Last Updated: 2/11/2022 Contributors: Mindy-B. and QP Field Trip
Overall Observations: It has much diversity, is hilly, and has a pristine maple swamp. The damage from the bulldozing done by SC Parks in April 2016 has recovered, except for the steep trail that still erodes. ATVs still use the area but not making new trails. The wetland we dubbed the second maple swamp is pristine. The gate to the Firehouse is locked. Public access is still an issue. Overall, its a diverse and beautiful location to explore.
Long Island Explorer Observations: The hillside uplands (grasses) are sparse, characteristic of prior brush fires and other disturbances. I've seen mountain laurel on the hillsides. We spotted a ventifact, with a sheared pointed ridge and smooth sides, transformed by the movement of ice and rock during the glacial period. The ventifact had been buried under glacial till (sediment deposited by the glacier). ALSO several years ago before a planned prescribed fire that never happened, the field of pitch pines trees had been mowed down. Pitch Pines resprouted, and are pitch pine saplings. A kettle hole was observed as well.
Freshwater Observations: A wam day in February; ice was present on the pond. We saw water boatman insects. The primary wetland is the maple swamp. Additional wetlands can be found, which makes for great exploring.
Trails & Maintenance Observations: Informal trails are used by ATV's and those on foot. These trails could tie into the Paumanok Path which leads eastward to Maple Swamp County Park and westward to the David Sarnoff Preserve. Boundary encroachment on SCWA and a "paper street." It's fully landscaped with a white fence, blocking off a footpath leading into Flanders County Park. But since there's no boundary signs, it's hard to tell what's public land, at this location and throughout. We found a trail leading south and around the SCWA property which allowed connection to a more open trail/unpaved road leading south, most like towards the Paumanok Path's intersection with this path/road.
Wildlife Observations: Some deer signs - tracks. Ticks are a real problem here during the warmer seasons is heavily infested.
What needs improvement: Public access ! This location isn't tied to any hiking trail network. It would be nice to tie the trail to the Paumanok Path that runs just south and then north east. If it can be done, there's better parking at the bottom of Pleasure Drive road, an established LIGTC parking spot. The question is how to tie into this trail system to avoid roadside parking on Pleasure Drive. There's lots of trash, an old tire -- all could be picked up. And the abandoned vehicle is still there: green and rusting.