photo: Nitin Mukul

Sound View Dunes Park: This week we head to the North Fork, where there’s lots of breathing room this time of year. Sound View Dunes Park in Southold is roughly two hours from the city and offers some enchanting landscape features. A walk through the woods opens out onto an expansive view of Long Island Sound, but not before an intermediary area that feels like the forest and the beach collided into wooded rolling dunes. Chartreuse-colored lichens gather around short spreading trees that almost resemble juniper bonsais. This is part of the interdunal swale community, a fresh-water wetland that occurs within dunes, rare both locally and globally.

photo: Nitin Mukul

There are two trails, a 1.6-mile-loop and an out-and-back flat path direct to the shore (we’ve done the latter with small kids and the elderly). The small parking lot is for Suffolk County residents but that doesn’t seem to be strictly enforced. Alternatively, look for pull outs along the road. Nearby Love Lane in Mattituck has some good snack options, notably the Village Cheese Shop and North Fork Donut Company.

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