Duration: 1.5 to 3 hours – approx. 2 miles
Explore Nantucket’s wilderness on foot with a private guide. With your guide, discover Nantucket’s protected lands and learn about how the island was created by the last glacier, how Nantucket got its unique collection of plants and wildlife, how and when Native Americans and European settlers impacted the island’s natural world, conservation efforts, and what the future may hold for Nantucket.
- The three most popular hikes are: Smith’s Point trail, Shawkemo Hills trail or Polpis Harbor/Quaise trail (descriptions of each hike are on the second page of this document). Other hikes are also available.
- Length of the tour depends on the chosen hike.
- English speaking tour guide
- Transportation to/from hike location
- 24/7 Support Line
- Guide gratuity
Description of the Hikes:
Smith’s Point is a treat whenever you can get out there. Jutting out into the channel between Madaket Harbor and Tuckernuck Island, Smith’s Point alternates between including Esther’s Island, so named when Hurricane Esther in September 1961 cleaved off half of Smith’s Point from the rest of Nantucket. Although we islanders still refer to Esther’s Island as Smith’s Point, this temporary island has separated and reconnected to Nantucket several times over the centuries. Smith’s Point, Nantucket’s westernmost sand extremity is a great hike to see gray seals during the winter, see nesting piping plovers, least terns and American oystercatchers during the summer and catch a glimpse of Tuckernuck Island.
Shawkemo Hills offers a hiking experience through a portion of the island dramatically shaped by the last glacier to cover most of North America. From a high spot on this hike, see and learn about the formation of Coatue, Great Point, the Haulover, Nantucket Harbor and inner harbor shores. And from a low spot along the trail, sometimes called a frost bottom because frost prevails only at these lowest of island elevations when it does nowhere else on Nantucket, discover how the glacier shaped the hills and dells — kames and kettles in geologic terms — of this north-central part of the island. This is probably the shortest hike Nantucket Walkabout leads, clocking in at no more than one hour.
Although Polpis Harbor is part of Nantucket Harbor, with its own narrow channel leading into it and two distinct coves or, lobes, this former kettle hole definitely feels like its own small harbor with a mooring field in its east lobe and a few boats in its west cove. Native Americans living around it spelled Polpis “Podpis”, which in their tongue meant “divided or branched harbor.”
The Polpis area was first called “Spotso Country” for an Indian chief named Spotso who lived nearby for about 40 years. In the 1600s, farms sprouted all around the harbor, along with fulling mills to clean and prepare wool. Some industrious islanders built sea salt evaporator operations and also excavated peat from the saltmarsh to burn in stoves for heat.
Please contact us for pricing information.