Long Island’s coastal waters are a favorite hangout for harbor seals starting around November and lasting until about May. Here are a few worthwhile seal walks and cruises where you can catch sight of the pudgy pinnipeds.
CRESLI SEAL WALKS, cresli.org, 631-319-6003. Cupsogue Beach County Park, at the western end of Dune Road, Westhampton Beach. Departs from area near the fence at the western end of the parking lot. About 1.3 miles round trip and takes about 2 hours; weather permitting. Meet 15 minutes before departure, not suitable for strollers, reservations required. Fee Suggested donation: $5, $3 younger than 18. Season Check website for schedule.
GUIDED SEAL WALKS, Montauk Point State Park (meet at concession area), nysparks.com, 631-668-5000. Two-mile, round-trip hike to view seals and learn about their habits, behaviors and population trends. Fee $4, free younger than 3, plus $8 vehicle fee in April only, reservations required. Season Nov.-April, call for dates and times.
GUIDED SEAL WALKS, Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, Jones Beach State Park, 516-785-3614, nysparks.com. Indoor introduction, followed by an outdoor walk to view seals in the waters surrounding Jones Beach. Fee $4, free younger than 3, reservations required. Season Jan.-March, call for dates and times.
SEAL-WATCHING CRUISES, Captain Lou, Woodcleft Avenue, Freeport, riverheadfoundation.org, 631-369-9840; reservations at 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com/fishing. These tours are organized by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. They leave out of Freeport, boarding starts at 12:30 p.m. and boat departs at 1 p.m. A naturalist is onboard to discuss the behavior and biology of seals and other wildlife you’ll see. This 2-hour tour includes an open discussion. Heated cabin and food for purchase. Fee Call or check website. Season Sat.-Sun., Jan.-April, check website.