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Sesachacha Pond.

Winter Walks: Sesachacha Shore Walk

Winter Walks: Sesachacha Shore Walk

By Peter B. Brace

Finally, back to the cold air!

Yeah, I’m one of those people who loves winter and loves it when winter lasts into early spring.

I want the snow to stick around so I can cross-country ski and snowshoe on it. I want the ponds to freeze for the iceboats. At the very least, I want it to feel like winter even if there’s no snow.

On Nantucket, we used to have at least some semblance of winter with a few good and strong nor’easters dropping one to two feet of snow on the island and temperatures in the mid-30s and below for at least two of three months of this season. Sixty-degree days in February don’t work for me and my walking needs.

Yes, I get that most people will take as many such days whenever they can during the colder months of the year, but for me t-shirt weather in winter is a cruel lie in that we islanders know that lots of colder, gray and rainy days lie between us and the summer months. Also, it’s a tragic manifestation of how we’ve treated our planet since the Industrial Revolution began that stirs conflict in me. I want to run out and enjoy these days, but then, still in winter mode, I realize the hot weather is coming and I need the contrast to appreciate spring and summer. These weird warm days in winter might be more palatable if the ocean was also warm enough to swim in. I’m so glad that it’s not!

When we do get the colder winters, Sesachacha Pond freezes and is fun to walk partially around, and sometimes on. Even during anemic Februarys such this one with open water on this pond, it’s still a welcome deviation from the more peopled walks on the rest of the island. The southern side of the pond is better for walking because there’s a narrow beach along this part of the shoreline all the around to the pond beach in front of Quidnet village.

When I go for this walk, I drive out to the Polpis Road side of the pond and park in the short dirt road leading down to the pond. Find it coming from town on the left (pond side) of Polpis Road just past 345 Polpis Road, which is in white letters on a maroon concrete post on the right side. Once you’ve parked, walk down to the pond and go right, walking along the edge of the pond on the sand. You may encounter a full pond, in which case, you’ll want to try this one again when the water is lower.

If it’s low enough, follow the pond’s shore all the way around to the barrier beach between the pond and the ocean. That’s it!

Oh, and on the way back after you re-cross the little creek, see if you can find the partially hidden trail on your left leading up onto the low, brush covered bluff. Once up there, you’ll find an open spot from which you can look out over the pond and the ocean. If you want, you can follow the dirt road leading up to this view down to Polpis Road and walk back to your ride on the bike path. I always just catch the view and then find my way back to the pond.

Want to go walking with me? That's not me flirting, that's me asking if you want a guide on your exploration of Nantucket. If you do, check out Nantucket Walkabout and sign up for walk with me some day!