Montauk, NY

Rod’s Valley Park Preserve

Project Type

Conservation

Acreage

22.6

Things to do

Hiking, Birdwatching, Photography, Nature Study, Paddling

Access

Public

Address
Montauk, NY 11954

About

In March 2002, the Peconic Land Trust assisted the Town of East Hampton in their purchase of this property now know as Rod's Valley Park Preserve. The area has been known by several other names such as Benson Point Preserve, "The Hangar Dock," Fort Pond Bay Park, Navy Road Park, Rod's Valley, Taber's Valley, and Eddie Ecker Park. Eddie Ecker Park is a misnomer and is actually the name of an adjacent Suffolk County Park.

The preserve is now known as Rod's Valley Park Preserve to honor the valley's original inhabitant. In 1871, Henry E. Remington got a timbering concession from the Montauk Proprietors who then owned all of Montauk. Remington employed an African-American man named Rod as his principal axe man. Although Rod's last name is unknown, it is known that, he and his wife, Riah, lived on the western shore of Fort Pond Bay. They were living at the foot of the valley when all of Montauk was sold at auction to Arthur Benson. Thus the area became known as Rod's Valley. If you're interested in learning more about the history of Rod's Valley, read the Town of East Hampton's Management Plan for the preserve. 

Sites

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East Hampton Town used the Community Preservation Fund to purchase the property from the Benson Point Realty Corp. in 2002. Benson Point Realty Corp. originally had plans to turn the former sand mining site into a 13-lot subdivision. In the 1990s, the Town Planning Board had twice approved of the subdivision. However, that development never occurred and by the 2000s, then Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman worked with the Trust and the property owners to have the Town purchase the property and turn it into a public park.

Preservation of the property added to the almost 1,500 acres of adjacent preserved land including Suffolk County’s Edward Vincent Ecker Sr. Park (and pier) as well as Hither Woods Preserve, owned jointly by East Hampton, the County and NYS. The preserve connects into the trail head of Hither Woods and the Paumanok Path.

The preserve is home to woodland, meadow, and a bay beach. Oak, and hickory trees can be found in the hardwood forest. Along the bluff, Japanese Black Pines, Bayberries, and Rose species are present. Eastern Box Turtles, Great-horned Owls, and Piping Plovers can be found on the preserve among many other species.

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Visitor Information

Visitors can access the preserve via a driveway and parking lot at the western end of Navy Road. Those who have handicapped parking permits may use the dirt access road and park by the pier.

Personal watercraft may be hand launched from the shore.


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In 2015, an earth art installation of a cobblestone labyrinth was donated and installed by a civic group known as “The Twelve Women.”

Get Directions

Rod’s Valley Park Preserve

Get Directions

Rod’s Valley Park Preserve

Montauk, NY 11954

Things To Do

Hiking

Hiking

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Photography

Photography

Nature Study

Nature Study

Paddling

Paddling

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