Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail In New York

Here is everything you need to know about the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: New York
  • Length: 0.8 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: National Park Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: Info not available.

The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail, located in the eastern part of Long Island, New York, holds a rich historical significance. The trail is named after Otis G. Pike, a former U.S. Congressman who played a crucial role in the preservation of the area. Established in 1980, the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail is part of the Fire Island National Seashore, which encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including forests, marshes, and beaches.

The history of the trail dates back to the early 20th century when the area was primarily used for hunting and fishing by local communities. However, during World War II, the U.S. military took control of the land, using it as a training ground for soldiers. After the war, the area was returned to civilian control, but it remained largely undeveloped.

In the 1960s, plans were made to construct a highway through the area, which would have resulted in significant environmental damage. Recognizing the importance of preserving this unique natural habitat, Otis G. Pike, along with other conservationists and local residents, fought against the construction of the highway. Their efforts led to the establishment of the Otis Pike Wilderness Area, which was designated as a protected wilderness in 1980. Today, the trail serves as a testament to their dedication and commitment to preserving the natural beauty of the region.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Manorville Hills County Park: This is the southernmost access point for the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail. It offers parking facilities and is located off County Road 111 in Manorville.

2. Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge: Located in Shirley, this access point provides parking facilities and is a popular starting point for hikers. It can be accessed from William Floyd Parkway.

3. Smith Point County Park: Situated in Shirley, this access point offers parking facilities and is located at the eastern end of Fire Island. It can be reached via William Floyd Parkway.

4. Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area: This access point is located in Rocky Point and provides parking facilities. It can be accessed from Rocky Point-Yaphank Road.

5. Ridge Conservation Area: Situated in Ridge, this access point offers parking facilities and can be reached from Whiskey Road.

6. Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest: Located in Calverton, this access point provides parking facilities and can be accessed from Edwards Avenue.

7. Wildwood State Park: Situated in Wading River, this access point offers parking facilities and is located off Hulse Landing Road.

8. Baiting Hollow Scout Camp: This access point is located in Baiting Hollow and provides parking facilities. It can be accessed from Sound Avenue.

9. Hubbard County Park: Situated in Flanders, this access point offers parking facilities and can be reached from Flanders Road.

10. Indian Island County Park: Located in Riverhead, this access point provides parking facilities and is situated off Route 105.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Long Island Rail Road – Commuter train service connecting various locations on Long Island and New York City.
2. Suffolk County Transit – Public bus service covering Suffolk County, including the area around Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail.
3. Taxi Services – Various taxi companies providing transportation services in the vicinity of Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail.
4. Uber/Lyft – Ride-hailing services available for convenient transportation in the area.
5. Car Rental Agencies – Several car rental companies offering vehicles for rent near Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail.
6. Bike Rentals – Local shops providing bicycle rentals for exploring the trail and surrounding areas.


The amenities available at the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be portable toilets or permanent restroom buildings.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while accessing the trail. These parking lots may have limited capacity, so it’s advisable to arrive early during peak times.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the specific regulations and management of the trail, there might be designated camping sites available for overnight stays. These sites could have amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: Some sections of the trail might have designated picnic areas where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas could have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Interpretive Signage: Along the trail, you might find interpretive signage that provides information about the local flora, fauna, geology, or history. These signs can enhance the educational experience for visitors.

6. Trail Markers: To ensure visitors stay on the designated trail, there may be trail markers or signs indicating the correct path to follow. These markers can help prevent getting lost or wandering off into restricted areas.

7. Information Kiosks: At the trailhead or other strategic locations, there might be information kiosks providing maps, brochures, safety guidelines, and other relevant information about the trail.

8. Benches and Rest Areas: Along the trail, you may find benches or rest areas where visitors can take a break, relax, and enjoy the surroundings.

9. Waste Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there should be waste receptacles available at various points along the trail. Visitors are encouraged to dispose of their trash properly.

10. Accessibility Features: Depending on the trail’s accessibility, there might be features like wheelchair-accessible paths, ramps, or facilities to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

It’s important to note that the availability and condition of these amenities can change over time, so it’s recommended to check with the local park authorities or visitor center for the most up-to-date information before visiting the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Greenport Village Inn: Cozy inn located in Greenport, offering comfortable accommodations.
– Sound View Greenport: Waterfront hotel with stunning views of the Long Island Sound.
– The Harborfront Inn: Boutique hotel situated in the heart of Greenport, providing a luxurious stay.

2. Food Services:
– Noah’s: Upscale American restaurant in Greenport, known for its farm-to-table cuisine.
– The Frisky Oyster: Popular seafood restaurant offering a diverse menu in Greenport.
– Bruce & Son: Quaint café serving breakfast and lunch options in Greenport.

3. Emergency Services:
– Eastern Long Island Hospital: Full-service hospital in Greenport, providing emergency medical care.
– Greenport Police Department: Local police department in Greenport, ensuring public safety.
– Greenport Fire Department: Fire station in Greenport, responding to emergencies and providing fire protection.

Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail Difficulty Notes

The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 10 miles and features diverse terrain, including rolling hills, dense forests, and scenic wetlands. While some sections may require moderate exertion, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, allowing hikers to navigate easily. The occasional steep inclines and uneven surfaces add an element of challenge, but the breathtaking views and abundant wildlife sightings make it a rewarding experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

Features And Attractions

The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail is located in the Fire Island National Seashore in New York. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail:

1. Watch Hill: This area offers beautiful views of the Great South Bay and is a popular spot for birdwatching.

2. Sunken Forest: A unique maritime holly forest that is home to a variety of plant and animal species. It is a designated National Natural Landmark.

3. Wilderness Visitor Center: This center provides information about the trail and the surrounding area, including exhibits on the local flora and fauna.

