Red bicycle with a basket of yellow flowers leaned up against a beach fence

Exploring Nantucket by Foot and Bike


With fresh, salty air from shore to shore, this diminutive island begs to be explored by Foot and Bike or 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Shake off those travel legs with a day hike. The Middle Moors, a vast nature preserve close to Sconset, has an extensive network of trails to choose from. Start at the cranberry bogs, scamper up to Alter Rock (little known ACK fact, this is the island's fourth highest point at 100 ft above sea level), and settle in for a picnic lunch by Gibbs Pond. Sanford Farm is another great option, with a scenic 7-mile loop that take you to ocean and back by way of Hummock Pond. Finally, for a more leisurely stroll, the best path is right outside your hotel!  You could walk for hours on Nantucket's historic brick sidewalks, exploring Nantucket by foot and bike, checking out the shops, galleries, restaurants, and coastal architecture.

Nantucket is a biking paradise, with well-maintained trails covering huge swaths of the island's 105.3 square miles. Bikes can be rented at one of the handful of bike shops, or bring your own. Our two favorite paths are the Sconset and Madaket loops. Sconset is about 18 miles roundtrip, so make sure you fill a water bottle or two before heading out on this scenic coastal route. We like to take Milestone Road out and return on Polpis Road so that we can see more of the island (ok, we must admit it's also a little easier than going back the way we came). Madaket is a tad shorter at 14 miles and shows a different side of Nantucket with its very serene landscape of wetlands and ponds. During the high season, you'll find a market in both locations if you need to make a pit stop.

All this talk of physical activity has us very hungry! After hitting the trails, we like to refuel with a healthy lunch (so we can really indulge at dinner). The Green serves up all natural fare made from scratch, with vegan and vegetarian-friendly options, and Bartlett's Farm offers a full deli counter with a freshly prepared entrees as well. If it's in season on the farm, then you'll see it on the menu. Enjoy your meal at one of the outdoor picnic tables or take it go for a short walk to the beach.

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