Hunts Pond

Hunts Pond is a small parcel surrounded by residential homes between Townline Road and NY Route 347. Hauppauge residents first experienced the preserve three years ago when they hiked the Long Island Greenbelt Trail, a 32-mile long trail that runs north to south (or south to north) across Long Island. The Greenbelt goes right through the tiny tract, which they had thought was just a pretty sliver of land sandwiched between backyards. But they recently learned it’s an actual preserve while poking around a map online. Well, armed with that knowledge, they decided it was time to revisit and explore the tiny spot in its entirety.

Prior to hiking, they tried to find information on the history and habitats of Hunts Pond, but there was nothing of substance. The only online results were some previous real estate listings that mentioned properties bordering the preserve. To be honest, they were not even sure of its exact acreage. The figure they posted above is merely an estimate, as the preserve seems to be similar in size to Millers Pond County Park in Smithtown, which they had hiked last year.

The preserve has two entrances: one on the north side of Townline Road between Mount Pleasant and Dorchester roads, which is where the preserve’s sign is, and another accessed through the dead-end on Bow Drive East. Unfortunately, Townline’s a very busy road and there’s nowhere to park by that entrance. As a result, people can park around the corner on Dorchester Road and walked about a quarter-mile until they reached the trail along Townline.

The trail follows the white blazes of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail and passes through part of the Nissequogue River Watershed, according to signs. It begins with a narrow woodland that is bordered by the backyards of neighbouring homes and leads to a marshy area that is peppered with boardwalks and planks to help hikers across it.

The highlight is certainly Hunts Pond. When they passed the pond three years ago, there was a small dock on which someone scrawled “The Lake of Dreams” and invited visitors to jot their hopes and dreams right on the wood. But the dock is gone. It saddened the residents as there was a whimsical quality about it during their last visit. It was one of their favourite spots along the Greenbelt Trail.

The residents expanded their hike by crossing over Townline Road and continuing along the Greenbelt Trail for a mile or so until it reached Motor Parkway. It’s a hilly area tucked between Hidden Pond Park and the Wind Watch Golf & Country Club. If you’re hiking at the right time, you’ll come within a stone’s throw of golfers or swimmers. This section in Hauppauge, Long Island also has other intersecting trails, which are marked with yellow blazes and blue and red dots. The residents assume those are associated with Hidden Pond Park. There are also blue-blazed trails for bikers close to Motor Parkway.

For music, people can listen to their iPods or smartphones. But to be honest, one couldn’t really focus on the songs. Their mind kept returning to the lake. It’s one of those trail attractions that deserve to live on, and

All in all, Hunts Pond Preserve is so small that one wouldn’t recommend travelling far to visit it. It’s best served catering to area residents seeking an outdoor stroll or a jog. Or thru-hikers on the Greenbelt Trail. But, as evidenced here, even small spots can have big-time beauty.

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