4. Whalehouse Point: A scenic overlook that offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding coastline.

5. Old Inlet: This natural inlet is a popular spot for fishing and offers stunning views of the ocean.

6. Smith Point County Park: Located at the eastern end of the trail, this park offers beautiful beaches, picnic areas, and recreational activities.

7. Bellport Beach: A picturesque beach area with dunes and stunning views of the ocean.

8. Historic Coast Guard Station: This restored station provides a glimpse into the area’s maritime history and offers interpretive exhibits.

9. Wilderness Breach: A natural breach in the barrier island that provides a unique opportunity to observe the dynamic nature of the coastal environment.

10. Davis Park: A small community located on Fire Island, known for its beautiful beaches and charming atmosphere.

These are just a few of the many attractions along the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail. Exploring this trail will allow you to experience the natural beauty and rich history of the Fire Island National Seashore.

Usage Guidelines

Info not available.

Seasonal Information

The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail, located in the eastern part of Long Island, New York, offers visitors a unique and immersive experience in nature. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and blossoming trees, creating a picturesque landscape. The weather during this time is generally mild, making it perfect for hiking and exploring the trail. Fall, on the other hand, offers a stunning display of colorful foliage, transforming the trail into a breathtaking sight. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it an ideal time for outdoor activities.

It is important to note that the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail has seasonal closures. During the winter months, the trail is closed to the public due to safety concerns. The harsh weather conditions and potential for snow and ice make it unsafe for hikers. It is recommended to check the official website or contact the park authorities for the exact dates of closure and reopening. However, the closure period provides an opportunity for the trail to rejuvenate and preserve its natural beauty.

Visitors to the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail should also be aware of the occasional closures or restrictions during the summer months. This is primarily due to the risk of wildfires, as the dry and hot weather increases the chances of forest fires. In such cases, certain sections of the trail may be temporarily closed or access may be limited. It is advisable to check for any updates or alerts before planning a visit during the summer season.

Overall, the best times to visit the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail are during the spring and fall, when the weather is pleasant and the trail showcases its natural wonders. However, it is essential to stay informed about any seasonal closures or restrictions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail: The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail offers a wheelchair accessible trail that allows individuals with mobility challenges to explore the natural beauty of the area.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Accessible Parking: The trail provides designated accessible parking spaces near the trailhead, allowing easy access for individuals with disabilities.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available near the trailhead, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
5. Braille Signage: The trail incorporates braille signage at key points, providing information and directions for visually impaired visitors.
6. Audio Guides: Audio guides are available for individuals with visual impairments, offering descriptive narration of the trail’s features and points of interest.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail includes benches and rest areas along the route, providing opportunities for individuals with mobility challenges to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.
9. Accessible Information: The trail provides accessible information materials, including brochures and maps, in formats such as large print or electronic versions for individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: The trail offers accessible picnic areas equipped with tables and seating that accommodate individuals with disabilities, allowing them to enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail is a moderately challenging trail suitable for experienced hikers.
2. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 10 miles long, so plan accordingly for a full day hike.
3. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail is exposed and can be windy.
4. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with blazes and signs, but it’s always a good idea to carry a map and compass.
5. Wildlife Encounter: Keep a safe distance from wildlife, including snakes, deer, and various bird species.
6. Tick Awareness: Tick-borne diseases are prevalent in the area, so wear long pants, use insect repellent, and check for ticks regularly.
7. Poison Ivy: Be cautious of poison ivy along the trail and learn to identify it to avoid contact.
8. Water Sources: Carry enough water as there are limited water sources along the trail, and treat any water before drinking.
9. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
10. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, whistle, and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies.
11. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash and minimizing your impact on the environment.
12. Hiking in Groups: It’s recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and assistance if needed.
13. Trail Conditions: Check for trail updates and closures before heading out, as conditions can change due to weather or maintenance.
14. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction to navigate the varied terrain.
15. Time Management: Start early to allow enough time to complete the trail before sunset and avoid hiking in the dark.
16. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition before attempting the trail, as it involves some steep sections and uneven terrain.
17. Emergency Contacts: Carry a list of emergency contacts and notify someone of your hiking plans.
18. Wilderness Regulations: Familiarize yourself with any specific regulations or permits required for hiking in the Otis Pike Wilderness area.
19. Trail Etiquette: Respect other hikers, yield to faster hikers, and be mindful of noise levels to preserve the tranquility of the wilderness.
20. Enjoyment and Appreciation: Take time to appreciate the natural beauty of the trail and enjoy your hiking experience responsibly.

Conservation Notes

The Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail, located within the Fire Island National Seashore in New York, holds a conservation status that is of utmost importance. Designated as a wilderness area, it is protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964, ensuring its preservation for future generations. This status prohibits any form of motorized vehicles, structures, or permanent facilities within the trail, allowing the natural ecosystem to thrive undisturbed.

The conservation efforts for the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail focus on maintaining the integrity of the diverse habitats found within the area. The trail encompasses a variety of ecosystems, including maritime forests, salt marshes, and dunes, which provide crucial habitats for numerous plant and animal species. These habitats support a range of wildlife, including migratory birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals.

To safeguard the conservation status of the trail, strict regulations are in place to prevent any human activities that may disrupt the natural balance. Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles, ensuring that they do not leave any trace of their presence and minimizing their impact on the environment. Additionally, the trail is regularly monitored by park rangers and volunteers to ensure compliance with conservation guidelines and to address any potential threats to the ecosystem.

Overall, the conservation status of the Otis Pike Wilderness Nature Trail is of paramount importance, as it aims to protect and preserve the unique and fragile ecosystems found within the area. By maintaining its wilderness designation and implementing strict regulations, the trail ensures the long-term sustainability of its diverse habitats and the species that depend on them.

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