Milestone Loop Trail Great for Dogs and People
Milestone Loop trail is a sweet little Nantucket Land Bank walk that is a good shady pick for hot days. The main loop itself is only 1.5 miles, but there are other options for walking here. The Land Bank trail is well marked, and if you know your way around, you can even hook up to the State Forest (Polpis Version) walk, which terminates at the Shawkemo Hills entrance. (For directions to the Milestone Loop Trial walk, see below.)
From the parking lot on Milestone, head out on the marked path, and you soon come upon the Polpis Water tower. (In the summer, this first section of the path is loaded with blackberry vines.) Keep following this path and you will shortly have a choice to go right or left. At this point it is a loop, so either way will bring you back to your car sooner or later. But for the sake of this trail description, bear right.
For the majority of the walk you will be walking single-file on a narrow trail through scrub oak. At one point you emerge at a meadow, and during summer and fall a flock of sheep grazes here. Back into the woods you go after the meadow, and soon a U-turn loops you left, along another straight trail through the woods, to a land bank arrow pointing left, and eventually to the parking lot.
If you want a longer walk, rather than following the Land Bank trail and making that U-turn, take the dirt road straight (don’t go right or left), which will lead you all the way to Shawkemo Hills on one straight dirt road and then a foresty path. There are a few other lefts and a right you can take from this long dirt road, too, so don’t be afraid to explore. The water tower is a helpful landmark that can be seen from quite a distance.
This is an easy, any day walk, and one of our usuals. It’s close to town, has plenty of parking, isn’t highly trafficked, and gives you plenty of options. And the sheep are always ready for their close up!
Leash Alerts: If you are with a dog who might dart out at the sight of a deer or rabbit, leash up at the beginning of this walk: the path is close to the Milestone Road. Also, if your dog is one to bother the grazing sheep, leash up as the forest turns to meadow.
Directions: Take Milestone Road heading out of town. About 1/4 of a mile after you pass Polpis Road on your left, start looking for a Land Bank marker also on your left. It will be by a rock with a 44 on it. It looks like it is someone’s driveway, but the Land Bank Parking lot is in there too, to the left of the driveway. (There is a cobblestone apron to this driveway).
A Dog’s Life, Nantucket, explores the many dog (and other animal)-related issues on Nantucket. Stephanie Henke co-founded Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals and created and manages Nantucket Dog Walk, a website dedicated to the many glorious dog walks on Nantucket.