Amagansett, NY

Silver Beech Preserve



Things to do

Hiking, Birdwatching, Photography, Nature Study




In February 2003, the Trust received a spectacular gift of land from cousins Margaret de Cuevas and Deborah Carmichael -- Silver Beech Preserve, 189.3 acres of mature forest featuring American beech, white oak, red maple, sassafras, and flowering dogwood and providing valuable habitat above the deepest part of our sole source aquifer in Amagansett.

"We have known and loved this land since we were children in the 1960s," said Maggie in a profile in the Trust's 2003 Summer newsletter speaking about why she and her cousin Deborah took the initiative to protect the land. "Taking a walk through the woods was a big adventure back then, and we took many walks to visit the great big trees that grow out of the deep kettleholes in the Silver Beech Preserve. The landscape of the South Fork has changed so much since then -- species diversity has declined and water quality has become a problem in many areas. We wanted to help preserve what's left."


The woodlands in the North Amagansett area of which Silver Beech Preserve is part — approximately 600 acres preserved — is critical for the bio-diversity of the forest, offering habitat for a wide variety of sensitive species including great horned owls, innumerable migrating birds, and Eastern box turtle. Equally important, the preserve land is part of the Town of East Hampton’s Water Recharge Overlay District, sitting above the deepest part of the aquifer, our sole source of drinking water. Through land conservation, we are all working together to improve the quality of our precious water resources.

The preserve is home to the largest American Chestnut on the South Fork. In the summer of 2020, Mike Bottini visited the tree and wrote the column, “Helping the American Chestnut Survive” for the Southampton Press/East Hampton Press/Sag Harbor Express.

Mike talks about a fungus, introduced around 1890, that decimated the North American population of trees that once made up 25% of the forests from Maine to Georgia, including here on Long Island.

And, about how dedicated volunteers from Seatuck Environmental Association and Save the Great South Bay, led by naturalists John Potente and co-directors of the American Chestnut Foundation’s Long Island Chapter, Frank Piccinnini and Niko Nantsis are working to restore the American Chestnut population here on Long Island.

Check out the article for more on the history and how you can help in their restoration efforts.


American Chestnut tree at Silver Beech Preserve. Photo by Michael Bottini

This expanse of woodland would not be here if it weren’t for families like Maggie and Deborah’s — including Evan Frankel, the Potter family, Mary and Peter Stone, Andy Sabin, William Lange, Drs. Robert Abel & Helen Carter, and Deborah Light — who believed that conservation outcomes were possible. We are truly grateful to them and the hundreds of other families who have trusted us to help them protect their family lands.

“We have known and loved this land since we were children in the 1960's. Taking a walk through the woods was a big adventure back then, and we took many walks to visit the great big trees that grow out of the deep kettleholes in Silver Beech Preserve.”

Margaret De Cuevas

Visitor Information

The trails of Silver Beech and neighboring Red Dirt Preserve can be accessed from Stony Hill Road (north side) to the southeast of Laurel Hill Lane or from the South side of Red Dirt Road, between Thuzar and Wolf Way. In both of these locations you will find the kiosks with information on the trails.

(Click here for the Kiosk Sign on Stony Hill Road)

(Click here for the Kiosk Sign on Red Dirt Road)

Things To Do







Nature Study

Nature Study

Get Involved

Interested in honoring a loved one or commemorating a milestone? Support our Memorials at Preserves program and deepen your connection to this special place.

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