- Winter's over and we are all feeling relief from the deluge of winter weather we had this season. Even though it provided us with some amazing cross country skiing, ice skating, sledding and snow shoeing, it felt long, it felt cold and now it feels fantastic that it's finally just about over. Everyone loves summer in the Hamptons and the fun it brings. However Spring is a season that does not always get the attention it deserves, when it comes to getting outdoors and getting moving as we defrost from the winter!
Practicing Yoga outdoors is a great way to enjoy the natural environment and listen to the sounds of spring. Here Jessica Bellofatto of KamaDeva Yoga strikes a pose at the walking dunes. (Gina Bradley)
Here is a 10 ten list of my favorite spring activities one can do to get out, get moving and enjoy some "quiet time" before the summer takes off and we get lost in summer activities. Make sure you grab a friend or work-out buddy to do some of these activities with you, for more fun! In fact if anyone does all 10 and sends me a note with feedback on each trip or documents it with pictures, they can take a free paddle lesson with Paddle Diva this summer!
1. Take a combination hike/run through the Napeague Walking dunes:
: Heading to Montauk, right before Cyrils, take a left on Napeague Harbor Road and drive all the way to the end, you are at the trail head for the Walking Dunes. Wearing your running shoes (which you may have to take on and off due to the sand but that is part of the fun!) follow the trail signs all along the dunes, cranberry bogs, and come out at the beach and jog along the beach back to your car.
2. Meditate at Two Holes of Water Pond:
Park at the trail head along Route 114 on the east side of the road (there is a trail map posted right there). Hike the yellow trail, about one mile to the first paved road, cross it and follow the yellow trail a bit more until you find the pristine Two Holes of Water Pond. Find a spot where you can sit comfortably and guide yourself through mediation. Try shutting your eyes and listening only to the sounds around you. You will feel lighter on your walk back to the trail head.
3. Take a run/power walk through Camp Hero:
Drive all the way to the end of the island to the lighthouse, take a right on Old Montauk Highway/Camp Hero. Plan on a run/walk through Camp Hero, an abandoned but well maintained old Army Base is a true adventure that takes you back in time!
4. Go Fly a Kite!:
Spring time is typically a windier time for the island. Instead of just walking along the beach, get a kite at the kite shop in Sag Harbor (they have really easy ones to fly for about $25) and fly a kite on any bay or ocean beach near you! By the time you are done chasing it up and down the beach, you will have had a great work-out!
5. Bike Barcelona Neck:
Not everyone has high tech mountain bikes, but if you do there are more trails than the number of days of spring to ride! Some of the trails are very technical on the East End, so for those who want to experience an easier trial ride, find a bike with fat tires and go to Barcelona Neck. The road is just off Route 114, heading North, take a right at the golf course and park at the clubhouse. Jump on your bike and follow the road north all the way to Northwest Creek and explore around a bit, it is east to get lost there, so just make sure you keep an eye out for landmarks or turn around and come back the way you came!
If you hike the trails at Camp Hero you will end up at the base of the lighthouse. Here Emma and James Bradley enjoyed their hike and rest at the end by the Montauk Lighthouse. (Gina Bradley)
6. Feed the Ducks!:
They are hungry in the spring, buy a bag of ground corn at your local supermarket and head to David's Lane in East Hampton. As you head south, on the east side of the street you will see the duck pond parking lot. The Ducks will all greet you happily and will be ecstatic for the food! Make sure you wear your running shoes and plan for a vigorous hike all along the trails there, as they wind all the way into town and then back. It is a great way to discover a forgotten part of East Hampton.
7. "Walk on the water"
on a Stand up Paddle Board: Spring is a great time to learn this new and very popular sport. The East End has plenty of surf shops, surfing instructors and Stand up Paddling Instructors who can take you out on a quiet bay (insist on flat bay, completely protected from the wind, and a BIG board). A wet suit or dry suit and booties are required, but most of the shops and instructors can supply you with those. The experience of standing on the board, watching spring come to life from a water perspective will totally inspire you!
8. Discover Georgica:
This is one of my favorite things to do in the "off-season." Print a decent map of East Hampton off Goggle Maps. Park on St. James Lane in East Hampton and plan on a slow jog/run in the Georgica Estates area. The traffic is minimal, the usual foliage that blocks views of the houses is just blooming allowing, for an innocent peak at their splendor, and the smell of the sea breeze will awaken your soul!
9. Do a yoga class outside:
Find a special spot along a bay beach, download a yoga class from KamaDeva's website and treat yourself to an outdoor yoga practice! Some of my favorite spots are: Napeague Harbor, Maidstone
Park Beach, and Louse Point as these all have spots and ways to tuck out of the wind!
10. Discover Shelter Island:
Before the crowds start to arrive, leave your car at the dock
and grab a bike and take the ferry across to Shelter Island. Plan on a full morning of riding and exploring an area of the Hamptons, that is quiet, filled with nature and really is still the way things used to be! Make sure you stop for a nice lunch somewhere along the way, Shelter Island has great cafes and deli's.