Let’s see a seal haul out site

seal haul out area sign montaukThe arrival of winter meant we could take our children to the seal haul out site in Montauk. When my daughter asked if she could pet them and my son said he’d bring a ball for a seal to play on its nose, I knew it was time for them to observe seals in their natural habitat. start sealhaulout trailwood path Montauk Point State ParkSeal Haul Montauk swamp in woods


We followed a trail through a forest and wooden pathways across swamps. My children found sticks and more on the Sea Haul out Trail.

running towards seal areaThen one final dash and a path led us to the seal haul-out site in north Montauk.

seal haulout area

seal haul out montauk point northAnd there they were. Seals at sea as they should be. Scattered across rocks in the low tide.

seal on rock

Earless seals. True seals. Banana-shaped on rocks. Poking their nose out of the water. Basking on their natural stone docks.

montauk point seals hauling out

seal resting on rock

seals swimming rocks

All was quiet apart from the rippling of water and a distant seal bark.

wide shot seal haulout area

Migrating south from arctic and subarctic regions, the true seals rest, sleep and conserve energy on the rocks near Montauk Point. Harbor seals are most common but sometimes there are also Harp Seals, Ringed Seals, Hooded Seals, and Gray Seals at this seal haul-out site. Seal Haul Montauk observation shelterSeal Haul Montauk seal sign

I was tempted to stay until high tide but it started to pour so it was time to head back home. Once again we followed the yellow markers back through the wetlands and deciduous forest, leaving behind the shore’s off-season residents resting on the sea’s boulders.

gulls seal hauling out


In the summer you can spot celebrities on the beaches from the Hamptons to the Montauk shores, but I prefer these sightings at the Montauk seal haul out during the winter cooler months.

seal haul out south fork long island

Montauk Seal Haulout Trail, Long Island, NY

The Seal Haulout Trail and site is located in the Montauk Point State Park.  The nearest parking is on the shoulder of Camp Hero Road just off Montauk Highway (Route 27). The trail begins just a short walking distance to the west on the north side of the highway. Follow the yellow Seal Haulout trail markers on the trees through the woods to the beach observation point. It’s about 0.75 miles hike from the highway to the beach. I would recommend only going on a weekend or national holiday as there is hunting in the area from November to end of February – apart from weekends and holidays – as well as bring binoculars if possible. You can also book a family walk to the Montauk Point seal haul-out site with a local guide or the South Fork Natural History Museum.

trail signs Montauk Point State ParkThe seal haul out observation walk is a perfect outdoors outing with kids if you are visiting in the off-season and wondering what to do in the Hamptons or Montauk in the winter.

33 thoughts on “Let’s see a seal haul out site”

  1. Had no idea New York had seals. That’s incredibly cool! Did some search and found out (from NY DEP) that NY state has 5 seal mammal and only “true” seals, no sea lions, etc. So cool!

  2. wow look at those seals! i’ve only ever seen them in zoo’s or a sanctuary in cornwall, would love to see them in their natural habitat just chilling like they are here. x

  3. Oh my goodness Kriss, it looks incredible there. Beautiful photos too – just wonderful 🙂

  4. How absolutely lovely to get so close to the seals just basking in the sea! And I’m inclined to agree with you that seal spotting is much more satisfying than celeb spotting 🙂

  5. What a wonderful sight, it must have been mesmerising to watch them in their natural habitat. Also a great plcae for the children to burn off some energy and explore the surrounding area. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  6. Oh wow, this is absolutely amazing! And there we were, up on on the Coast Guard’s hut with my husband pointing on what he thought was a “seal sighting”. To be fair, I think it really was one, but just one and here you and your kids saw loads of them 🙂

  7. Loving these photographs, what a beautiful place. There were so many pics posted on facebook of friends going to see the seal pups at a place near where I live, really need to go this year.

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