With stunning views of local waterways, acres of undeveloped pastures and rows and rows of lush grapevines, a long drive down one of the North Fork’s picturesque roads can be a relaxing and therapeutic exercise.
While it can be frustrating to traverse Main Road and the North Road, especially on Sundays in the fall, there are many long, serene roadways that are free from the hustle and bustle of the main arteries.
Here are five of our favorites for a Sunday drive.
Remember: If you do choose to make a trip down one of these streets, heed the speed limits and respect the people who live there.
NARROW RIVER ROAD
At just under two miles, it should take less than 10 minutes to travel Narrow River Road in Orient. But the views and bucolic imagery make this short stretch of pavement one of the best-kept secrets on the North Fork. Located close to the eastern tip of the North Fork, it offers striking glimpses of Narrow River over tall blades of grass.
Take note of the Slaves Burying Ground along the way, where 20 slaves were interred along with Dr. Seth Tuthill and his wife, Maria, who insisted on being buried with their servants.
Hang a right off Route 25 (if you are traveling east) on Narrow River Road and take it to the end.
OREGON ROAD AND BRIDGE LANE
One of the prettiest back-country drives will take you 4.3 miles along Oregon Road and Bridge Lane from Mattituck to Cutchogue. The route is dotted with beautiful farmland, vineyards, nurseries and private residences.
Traveling from west to east, beginning at the intersection with Mill Road, you’ll soon find Shinn Estate Vineyards, the first of two vineyards that call Oregon Road home.
Beyond Shinn you will pass a series of pretty Victorian homes, classic farmhouses on either side, Lieb Cellars and Zuhoski Farms.
Oregon Road ends in Cutchogue, where it turns right onto Bridge Lane, another stunning scenic road.
While crossing the tracks you will find the road’s namesake, an old wooden overpass just wide enough to accommodate one car at a time.
Then you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of Pugliese Vineyards. Drive slowly to take it all in as you head south to rejoin Main Road in Cutchogue.
NASSAU POINT ROAD
Nassau Point Road in Cutchogue, approximately two miles long, travels over a causeway that separates this picturesque peninsula from the rest of the North Fork.
It does not disappoint.
A recent sunset drive featured big fluffy clouds backlit by the setting sun, boats moored in Peconic Bay and tall grass bordering an empty dock.
Other than Broadwaters Cove Marina on nearby Skunk Lane, you won’t find businesses like farm stands or vineyards in this part of town. Instead, the attraction is glimpses of Peconic Bay and Mud Creek.
The drive is easy enough. Just follow Nassau Point Road until you reach the end. If you have a Southold Town permit, you can park and explore the pristine sandy beach. Then turn around and go back the way you came.
PECONIC BAY BOULEVARD
Peconic Bay Boulevard is a six-mile sun-dappled road along the Peconic Bay shoreline that cuts through Mattituck, Jamesport and Aquebogue.
This road harkens back to mid-century America, with lots of American flags proudly displayed, picket fences and maybe a little lemonade stand.
Start in Mattituck near Bay Avenue and head west.
About a third of the way along, the trees open up to large farm fields on the north side of the road. The wide open vistas make you feel more like you’re in Kansas than on Long Island. On the south side, are tiny roads that lead to the bay.
After crossing South Jamesport Avenue you’ll come upon Golden Earthworm Organic Farm. If you’re there on a Friday, the only day it’s open, be sure to stop in for some organic produce.
Beyond the farm, Peconic Bay Boulevard begins to get very curvy, with many tight turns and small bridges, so drive carefully. It is here where you’ll find three farm stands selling homegrown produce, flowers and freshly chopped wood.
Peconic Bay Boulevard finally ends at Meeting House Creek Road, where you can catch a view of the creek.
Soundview Avenue is a meandering five-mile drive that follows the northern edge of the North Fork, along Long Island Sound.
Called “Humpty Dumpty Road” by locals, Soundview is a quiet, shady and very woodsy road, dotted with many very private residences.
Start at the intersection with Mill Road. About a third of the way along, you’ll find Goldsmith’s Inlet Park on the north side of the road. Stop here to soak up a beautiful view of the Sound. Soon after you will come to Sound View Dunes Park, also on the north side of the road.
Horton Point Lighthouse is another worthwhile stop along the way, full of history and offering breathtaking views from the top of the tower. Turn left onto Lighthouse Road and follow it to the end.
After Lighthouse Road, you will begin catching longer glimpses of the Sound as the road moves closer to the coast. This is also where the drive ends, as Soundview Avenue reconnects with Route 48 in Southold.