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Take a hike!

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
Photo by T. Kates, courtesy of the trustees

Cape Poge
Wildlife Refuge

On the eastern most edge of Martha’s Vineyard sits the island of Chappaquiddick, or “Chappy.” Thanks to a rough storm in 2007 that breached the thin line of Norton Point Beach, Chappy is completely cut off from the main island, furthering its reputation as a lush, untamed refuge for those who really want to get away. The island is home to the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Wasque and Mytoi. 

Since 1801, the Cape Poge Lighthouse has marked the northern-most tip of the sand barrier, and despite having been knocked down and rebuilt twice, once in 1844 and again in 1893, the lighthouse has been a guiding light for those seeking Chappaquiddick. Thanks to the Trustees preservation of the area, Cape Poge is home to breathtaking wildlife, including endangered species and anglers’ favorites. 

Wasque makes up the southeastern corner of the island, an exquisite coastal experience for visitors and residents alike. Wasque has something for every visitor, but not every visit will be the same. Due to seismic shifts, increased severity of storms and rising sea levels, Wasque’s position on the outermost tip of Chappy leaves it susceptible to constant change. The reservation is home to many different species of birds, a kind of bird watchers’ paradise, and the butterflies that populate the area will delight kids and adults of all ages. “All of the habitats we maintain and steward are abundant with rare species of plants, birds and fish. It can be a tricky balance sometimes, but that’s the game on Chappaquiddick,” says Hart. 

Mytoi Gardens
Photo by T. Kates, courtesy of the trustees

While nature reserves, beaches and wildlife are to be expected in a place like Chappy, a traditional Japanese garden featuring a pond, native and non-native plants and footpaths is rather unexpected. But, nestled inland is the peaceful, calm oasis that is Mytoi, a place to contemplate, relax, and breathe. “Mytoi is a Japanese style garden that was started by a garden enthusiast on Chappaquiddick. It’s this serene gem in the middle of nowhere!” Hart laughs, “I remember going as a kid and just wondering, ‘How is this even here? How did this magical place just open up in the middle of Chappaquiddick?’” To fully experience the serenity of Mytoi, check out “Mytoi Mindfulness” a yoga opportunity in the middle of the garden. 

Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Over on Nantucket, the Trustees have worked to preserve the 16 miles of trails and sand road that make up the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. For those looking to experience the pure, untouched beauty of Nantucket, Coskata-Coatue is the perfect place. Looking out over the dunes, visitors can look toward Cape Cod across the Sound or to the other side of the world across the Atlantic. If you are looking for a destination to reach at the end of your hike, visit the beautiful Great Point Lighthouse. Nature-lovers can experience uninterrupted wildlife in this place that deer, horseshoe crabs, seals and many, many more call home. If you’re looking for the rugged, untamed Nantucket of years past, make sure to visit Coskata-Coatue with its unending beach, rolling dunes and serene forests. 

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