Nantucket, known as the Little Grey Lady of the Sea, is renowned for its quaint atmosphere and throwback vibes. It has some of the most stunning scenic walking trails in coastal New England, making it a perfect destination for vacationers and visitors who enjoy walking.
This scenic New England island is located 30 miles south of Cape Cod in the United States. It boasts over 80 miles of soft sandy beaches and some of the best preserved historic lighthouses, cottages, and buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Furthermore, more than 50% of its land is conserved and protected in its natural state. Best of all, the island is so small that it is practically possible to see everything there on foot.
If you love walking and want to experience some of the loveliest views around, then check out Nantucket’s many beautiful walking trails. Thanks to the vast availability of residences on the island, which are offered as short-term rentals, you can pick the lodging for your stay near your preferred walking trails or neighbourhoods.
Here are four of the absolute best walking trails on Nantucket!
#1 – Sconset Bluff Walk
This is one of the most beautiful and scenic walking paths in Nantucket. It is only a mile long and, when used as an out-and-back trail, will take about 38 minutes. But, those 38 minutes will definitely be some of the most enjoyable and memorable minutes of your life.
The footpath is covered with white seashells. It will take you directly through the backyards of the village of Siasconset, where you can gaze at and take photos of the iconic weathered cedar shingle cottages.
Therein lies one of the top Instagram-worthy sites on the island – the rose-covered cottages. These charming summer homes are surrounded by trellises with crawling red and pink roses and manicured gardens with hydrangeas behind charming white picket fences.
The walk then passes by the cottages, the local market, and picturesque bluffs, and if you take the left turn at its end, you can get to the Siasconset Beach and the famous red and white striped Sankaty Head Lighthouse. The walking path is easy, but no jogging, dogs, or bikes are allowed.
#2 – Tupancy Links
This walking trail passes through the picturesque Tupancy Links, which was actually part of the first golf course on the island but was later gifted to the Conservation Foundation of Nantucket.
The loop trail is short and easy. In total, it is 0.9 miles and will take you only about 18 minutes to complete. This makes it perfect for people who like short and leisurely walks or runs, birdwatchers, or people with small children and dogs.
This walking trail passes through the preserved flora and fauna right up to the shore, where you can enjoy a stunning view of the Nantucket Sound and the bay.
#3 – Squam Swamp
If you love quiet walks among nature, then Squam Swamp is one of the best places in Nantucket for you. The main walking trail is a loop trail with a length of 1.75 miles. It passes through bogs, swamps, meadows, vernal pools, and thick forests of red maple, American beech trees, tupelo, and sassafras. On average, it takes about 48 minutes to complete.
The path is very well-marked and passes over boardwalks, roots, and stumps. It is an easy trail, suitable for families with children. To reach the start point from town, take Pocomo Road, and once you reach Wauwinet Road, you will get to the Squam Swamp.
#4 – Masquetuck
The Masquetuck Reservation is a 13-acre preserve and trails which will ensure you enjoy one of the most beautiful nature walks while vacationing in Nantucket.
The walking trail will take you past salt marshes, a freshwater bog, and a hidden forest with some rare old hardwood trees, shrublands, and dreamy grassy meadows.
It is a 10-15 minute walk but will allow you to relax away from the hustle-bustle of the town and the crowded popular places on the island. The paths are grass, dirt, or moss-covered, and you can reach them via Polpis Road and then left on Quaise Pastures Road.
The main path will take you to the beach, and you can take a side path if you want to reach a higher elevation for a panoramic view of the Beach and Polpis Harbor.