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Cedar Beach County Park

Southold, NY

Cedar Beach sits on the South side of the North Fork of Long Island facing Shelter Island Sound in the Peconic Bay. The 68 acre County Park, with over 2800 feet of shoreline is open to the public with no parking or admission fees. The Cornell Cooperative Extension utilizes sections of the area for marine research, educational programs, and an environmental learning summer day camp for children.

The beach itself is fairly long and rather narrow but generally clean. There are no public facilities, so it's a good idea make sure you heed the call of nature prior to setting out for the beach. The parking lot is not very well paved, so drive slowly. There is a small boat launching area at the eastern end of the beach and during the summer it gets used frequently. As always, dive with a marker to alert boaters and jet skis of your presence.

Entering the water you will find a sandy to rocky bottom with minimal algae growth and an approximate depth of 5 fsw. It’s advised to enter the water with your fins on or to don them as soon as possible upon entering the water since the bottom drops away at a short 40 feet from the shoreline to a depth of 15 fsw. At that depth you may notice a bit of current but unless there has been a recent shift in weather patterns, the visibility is generally in the 10 foot range. The bottom is sort of silty so good buoyancy skills are recommended to fully appreciate this dive.

Below is a small photo gallery showing the type of marine life you can expect to encounter while diving at Cedar Beach. Marine life can included Bay Scallops, Welks, Horseshoe Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Slipper Shells, Moon Snails, Puffer Fish, Scup, Comb Jellies, and Red Beard Sponges. Divers often see a lot of juvenile specimens of local species too. This dive makes a great alternative to the myriad of North facing beach dive sites on the Sound that always seem to suffer when the wind is anywhere from the Northerly directions.

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Marine Photo Gallery

Photos by LIDA members: Craig Adams and Kristin Froelich

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Directions

Take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 73 (Greenport-Orient). Go to end of the exit ramp and begin County Road 58 (at Tanger Mall). Continue east on Route 58. This road becomes Route 25 at Edward's Sporting Goods. Continue on Route 25 for 15 miles. Once in Southold, about a mile past the Southold Town Police Station, turn right onto South Harbor Road. Make the first left onto Bay Water Avenue. At the end, make a right onto Bayview Road. Continue on Bayview Road to the General Wayne Inn. Turn left onto Cedar Beach Road. Follow Cedar Beach Road to the end. Make a right turn into parking lot.


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Last modified: October 17 2010