DIRECTIONS:Heading north: When you get into McKinnons, look for Vindalls Takeaway restaurant (green with screened in eating area) on the right. In about 400' there will a road to the left with a sign for Chez Pierre and then in 250' a road to the right. Turn here. If you pass a baseball field on the left, then you’ve gone about 300' too far. Heading south: Once in McKinnons, look for the baseball field on the right and then take the road to the left. If you get to the road going to Chez Pierre, you’ve gone about 250' too far. It’s a little over a mile to the sand beach roads. There will be a little shack on the left on the crest of the ridge as you go out (yes, someone does live there). As soon as you start going down, you’ll experience one of LI’s famous, or rather infamous, rutted hard pan hill roads (see photo in Gettin 'Round). This one is treacherous (I dropped a muffler going up). I will repeat: DRIVE SLOW and RIDE THE RIDGES.
Once at the bottom, there is parking and beach access immediately in front. There are dune roads to the left and right both of which lead to two additional beach access points (see googlemap earth view). These are hard sand and very driveable. The parking areas sit up on the dunes and also can be reached by car. The lanes to these may be a bit softer sand so just make sure to use a little extra speed when going up them.
DIRECTIONS:Heading north: There are two entrances so if you miss the first or decide not to use it you can take the second. The first one is directly opposite the road to the BEC power plant in Millers. You can’t miss the BEC sign. This is sand and goes through some farms which is interesting in and of itself. It is low and gets lots of puddles right after a rain. But the sand is very hard and doesn’t get soft. If you miss it or decide not to take it, in ½ mile there will be a paved road to the right. It goes through a small cut. Turn here and continue on the paved road. Shortly before the crest it will go to hard sand and on the down side hard pan. Note the caution on the earthview beach map: at the bottom there is a deeply rutted blind ‘S’ curve. DO NOT GO DOWN INTO THE RUTS!Heading south: You’ll pass the baseball field in McKinnons and then the road on the right to Chez Pierre. In 1/4 mile there will be a paved road to the left. Its sort of hidden as it is at an angle to the QH and goes through a cut. A church sits on top of the cut. Turn here and continue on the paved road. See rest of directions above.
There is a ‘T’ at the bottom. The beach road to the left leads to a single access point. Towards the end it does go through a low spot that when dry is hard, but when wet, is soft mucky yucky goo, i.e., you have a good chance of getting stuck up to your hub caps. If in doubt, better to park on hard sand and walk. In any case, the parking area is low and not up on the dune, so no matter where you park, you will have to walk up and over the dune to get to the beach. The beach road to the right leads to a parking area with access to two delightful beaches and then ultimately to French Harbor itself.
Although there are two different access roads from the QH to these beaches, I’ve grouped them together because in essence they really are one complex and what you say about one you can say about the other. As mentioned in the Overview section, with the exception of French Harbor, these beaches really aren’t meant for swimming or snorkeling. These may be the penultimate beachcombers beaches where one comes to stroll in search of anything and nothing, that is, the perfect spots to come stroll, enjoy the sand, the salt spray, the water, the sky, and being by oneself. My wife has spent an hour bent over looking for pieces of pink sea shells and discovering each small beach seems to have one peculiar to it while I’ve spent an hour chasing sanderlings hoping to get a perfect photo of them (I didn’t). And the joy of these beaches is that each is small enough that you are not overwhelmed walking its length and each close enough if that you tire of one, you can easily walk or drive to another.
Sanderlings, McKinnons and Millers, Long Island, Bahamas
Beach Treasures, McKinnons and Millers, Long Island, Bahamas
Although all these beaches are similar in flavor, one is unique: French Harbor. This is a very well protected little harbor that is actively used by some of the fishermen in the Salt Pond area. Please make sure NOT to park on the road just in case one of them comes in with a trailer to launch or take out their boat. The harbor consists mostly of a central channel and then a large area of flat rock with small pools scattered throughout. At low tide and in the summer, these small pools get quite warm, and make for a wonderful personal hot tub/spa experience. The cooler water coming in through the cut meeting the warmer beach water makes for interesting sea life and nice easy snorkeling. Probably the most family friendly Atlantic beach north of Salt Pond.
If you’re staying anywhere north of Pinders, you owe it to yourself to visit McKinnons and Millers. But if you have to pick one, go to Millers. Or McKinnons!
Separate photo pages follow. Beaches will be identified the letter on the corresponding earth view map. Click on the links below.