On an island fourteen miles long by three-and-a-half miles wide, one might think there would not be much to explore. However, thanks to different conservation initiatives by local organizations, Nantucket boasts a vast array of public properties that dot the island from one end to the other. While the properties and missions of each conservation entity may vary, they all contribute towards preserving essential parts of Nantucket for all of us to enjoy. From scrub oak-lined trails and sandy paths to transportive tupelo forests and everything in between, there is so much to explore.
Nantucket Land Bank
A land conservation program created to protect and manage important open spaces and endangered landscapes for public use. Almost half of the island is now permanently protected open space! Find their properties and trails here.
Nantucket Conservation Foundation
Working to help preserve Nantucket’s character, the NCF offers property experiences, scientific research and maintains areas of the island for public education and passive recreation purposes. Did you know they have a free app? View trail maps to find that kid or dog-friendly trails that you’ve been searching for. By using it you will support our mission to help us preserve the island for everyone.
Find their trail maps here.
Linda Loring Nature Foundation
Collaboration between the Nantucket Land Bank, LLNF and the Nantucket Conservation Foundation.
The LLNF founder, Linda Loring was a land conservationist and Nantucket enthusiast. She purchased multiple parcels of land since 1957, eventually connecting them into a 270-acre tract which is now a wildlife and plant sanctuary right off Madaket Road! Learn more about their virtual science pubs and trailside story walks here.
The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees work to preserve properties of scenic, historic and ecological value. On Nantucket this includes the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge.
Nantucket Land Council
Since 1974 the Nantucket Land Council, Inc. has preserved hundreds of acres in the Middle Moors, Plains, Squam and Smooth Hummocks. A local nonprofit, the NLC enforces conservation restrictions, scientific research and educates the public on local environmental issues. Donate to support their work and research or click here to learn more and visit these conservation areas.
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Visit Lost Farm Wildlife Sanctuary to experience a different view of Nantucket. Explore two of Massachusetts’ rarest habitats—coastal heathland and sandplain grassland—at Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary on the eastern side of Nantucket. Sesachacha Pond, the largest body of brackish water on the island and located within the sanctuary, is magnet for 300 recorded bird species, including northern harriers and eastern towhees.
The ’Sconset Trust currently owns over 131 acres of land in and around the village. Their two most significant properties, Sankaty Head Lighthouse and Ruddick Commons, welcome thousands of visitors annually who are drawn to the rich history and natural beauty of ’Sconset.
Madaket Land Trust
The Madaket Land Trust aquires, maintains, preserves, and protects open land in the Madaket area for public benefit.
Tuckernuck Land Trust
The Tuckernuck Land Trust preserves land and promotes stewardship and education in order to conserve Tuckernuck Island’s rare natural communities and unique coastal ecology.
FISHER FAVORITE TRAILS
TUPANCY LINKS | 157 Cliff Road
LONG POND LOOP | South Cambridge Street
SANFORD FARMS/RAMS PASTURE| 112 Madaket Road
SERENGETI/MIDDLE MOORS| 165 Milestone Road
SQUAM FARM | 1 Squidnet Way
‘SCONSET BLUFF WALK| 27 Bank Street
MAQUETUCK RESERVATION | 15 Quaise Pasture Road
WINDSWEPT CRANBERRY BOG| 301 Polpis Road
NORWOOD FARM/STUMP POND| Almanac Pond Road
HINSDALE PARK | Old South Road
HOLLY FARM | Polpis Harbor Road