*EDITOR’S NOTE: As of Thursday, July 26 North Fork Link service has been suspended.
There will be a new way to get around the North Fork starting Saturday. Luxury shuttle service North Fork Link is offering complimentary transportation to and from popular destinations between Riverhead and Greenport starting July 7.
Spearheaded by the North Fork Promotion Council, “The Link” will run on eight Saturdays through Aug. 25. Shuttles will pick up guests at Long Island Rail Road stations in Riverhead, Mattituck and Greenport. Visitors can then hop on and off as they please at villages and other key attractions such as wineries, breweries, restaurants, shops and art galleries.
“For the first time, we are going to provide a service aimed at residents and visitors coming by train,” said Duncan Kennedy, President of the North Fork Promotion Council. “The destinations were chosen based on efficiency and what makes sense.”
There are currently 30 scheduled stops including Hotel Indigo, North Fork Chocolate Company, The Duncan Inn, McCall Wines, Sang Lee Farms, Martha Clara Vineyards, downtown Greenport and the Riverhead Ciderhouse.
There is also an option to create your own North Fork experience or work within a specific theme such as “Family Fun” with stops that include the Long Island Aquarium, North Fork Chocolate Company, Hallockville Museum and Harbes Family Farm & Barnyard Adventure.
A “Food and Wine” itinerary, for example, could include a stop to Jamesport Vineyards, Jason’s Vineyard, Love Lane and Greenport.
Guests of the North Fork and locals alike are encouraged to use The Link. The service, funded by State of New York, aims to reduce East End traffic during peak months and provide travelers with an easier way to get around without the hassle of a car.
Shuttles will run every 30-to-45 minutes between Riverhead and Greenport from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Real time information and location updates will be available via the North Fork Now app. (Stops are subject to change.)
“This is wonderful for people who come out and stay for the weekend, they just hop on and off. It helps the guest experience overall,” said Alane Kelly, of North Fork Now, and Owner and Proprietor of North Fork Guest House in Cutchogue.
The North Fork Link shuttles boast leather seats, WiFi and outlets. There are even on-board concierges to assist with itineraries, answer questions and provide information about the North Fork.
The Long Island Rail Road has partnered with The Link to offer a package that costs $42.50 from Penn Station to Riverhead. The discount package includes round trip rail services to and from the Riverhead station, winery vouchers and a voucher for a chocolate tasting at North Fork Chocolate Company.
Vanessa Gordon is a Hamptons-based writer, tutor and fitness instructor. She received her Master of Arts degree in Education from New York University. She loves paddle boarding, antiquarian cookbooks and tea rooms. Find Vanessa on social media @EastEndTaste.