Happy New Year! The year 2022 has come and gone, and as fast or as slow as it may have felt for some, it was, for the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, an extremely busy year! We ran the third consecutive year of our Robin Amper Environmental Scholarship competition and continued our extremely successful Middle School Kids Go To College Program! We also had a rousing success with our 45th annual Gala, and launched our newest initiative, “The Best of The Rest”!
We’ve got even bigger plans for 2023. Here’s our first event, one in which we hope you will join us. When we post or reference the ideal spots to hike, we tend to reference our favorite preserves from our hiking recreation guide. But this year, we want to try something new. We would like to hear what favorite parks our fantastic supporters visit. So, to celebrate the new year, we’re kicking off the 12 for 12 guide!
How it Works
As the name implies, 12 for 12 will be a monthly “event” on our social media pages. We would like to know where you hike every month of the year! On Facebook and Instagram, we’ll tell you where we hiked, and in exchange, tell us about your favorite spots from that month! Bonus points for Pine Barrens trails of course, but even if you just went for a walk on your local greenway, let us know.
Each month we’ll share which trails we hiked along, as well as one fun fact about them! The posts will go up on the third Friday of every month, barring special occasions, so you’ll have plenty of time to get to your favorite trails! Then, come December, we’ll select a mix of the most popular trails among our supporters’ submissions, as well as some of our favorites, to create a new hiking guide for 2024, composed entirely of your and our hiking experiences!
As an extra incentive, everyone who completes the 12 for 12 by posting about their hiked trails every month in response to our post, will receive a special certificate mailed to them! They’ll also get a copy of the newly published 12 for 12 guide, so their 2024 can be just as full of enjoyable hikes as 2023 was!
But without further ado, let’s kick off the 12 for 12! In a few days our Facebook and Instagram accounts will update with this month’s hike recommendation from the staff, but readers of the Bridge to the Barrens will get it early!
The Setauket Greenway
When we said we’d be giving bonus points to those mentioning Pine Barrens Trails, we may have been including ourselves in that listing! Our first trail recommendation, the Setauket Greenway, comes from our program coordinator.
The trail is about 3.5 miles long and runs from Port Jefferson Station’s shopping plaza to the East Setauket post office. The trail itself is paved with black asphalt from start to finish, with some guard rails being in place at certain stretches, making it very much so an urbanite’s trail. Its main stretch cuts through the heart of Setauket’s open space, making it an ideal trail for residents looking to take a casual walk, either in the morning or after work.
Notable fauna include Long Island’s premier white-tailed deer, as well as your standard backyard critter fare, including the eastern gray squirrel, and various species of local birds. Occasionally visible in addition to those is the much larger Cooper’s hawk, which may roost in trees or among other flora.
Speaking of flora, as you move along the trail from Port Jeff Station to East Setauket, you’ll be treated to a gradual shift in greenery, with the dense brush in the heart of Setauket more resembling a viny bog in contrast to the more recognizably wooded Port Jeff side.
Barring a few steep hills, the Setauket Greenway Trail is an extremely casual trail, ideal for those who either haven’t hiked before, or who may be local and are looking for something quick and easy. Scattered benches also provide plenty of rest spots, and the few roads it cuts across feature light up crosswalks and signs to alert passing cars of hikers.
If you live in the area and haven’t taken a walk along the trail, either because you weren’t interested or didn’t have the time, we absolutely recommend taking your next casual walk along its easy, if sometimes sloped paths.
Have you hiked anywhere this month? Let us know on our social media pages, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in our 12 for 12!