A Worrisome Walk At Burying Hill

Recent “06880” stories about using federal pandemic funds to restore the jetty at Burying Hill Beach got Scott Smith thinking.

Over the holidays, the alert and environmentally minded “06880” reader decided to take one of his favorite walks: from Burying Hill around the cove to Frost Point.

The rocky promontory is named for one of the original Bankside Farmers — the first settlers of Greens Farms — but the attraction for Scott is something that came much later: a line of concrete pilings extending far out into the sand flats. He believes the scenic ruins were once a deep-water dock serving the Bedford estate.

Of course, he notes, the walk is possible only at low tide — not just to stay dry walking down the beach, but even to make it into the parking lot. The roadway is underwater at most high tides. Scott hopes that the jetty project — if it happens — also includes flood mitigation for the road and lot.

Burying Hill Beach entrance and parking lot at high tide.

Yet, he says, it looks like a big construction project is already underway nearby. A homeowner on Beachside Avenue is repairing the seawall. Huge boulders tumble across the sand, many well into the water line.

Boulders on the sand.

Scott says, “I’m all for homeowners keeping their property shipshape. But I also want to know that once the work is all done, Westporters will still have access to this beautiful stretch of beach. I take the graffiti on the seawall as an ominous sign.”

(Photos/Scott Smith)

7 responses to “A Worrisome Walk At Burying Hill

  1. Would be nice to BURY the electric wires that run all along Compo and the mill pond beach too.

    • joshua stein

      Buried utilities are a NIGHTMARE in flood-prone areas. You want infrastructure high as possible.

  2. mary schmerker

    I would hope that there regulations that would dictate what a homeowner can do in the way of construction. I would hope that there are regulations allowing public access to the beach. Also, construction on one portion can affect the whole in many negative ways. This is a case of conservation in my mind at least. Permits should be required for review and approval before construction is started.

  3. Nathaniel Martin

    Under the Public Trust Doctrine anyone can walk, fish, swim, etc below the mean high water line. The state owns the land below the mean high water line and the property owner owner owns above that line. As long as you stay below that line you can travel anywhere you desire.

  4. Richard W. Alley

    I was away for 20 years and since my return, am amazed at how much public access to the water seems to have vanished. Clark’s Beach, halfway between Burying Hill and Bedford’s (Frost Point was always a town right-of-way. The gate leading to the seawall was aways accessible to anglers willing to park at New Creek and walk out to the Point to fish. Now, the parking at the corner of New Creek and Beachside is restricted. The Town used to own a RofWay and launch ramp a short distance downstream of Pasacreta Park on Riverside Avenue. That disappeared. Fishing is banned in the Creek itself at Burying Hill and the jetty itself used to be usable by anglers. I had one of my best nights ever of striped bass fishing there back in the 70’s. So-called progress spells sadness for us old-timers.- Dick Alley

    • Gloria Gouveia

      In response to Richard (Dick) Alley: Mr. Alley, Happy to know you’re home again. Although I’m not a fisherman, I read every one of your columns. Hope you’ll take up weekly writing again.

    • joshua stein

      I am interested in the history of these public access areas and why they have been restricted.