It’s exciting to learn that a proposal to connect hiking trails on town-owned land to create a continuous path from Peconic Bay to Long Island Sound in Southold and Greenport is once again gaining traction.
As town Supervisor Scott Russell noted in this week’s cover story, the project would link the town’s “two greatest assets.” It would also create more opportunity for outdoor recreational activities on the North Fork and shine a spotlight on the area’s natural beauty.
We’d hope that full cooperation from the Village of Greenport, Suffolk County and the Long Island Power Authority is on the horizon.
While a network of connected hiking trails in our community would certainly promote better health and recreation for residents, it would also appeal to tourists looking for more than just wineries, beaches, shopping and restaurants on their trips to the North Fork. Proper marketing of our farms, beaches and preserves, along with an interconnected and clearly marked network of trails, can only help grow Southold Town’s reputation as a wellness destination. In the aftermath of the public relations headache that followed last year’s banning of road races in the busy summer months — a decision this newspaper agreed with — identifying more affordable recreational initiatives is a smart move for the town.
The best part of the Bay to Sound Initiative is that it simply makes better use of already preserved lands by creating new trails to link existing routes.
After money is spent to preserve land, the next important step — making sure those properties are accessible and appealing to the public — can often be an afterthought for local governments. It’s great to see Southold Town making better use of these properties a priority.