Summer is finally here and now is the time to enjoy the beautiful beaches all along the North Fork. From the scenic rocky shoreline of Long Island Sound to the white sandy beaches of the Peconic Bay and Shelter Island Sound, there are miles of gorgeous beaches to explore.
On the western end of the North Fork, the Town of Riverhead beaches include Iron Pier Beach on Long Island Sound in Jamesport. It was named after the “Iron Pier” built in 1900, later destroyed in the winter storm of 1903-4, now the site of Iron Pier boat ramp. The beach features a concession stand, playground, lifeguards, outdoor showers, restrooms, picnic tables and a pavilion. On the Peconic Bay in Jamesport, South Jamesport Beach is a fun swimming and fishing beach. The shallow water bay beach is ideal for children. Features a concession stand, playground, lifeguards, outdoor showers, restrooms, a picnic area, and a gazebo. Also includes tennis and basketball courts and beach volleyball nets. A boat ramp is nearby. Call 631-727-5744 for permit information or visit www.townofriverheadny.gov
Heading east, the Town of Southold beaches include New Suffolk Beach, a small sandy bay beach on the Peconic Bay in New Suffolk, overlooking Robins Island. Features a playground, lifeguards, restrooms, a picnic area with BBQ grills, and a boat ramp. Watch “The North Race,” a sailboat race around Robins Island on Wednesday nights in the summer. Goldsmith Inlet on the sound in Peconic is a rocky beach, great for fishing off the jetty. It has a boat ramp. No lifeguards or restrooms! Goose Creek Beach overlooking Southold Bay is a sandy bay beach in Southold. Features a playground, lifeguards, and restrooms. Three popular sound beaches in Southold all with lifeguards and restrooms are Kenney’s Beach, a nice swimming beach, McCabe’s Beach, great for surfcasting, and Southold Town Beach, one of the most popular town beaches. It also features a playground, a picnic area, a boat ramp, and a view of “Whale Rock,” a whale shaped rock jutting out into the sound. Norman E. Klipp Park known as Gull Pond Beach in Greenport on the bay overlooks Shelter Island and “Bug Light” Lighthouse. It is a large beach with a playground, lifeguards, and restrooms. It also has a boat ramp. Call 631-765-1800 for permit information or visit www.southoldtownny.gov
The Mattituck Park District for residents of Mattituck and Laurel features Breakwater Beach on the sound. It has beach volleyball courts, a playground, lifeguards, restrooms, outdoor showers, and fishing off the jetty. Watch the boats coming out of Mattituck Inlet. Veterans Memorial Park on the Peconic Bay features a playground, lifeguards, restrooms, outdoor showers, a shaded picnic area with BBQ grills, shuffleboard, and a Community Room available for wedding receptions and other events. Call 631-298-9103 for more information or visit www.mattituckparkdistrict.com
The Cutchogue-New Suffolk Park District for residents of Cutchogue and New Suffolk features two beaches in Cutchogue on Little Peconic Bay. Pequash Avenue Beach has a playground, sandbox, lifeguards, restrooms, a shaded picnic area with BBQ grills, a basketball court, a roped-off swimming area, and stairs to the beach from the bluff. Nassau Point Causeway Beach is a big, sandy beach. It has a playground, lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables, a gazebo, basketball court, volleyball net, and a roped-off swimming area. A boardwalk runs along the beach. Call 631-734-5224 for more information.
The Southold Park District for residents of Southold features South Harbor Park or Emerson Park on the Peconic Bay with a playground, restrooms, and a picnic area. No lifeguards! Founders Landing overlooks Southold Bay. It has a playground, lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables, a roped-off swimming area, and “The Wharf House,” a pavilion for wedding receptions and events. There is also a boat ramp. Call 631-765-6019 for more information or visit www.southoldparkdistrict.com
The Orient-East Marion Park District for residents of East Marion and Orient features Truman’s Beach, off the Causeway on Long Island Sound. There is a boat ramp west of the beach. It is a low impact, rocky beach with beautiful sunsets on the sound. No lifeguards or restrooms!
Cedar Beach County Park in Southold is a 68-acre Suffolk County park on a peninsula. It features a narrow bay beach overlooking Shelter Island Sound and a boat ramp. Enjoy a walk along the beach or go birdwatching. No lifeguards or restrooms! Call 631-854-4949 for more information or visit www.suffolkcountyny.gov/parks
Orient Beach State Park on the eastern tip of the North Fork in Orient is a 370-acre New York State park with 45,000 feet of frontage on Gardiners Bay. It features a small concession stand “The Beach Shack,” a playground, lifeguards, restrooms, outdoor showers, a picnic area with BBQ grills, and pavilions available for private parties. Enjoy swimming in the bay, fishing from the shore, kayaking, windsurfing, and stand-up paddle boarding. No pets allowed. Call 631-323-2440 for more information or visit www.nysparks.com
Surrounded by picturesque beaches from the sound to the bay, the North Fork is a coastal delight. From the magnificent sunrises over the bay to the spectacular sunsets over the sound, the North Fork is a water wonderland!
Ruth Thomas, a freelance writer on the East End enjoys history, music, literature, art, nature, the beach, and her cute dachshund, Clancy. She can be contacted at [email protected]