area. The tour has a $5 per person fee ($3 for children) plus a $6 vehicle parking fee. Tours are every Saturday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., depending on the tide.

Seals on Long Island

Seals belonging to the Pinniped family (meaning “feather footed” or “winged”) visit the North Fork of Long Island. They are sometimes thought of as “true seals” because they lack external earflaps and have torpedo shaped bodies for fast swimming. They have long, sharp claws to help them dig into the ice while climbing out of the water or onto the beach and their hind flippers are webbed and pointed backwards to help them swim.