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One of East Hampton's most scenic and diverse tidal marsh systems, Accabonac Harbor is a bird-watcher's paradise.
Accabonac was donated to The Nature Conservancy in 1968 by one of the founders of the South Fork-Shelter Island Chapter, Frederic E. Lake, and his wife Muriel. The 29-acre Merrill Lake Sanctuary at Accabonac Harbor is one of the chapter's first preserves.
Waterproof shoes are recommended when visiting Accabonac. Parts of the preserve are closed during osprey nesting season (May through July); please contact the Center for Conservation ahead of time to find out if the preserve is open.
Mammals include white-tailed deer, raccoon and red fox. Birds include federally threatened piping plovers, state threatened least terns, nesting osprey and abundant wading birds and waterfowl.
The preserve is dominated by salt marsh cord grass and salt marsh hay, but other wetland plants here include saltwort, sea lavender, black grass and marsh elder. In the driest area of the marsh, Canadian burnet, shadbush and the beginnings of an upland forest can be found.
This 200-acre preserve is located in East Hampton, Suffolk County, New York.
- From Main Street in East Hampton (Route 27 eastbound), bear left at the Windmill onto North Main Street.
- Continue under the railroad trestle, past a shopping area, through the light and bear right at the fork onto Springs Fireplace Road (Route 41).
- Proceed 5.5 miles, passing a white church, to The Nature Conservancy sign on the right.
- Park on Springs Fireplace Road, enter the meadow and follow the trail around the marsh.
- Please close all gates behind you when visiting the preserve.