Ditch Plains

Atlantic surf spot that Native Americans once called home


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At the most eastern point of the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, the Atlantic crashes ashore at Montauk, also known as “The End.” Today Montauk’s Ditch Plains beach, a sandy stretch backed by dense greenery, is a popular east coast surf spot. In a former life it was a lookout point for the Montaukett Native Americans who once inhabited the area. The moorlands that surround Ditch Plains keep the beach hidden until it reveals itself at the cliff’s edge. That elevation was beneficial to the Montaukett who used the higher ground to spot enemies attempting to come ashore.

It’s no longer a secret, luring wave aficionados from afar. Many brave the waters year-round, even in blizzards, to ride the long break. There are hazards though, not least the reef rock to the east.

Ditch Plains isn’t just a surf spot. At dawn and dusk it opens to dogs. They’ll often join their surfing owners in the water before the beach gets busy with sunbathers.

Photos: Len Holsborg / Alamy Stock Photo, Grant Monahan/Ditch Witch, Gordon M. Grant / Alamy Stock Photo, lisadimster/Getty Images

Did you know?

Montauk claims to have more saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world, its beaches are perfect for sport as well as sunbathing and swimming.


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