Hamptons & North Fork - East End Area Info
North Fork & Shelter Island
The North Fork is composed of all of the Town of Southold in the east and part of the Town of Riverhead in the west. The body of water north of this region is the Long Island Sound. The southern water boundary is comprised of several connected bodies of water, including the Great Peconic Bay, Little Peconic Bay, and Gardiners Bay. Lying between the North Fork and the South Fork are several islands, including the two large islands of Gardiners Island and Shelter Island.
The dividing line between the two forks in the west is the Peconic River. The easternmost tip of the North Fork is Orient Point. Beyond that point is one additional significant part of the Town of Southold, Plum Island.
The North Fork offers beautiful views of the Long Island Sound and Peconic/Gardiners Bay. Wine vineyards, raspberry patches, and sod farms are what characterize the North Fork. The tip of the fork is Orient Point State Park. Areas like East Marion, Southold, and Greenport are just some of the towns to see along the way on the North Fork.
The North Fork also offers great fishing, crabbing, and clamming spots along the bay or sound. Greenport often sells these fish in their incorporated village. Also from the North Fork, you can access Shelter Island, which sits in the Peconic Bay. Ferry service is available on the bay side of the fork as well.
South Fork & The Hamptons Area Information
The southern peninsula of Long Island, which is 44 miles long, is called the South Fork, but it is commonly referred to as "the Hamptons." The Hamptons extend from Westhampton on the west to Montauk at its furthest eastern point. Eleven villages and hamlets are nestled within its boundaries.
The Hamptons are bordered on the South by the Atlantic Ocean and on the north by the Peconic Bay. The Hamptons are a haven of magnificent beaches, marinas, quaint shopping establishments, elegant homes and mansions.
The area also enjoys miles of fine white sand beaches surrounded by dunes and bluffs. It is truly a boater's and fisherman's paradise.
Farmstands, horsefarms and vineyards dot its highways. Historical sites and landmarks remember its beginnings. The recorded history of the area dates back from its first residents, Native Americans, to colonial settlers, and currently to a common sharing of the area by the privileged with local baymen, farmers and vacationers from all over the world.
Fishers Island, Long Island and many others were left at the foot of the receding glacier during the last Ice Age. Long before the founding of the Fishers Island Yacht Club in 1886, yachts were sailing at Fishers. The first was the 44-foot sloop Onrust in which Dutch explorer Adrian Block discovered the Island in 1614, and named it either for his mate William Vischers, or for the many Indian fishermen he found there.
Today Fishers Island has about 600 homes, a K-12 school, volunteer fire department and post office, about six local contractors; three gift shops, churches and three clubs, two art galleries, pubs and two service stations, one gas dock, cafe, liquor store, ice cream parlor, craft shop, hair salon, hardware store, boat yard, laundromat, and a seasonal movie theater and bowling alley.
The year round population of about 275 mostly works on the island, but a few commute to the mainland. In the summer, the population swells to about 2000. They are unanimous that Fishers Island is a paradise, kept that way by the absence of a bridge to America.
*Based on John Rousmaniere's book Sailing at Fishers, published by Mystic Seaport and the Fishers Island Yacht Club in 2004.