Birding · Swimming · Views · Wildlife
Check the park hours before setting out on the hike. They close the main gate around sunset, which changes throughout the year!
From the Orient Beach State Park parking lot, you can just follow the beach along the south side of the park (along Gardner's Bay) all the way out to the tip of the peninsula where the lighthouse is located. However, following the park service road (two lanes of beach stones) into the interior will provide you with views of tidal ponds/estuaries and the unique maritime forest that exists there. Eventually, the road will move out onto the beach, and you'll have to hike along the water the rest of the way.
After just over 2.5 miles of hiking, you'll arrive at the tip of Orient Beach State Park, and will have great views of Orient Harbor, Greenport Harbor, and Gardner's Bay, along with Shelter Island. The Orient Beach Bar Lighthouse (also known locally as Bug Light) will be just to the south of the beach on a small rock pile a few hundred feet offshore.
Flora & Fauna
Many different kinds of water and shore birds (ducks, plovers, osprey, turns, etc.), deer, fox, and seals (only in winter) if you are lucky. Also, watch out for prickly pear cacti growing in the sand!
Shared By: Sam Newman-Stonebraker