Options to Get Outdoors on the Weekend

Durell Godfrey

The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society will lead a five-mile lighthouse loop hike on Saturday at 10 a.m. Hikers will pass through Camp Hero, continue on the Paumanok Path to the bluffs and along trails to Turtle Cove and the Montauk Lighthouse, returning past the seal haulout site. There will be a 10-minute break at the lighthouse refreshment area. Snacks and water were suggested, and everyone has been encouraged to wear windproof clothing.

The meeting spot is at Camp Hero Road, off Route 27, about a mile east of Deep Hollow Ranch. Carol Andrews will lead the hike and can be reached at 631-725-3367 for more information.

Irwin Levy will lead an East Hampton Trails Preservation Society hike on Sunday through Northwest Woods. The approximately four-mile, fast-paced outing will be on a section of the Paumanok Path. The meeting point is a trailhead parking lot on Route 114 near Edwards Hole Road. Bringing a bottle full of water has been recommended.

Birders have been encouraged to take part in Saturday’s winter waterfowl count, which is being organized locally by the South Fork Natural History Museum. Frank Quevedo, the museum director, can be phoned to find out how to participate.

Due to habitat loss, food scarcity, and the introduction of nonnative species of water birds, the wintering population of waterfowl is diminishing. The count helps assess the situation by recording the number of overwintering waterfowl in conjunction with the New York State Ornithological Association.

Also on Saturday, the museum is organizing an 8 a.m. beach cleanup at a location to be announced. A phone call to the museum office is all it takes to sign up.

The Montauk Observatory will hold new moon stargazing parties at the museum once a month through March. The first, on Friday, Jan. 19, begins at 9 p.m. with a short lecture about observing the sky at night. Following the talk, the group will head out into the field behind the museum for a guided tour of stars and other features of the heavens.

Guests have been encouraged to take their own binoculars and telescopes, as well as something along the lines of a beach chair. The evening’s viewing conditions can be checked on a Clear Sky Chart on the Montauk Observatory’s website, and the star party will not be held if the temperature falls below freezing, or if it is snowing, raining, or cloudy. Refreshments will be served.

Atlantic Marine Conservation Society biologists will be the guides on a seal-watch cruise on Shinnecock Bay on Saturday. The program begins dockside at 9:30 a.m., and the boat will be back at noon. Warm clothing is a must. The cost is $25; members of the society get a 10-percent discount. Reservations can be made online at amseas.org. The cruise will depart from the Stony Brook Southampton marine station on Little Neck Road.

Seal-watch outings will also be held on Feb. 17, March 3 and 24, and April 8.

Looking ahead, the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society will have a Promised Land trail hike on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. The group will amble along a landscape of pitch pines amid sand dunes along a newly cleared trail in Napeague State Park. Hikers will discover how the area got its name and learn its historical importance as the piney ambience is absorbed on the two-mile excursion.

Hikers have been asked to meet at the intersection of Cranberry Hole Road and Napeague Meadow Road. Eva Moore can be called at 631-238-5134 or on the morning of the hike at 631-681-4774 for additional information.