Par Course cleared of invasive vegetation now opens to a view of South Beach.
There is a “hidden” outdoor amenity on Fishers Island, and it sits at the east end of the Parade Grounds’ restored grassland. To find it, drive past the Transfer Station, onto the gravel road. Continue past the small “Entry” sign on the right, until you see a defined parking area and a Par Course sign that appears to be standing guard in front of a fortress of invasives.
Small path leads to par course through a “fortress” wall of tangled invasive vegetation.
An entryway cuts through the “fortress” wall of tangled invasives and opens onto the compact Par Course, with 10 exercise stations including Achilles stretch, hip rotation, chin-up, push-up and log jump. Walking past the far end of the Par Course, there is a beautiful view and ready access to South Beach.
The Par Course connects to wide walking paths within the grassland. Actually, the first recreational path appeared on the Parade Grounds well before the Conservancy embarked on its successful grassland restoration. In 2001, the late Robert W. Feagles, whose family first came to Fishers Island in 1956, envisioned and began working on a path in the Parade Grounds, with fitness stations along the way
View west to restored grassland.
He hired a landscape architect from Maine, who designed the path system, and enlisted the aid of the late Dick Grebe, who cleared and moved earth at no cost. With the moral support of Island organizations and individuals, Mr. Feagles pushed the project forward. Unable pay for it himself, his efforts were rewarded when the Southold Town Board in 2003 agreed to pay the $50,000 cost of the fitness trail with money no longer needed for a strawberry festival.
Over the years, walls of invasives grew, bordering the trail and obscuring the fitness stations. When the Conservancy began its Grassland Restoration project, the land was cleared, and the fitness stations emerged.