Hiking Paumanok Path: Forest Beaches and Killer Butterflies!

For my latest hike some friends and I decided to hike Paumanok Path starting in Rocky Point. You can enter this trail across the street from J&R’s Steak House on Route-25A. We heard that it was possible to hike 135 miles using this trail to go all the way to Montauk at the end of Long Island. While we didn’t plan on doing the entire trail (which would take us about a week and a half to complete), we liked knowing that we were on a trail with a distance option.

I must first point out that, like many of the hiking trails on Long Island, this one ended up being confusing. We had trouble staying on the hiking trails and kept ending up on the bike and horse trails due to lack of trail markers. We realized at one point that the problem was that some of the markers had fallen off of the trees! And, while most of the markers were colored plastic shapes with pictures that were attached to the trees, others seemed quite random.
someone got creative with the markers
we had many theories on what this could be 
The terrain differed at any given spot, which kept the hike interesting. At many points it seemed that were were hiking on a beach with thick stretches of sand and sea grass, while at other times we were on narrow dirt paths. Moreover, sections of the path would be lush with bush and greenery, and at other parts the trail would completely stop, confusing us completely.
in the bush
beach terrain in the woods
where did the trail go?
dirt trail

While we did end up getting kind of lost, we luckily live in the age of Smart Phones and were able to use Google Maps to help us find our way back, although our out of the way route tacked on about six extra miles.
One thing definitely worth noting about this hike is the steroid-pumped, hostile, aggressive, chirping butterflies. I am not sure what these butterflies have been eating, but swarms of them were literally flying at Olympic speeds right into our faces, necks, and chests trying to pummel us to the ground while making a loud sound akin to that of a cricket. Butterflies have never seemed so scary.

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