Arshamomaque Pond Preserve
Welcome to the Arshamomaque Pond Preserve 63445 Main Road (Route 25), Southold, NY 2/10 of a mile east of the Port of Egypt Marina on the north side of the road
The Town of Southold purchased this parcel as part of the Arshamomaque Preservation Plan. This property is part of the Long Island Pine Barrens Maritime Reserve and is listed for protection because of its exceptional scenic, biological and recreational resources. This unique natural complex ranks as one of the most valuable and productive coastal and marine ecosystems remaining in the nation. It centers on the Peconic Bays, a federally designated National Estuary. The Nature Conservancy has recognized this maritime reserve as a world-class resource and one of the “Last Great Places”. The Arshamomaque Pond Preserve contains a rich assortment of wildlife in its woodlands, open meadows, vernal ponds and tidal wetlands. The Preserve has over 2,200 feet of shoreline frontage on Arshamomaque Pond (a.k.a. Mill Creek).
Originally the creek was called Thomas Benedict’s Creek, after a first settler and miller by trade and later shortened to Tom’s Creek. For over two hundred years the waters in the channel-way (railroad bridge) turned millstones thus giving the name Mill Creek that, along with Arshamomaque Pond, are used interchangeably today. Please look both ways and hold the hands of young children when crossing the Long Island Railroad Tracks as you proceed north into the Arshamomaque Pond Preserve.
This short trail spur will give visitors the opportunity to watch osprey as they patrol the skies over Arshamomaque Pond in search of fish in the waters below. Several nests are located around Arshamomaque Pond and the birds are found on site from mid March to October. Many shorebirds, ducks, herons, egrets and ibis also feed in the wetlands and pond.
Ferns & Vernal Ponds
The Arshamomaque area is known for the particularly fine clay that was used for brick making. The Sage and Sanford Brickyards produced millions of bricks during the period from 1887 to 1939. The soil in the Preserve is rich in clay and humus that temporarily holds water, thereby creating many vernal ponds and seasonally wet areas that are ideal for the ferns, salamanders, frogs, turtles and toads.
Pines & Oaks
This area was attractive to Southold’s first settlers because of the vast number of tall pines that were used in the manufacturing
of turpentine and the oak trees that were used for ship masts and barrel staves.
Wetlands & Shellfish
Arshamomaque Pond is a significant shellfish resource and provides clams, scallops, oysters and blue claw crabs to commercial and recreational harvesters. The diamondback terrapin, on the NYSDEC list of species of “special concern” are often seen in the pond during the summer months. Arshamomaque Pond also serves as an ecological nursery and feeding area for many estuarine fish species and is an important spawning area for weakfish, winter flounder and scup.
Flora & Fauna
The Arshamomaque Pond Preserve is home a wide variety of plants and animals. White tail deer, opossum, muskrat, raccoon, fox, great blue herons, box turtles, kingfishers, Canada geese, diamondback terrapin, osprey, salamanders, toads, hawks, and owls are some of the more common birds and animals found on the site. The site also contains a rich mixture of ferns, mountain laurel, black, scarlet & white oaks, pignut & mock hickory, beech, dogwood, red cedars, black locust, sassafras, tulip or yellow-poplar, maple-leaf viburnum, black cherry.
Arshamomaque Pond Preserve is open from dawn to dusk.
- Stay on the designated trails
- Take nothing but pictures
- Leave nothing but footprints
- Dogs must be leashed or under the control of the owner
- Check carefully for ticks after your walk