For those who enjoy taking their four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach during the summer, mum's the word when it comes to the county's outer beaches. However, the Suffolk County Parks Department says the secret is out with a larger number of people venturing to its outer beaches this past summer.
According to Emily Lori, the spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Parks Department, this summer the department issued 11,500 annual outer beach permits — 300 more than last year.
"The outer beaches are becoming more popular," Lori said. "This year, we were surprised by the numbers; they have exceeded the past couple of years."
According to Lori, the county maintains approximately 17 miles of outer beach, which are spread across parks, including in Westhampton Beach; in Mastic Beach; Charles Altenkirch in Hampton Bays; in Southampton; in East Hampton; and .
The increased usage, Lori said, is good news for the county's purse with the Parks Department raking in $88,000 in outer beach permits last year.
Annual outer beach permits are $93 for green key holders and $46 for seniors. A reduced rate is offered in the off-season, for $46, which Lori said most fishermen purchase. Day passes are also available for $30 each.
For more information on Suffolk County outer beach permits, click here.