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Apr 10, 2018 5:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Erosion Collapses Bluffs At Popular Montauk Hiking Spot

Portions of the ocean bluffs in Shadmoor State Park collapsed during last month's series of nor'easters, making portions of the hiking trails that snake along them dangerous to traverse. Andy Drake/East Hampton Town
Apr 10, 2018 5:45 PM

Erosion during last month’s series of nor’easter storms caused huge chunks of bluffs in Montauk to collapse onto the beaches below, with the bluff edges retreating as much as 15 feet in some parts of Shadmoor State Park.

The erosion has collapsed parts of the popular trail that runs through the park and along the ocean bluffs between Ditch Plains and downtown Montauk, forcing town land management staff to re-route the trail in some places and start thinking about alternatives to the well-worn paths in others.

Andy Drake, an environmental analyst for the town’s Land Management Department, said on Tuesday that the bluff collapses have made the existing trails too dangerous at two locations along the half-mile stretch running along the oceanfront in Shadmoor, and started to threaten a wetland area in a third location inside Rheinstein Estate Park, just west of Ditch Plains.

The trails in Shadmoor are rimmed by a split-rail fence to steer hikers away from the bluff edges, but where the collapses happened recently the town will look to cut new trails inland. Mr. Drake said the work would be quick and could be completed by the time weekend crowds flock to the park.

“It’s just one of the greatest spots in the town,” Mr. Drake told members of the Town Board on Tuesday in Montauk. “This park is used more than any other, except maybe the Springs [dog park].”

Mr. Drake said that people climbing down the bluffs in several spots probably exacerbates the erosion and suggested that perhaps more strongly worded signs might deter at least some.

“How about something like: ‘You are contributing to the erosion of this bluff you love,’” Mr. Drake said. “But I can tell you, there is a very good [surfing] break there, and the surfers are going to get down there no matter what.”

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These are the same idiot surfers who want to "protect" the beaches! Where is the Surfrider foundation??? C'mon Nancy Atlas and hubby Tom.
STAY OFF THE BLUFFS!!!!!!!!
By mtkfishman (76), montauk on Apr 11, 18 7:40 AM
Are we seriously going to call out the surfers who presumably have been using that "short cut" for decades on this erosion problem? Don't you think the mess made by the Army Corps a little way down the beach might be MORE the issue? For this "sudden" problem? Maybe join Surfrider Foundation and make your opinion count. Than you too can face personal lawsuits because you stood up to help save the beaches.
By PineNeck Dio (10), Southampton on Apr 11, 18 10:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Silly surfers caused the bluffs at Shadmoor to collapse ; /
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Apr 11, 18 10:28 AM
You can build and develop the dunes but you can't walk on them .
By minarditraining.com (19), Easthampton on Apr 11, 18 3:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe the caused the erosion downtown? Have been going to Montauk since I was a kid. Walked those trails and others, erosion will consume all eventually. Don't mess with Mother Nature...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 13, 18 1:32 PM