The Foundation’s 23-acre property at Little Neck provides an oasis of open space just outside the village of Madaket. Little Neck is bordered by Hither Creek to the southeast and Madaket Harbor to the northwest, terminating in a narrow point facing Jackson’s Point on the opposite side of Hither Creek. This peninsula is home to many rabbits and is also an excellent place to see shorebirds, crabs and other coastal creatures. Little Neck is also an excellent property for children to explore – there is shallow water along the west side of the property which is ideal for wading and is often full of crabs, seaweed and minnows.
The property can be accessed by taking North Cambridge Street (a right turn off Madaket Road approximately 1 mile before the end of the road in Madaket). After passing the Madaket Marine Boatyard, take the next left turn (a dirt road called Little Neck Way) past several private homes to a small parking area. Vehicle access to the property is not permitted beyond this point. The overgrown dirt road turns into a walking path that continues from the parking area for approximately ½ mile before reaching the end of the point, where Hither Creek enters Madaket Harbor. From here, the shoreline bordering Madaket Harbor to the northwest can be followed back to the parking area.
Although small in size, a variety of interesting habitats can be found on this unique property, including an extensive salt marsh, a narrow beach, maritime shrublands dominated by salt spray rose and high tide bush, and low coastal dunes covered in dense beach grass. The salt marsh and extensive mud flats exposed at low tide are important feeding sites for many species of shorebirds, including American oystercatchers, yellowlegs, great blue herons, and great and snowy egrets. Horseshoe crabs can often be observed in the shallow waters offshore, and osprey nesting on the Jackson’s Point nesting platform frequently hunt for fish in the harbor and creek bordering the property.
This parcel represents one of the Foundation’s first acquisitions: it was generously donated in 1968 by Walter Beinecke, Jr. and Mary Ann Beinecke.