Confusingly, Nantucket is not the only island in Nantucket. The name refers to both the town and the island itself. And within Nantucket the town, there are a few smaller islands with their own names. Tuckernuck, just west of Madaket, is the largest of these islands, with a small population of hearty summer residents.
Fully off the electrical grid and with no grocery stores or restaurants, Tuckernuck embodies a simpler way of life. And its residents, who collectively own the island, plan to keep it that way. Very little has changed on this Island which feels like stepping back in time, when Nantucket was wild and inhabitants lived off the land. While you may be tempted to take a boat over there for a day-trip, Tuckernuck Island is private property, accessed only by explicit permission by landowner(s).
So what makes Tuckernuck truly unique? You may never get to visit, but at least you can learn about this special spit of land.
Rare Plant and Animal Species
Due to its isolated location, the island is home to a number of rare plant and animal species that aren’t even found on Nantucket. If you are ever invited to Tuckernuck, you will find it’s a treasure trove of natural wonder. Perfect for kids and adults, it offers a chance to see seals, rare birds, and unique plants in an even wilder setting than Nantucket.
The Tuckernuck Land Trust has a small field station for visiting researchers. It is full of information about the island and its plant and animal inhabitants. They are dedicated to preserving the island for generations to come and have great information on their website if you are interested in learning more about Tuckernuck and the Land Trust.
The easiest way to explore the coast of Tuckernuck is by fishing by boat around Tuckernuck. Heading out there, it’s impossible to miss all the boats fishing in the area. On the Northside, you might see anglers fly casting in the flats, while larger boats hit the bonito bar to the South. Head to Bill Fisher beforehand to get hooked up with the right set up, and you’ll (hopefully) catch yourself a keeper. If you are in need of a fishing charter, Bill Fisher Outfitters can help with that too.