Montaukers and others traveling to see the Montauk Lighthouse in its Christmas finery might have noticed trucks and machinery at work near Deep Hollow Ranch, where state, county, and town employees, with the help of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, are opening up old trails and blazing new ones through the 200-acre Amsterdam Beach Preserve.
The large public preserve stretches from Montauk Highway to the ocean and from the Montauk Association houses on the west to the dirt Ranch Road at Deep Hollow.
The State Department of Parks is not only working on the preserve’s trails but is expected to complete a small parking area at Ranch Road’s intersection with Montauk Highway in January. In addition, the county plans to put up a kiosk for trail maps.
According to Scott Wilson, director of the town’s Department of Land Acquisition and Management, the trails should be ready by spring.
“The trails preservation group has had six or eight volunteers helping us. There had been one main trail that had grown over, over time. It has been rerouted out of wetlands. It now affords more views. It’s really half trail, half hike, with uphills and downhills and over small streams. This has been a long time coming. We’ve been planning it for about a year,” Mr. Wilson said yesterday.
The 200-acre preserve grew out of two land acquisitions. It was originally purchased by the state, Suffolk County, and the town, using money from the community preservation fund in 2005. In 2008, Dick Cavett, who lives in the Association area, donated an additional 122 acres.