*Entrance on Midway
Size of parcel: 24 acres.
Sachems woods lays at the heart of the island yet can be difficult to find access to due to lack of parking and signage. The best way to access the preserved area is on Midway road, offset from the end of Bowditch Road. Look for a single track dirt road that enter the preserve at a slight decline to the road. Formal parking is not offered though so park at your own risk. The woods can be entered from route 114 in two locations as well. However, these entrances are often overgrown and unkempt.
You are fortunate to find fairly well maintained open trails in Sachem’s woods. A single well defined loop trail of about one mile takes you around the perimeter of the deciduous forest of oak,hickory and beech. The forest is well established and its healthy dense canopy has kept it relatively invasive free. One can imagine back to the times when Europeans first arrived on Shelter Island, harvesting the massive ancient oaks for masts to their transoceanic sailing ships. A sense of that wonder still haunts these woods. At the woods’ center a single Eastern White pine of advanced age and gravitas looms in the center of a over crowded grove of locusts and vines. For a park that seems to lay at the center of the island, this pine tree is the heart of that center. Enjoy a break or a picnic under its shade.
One nice aspect of the walk is that the Islander Restaurant borders the preserve and can be accessed from the trail’s edge. After a snack you can cross Route 114 and enter the Nursery Property (listed on home page and in brochure). Once across the street, look for a row of mid-height pines and a driveway into a private cottage area. You’ll see a small path leading into an advanced stand of forest very similar to Sachems.
*Paul Shepard-Local Town council member and his dog