Want to mix up your exercise regime with some gorgeous views and some good fresh air? Mia Silvereo gives the blACKbook the nine runs and walks on Nanucket you don’t want to miss… see what made her list below!
1. The Barn Walk, Sanford Farm
Early Nantucket settlers originally set this chunk of conservation land aside as “common land” where sheep could graze. Now, without fear of confrontation with sheep, anyone can take advantage of its six miles of rustic trails. The Barn Walk, at 3.1 miles, is a lovely run for the experienced and inexperienced alike. If you feel like you’ve spent too much time shopping and you need to get in touch with the more…natural side of life, head over to Stanford Farm for the perfect fix.
2. The Ocean Walk, Sanford Farm
Same stunning natural vistas as the barn walk, just a longer route. At six miles flat, this run will take you all the way from the forest to the ocean. With birds of prey coasting overhead and wildflowers blooming all around, it would be hard to finish this run without a smile.
3. The ‘Sconset Bluff Walk
You literally can’t miss this one. Go to the ‘Sconset market and look towards the water to your left. You will see a little road of white shell. Follow that road until you see a asphalt turn to your right. Take that turn and there you will see a sign that reads “foot path only.” That marks the beginning of the Bluff Walk. Don’t be alarmed when it looks like you are going through private lawns (shhh, you are) – but that makes the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk. Admire the adorable houses to your left and the blue Atlantic to your right. Perfectly Nantucket.
4. One Circle with a Cliff
You say running is boring? From the old Indian Burial Ground that you can see from Madaket Road, to the wildflowers that line Crooked Lane, to the gorgeous houses on Cliff Road, I promise there will always be something to look at if you are panting and cursing your way down the sidewalk. Doing this on a bike and want to grab a snack? Just go a bit longer on Cliff Road to get to Something Natural for amazing food.
5. Cisco Bike Path to the Sand
Take advantage of the new bike path that runs from Hummock Pond Road to Cisco beach!! Not only will you get to the ocean at the end of this run, but you will see a number of Bartlett’s Farm’s fields on the way. If you go at the right time, you might also see some farm animals (think goats). So, what are you waiting for? Go follow the luxuriously wide black asphalt path!
6. Beach run – pick your fav!
There is something special about running on the beach, especially during the evening when the water is glistening and the crowds have returned home. This is an excellent time to watch some marine wildlife that may have hidden from the rambunctious beachgoers and, if you choose a beach on the south shore, you can catch surfers riding waves. Insider tip: take a run on a North shore beach in August. When you’re done, take a refreshing dip in the water and watch as it lights up all around you. This phosphorescence is caused by small, clear jellyfish that are completely harmless.
7. Baxter Road
Another gem in ‘Sconset! This run takes you up to the lighthouse on Baxter Road. Though there is not a bike path on this route, it is a very common walk so cars take extra caution. En route to the lighthouse, you pass arguably some of the most beautiful houses on Nantucket. There is also a special viewing area, perched on the tip of the bluff that allows visitors to see the erosion project that is currently taking place on Baxter Road. Step up if you dare – it isn’t too far from the edge.
8. Altar Rock run
Looking for an ACKventure? This route is definitely memorable. Start on Polpis bike path and after the Nantucket Lifesaving museum look for a dirt road on your right. Take this road. It will bring you to what is mistakenly thought of as the highest point on Nantucket – Altar Rock. This, “rock on the rock” is full of gorgeous hills covered with typical Nantucket shrubbery. The sand path and the hills on this run will get those legs ready for the beach!
Who knew there were even ponds on Nantucket? Run this loop and see Miacomet pond for yourself. This route takes you alongside the pond and the ocean and through the moors. The first time I did this run, I was stunned by the array of colors that I saw lining the rustic beach roads – light purples and greens, heathers and deep reds. If this visual display doesn’t have a tranquilizing effect, then you are one tough cookie – consider dropping running and taking up mixed martial arts instead.
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