Norwood Farm: The Window is Open!
Nantucket Conservation Foundation and Nantucket Land Bank
Grassy trails, recently cut brush paths, forests, wetlands
Walk 1, very little shade
Walk 2, about half shaded
30-60 min walk
Currently my most satisfying walk! Norwood Farm, a 207-acre parcel purchased by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and the Nantucket Land Bank, meanders over grassy paths, small streams and through shady woods and sunny fields. This walk is pretty much as close as we can get on Nantucket to being in the deep woods—with lots of old deciduous trees.
There are two main walks (and lots of off-shoots yet to be explored). Walk 1 is pretty basic, but Walk 2 is a joy!
This is a perfect walk for dogs—wide open paths on Walk 1 and lots of meandering fun and wading streams on Walk 2—and few people on either.
Walk 1: There is a very wide, clear path that goes in a complete circle. Out of the parking lot you can go straight or you can go left. Stick to the main trail and walk in a circle back to the parking lot. On this path you may see turtles in spring and summer, either laying eggs or heading for one of the many ponds. I’ve seen both snapping turtles and painted turtles here.
Walk 2: This walk may not be passable in the wettest part of spring and the lushest part of summer: the forest trails are very narrow. Once grown in, they may not be visible. So go now! (NLB and NCF both have plans to create more trails throughout the Norwood Farm property.)
To reach Walk 2, take the main trail from the parking lot and go left. When you come to a large, clear path on your left take this, over a small foot bridge. Follow this path as it slowly bears to the right and then the left, eventually through a field of “glacial erratics,” large rocks strewn about, each with a small tree next to it. Bear left over a small stream, and when you see a house in front of you, take a sharp left.
This is where the fun begins! You head into an old wood, with large trees, moss-covered logs, small streams with bridges or planks (and one where you and your dogs just have to jump), and tiny ponds. The paths here can be a bit vague, but you can’t get too lost. There will be one time when you want to bear right (as that trail looks like the obvious one), but that leads no where fast, so turn around and and take the left instead. There are grassy fields, the remnants of an old stone wall, moss bogs, and gorgeous old trees with room to stretch their branches. You've come near to the end of this trail when you come upon a large pond with trees growing around it (pictured). Take a left here.
This walk is a large loop, hooking up again with the main trail. Take a right at the end (you'll realize you are on the main path) and you’ll head back to the parking lot.
That Nantucket has such treasures as these protected properties is probably my number one favorite thing about our wonderful island. Grab your dogs and go explore!
To get there: Head out of town on the Polpis Road and at 3.7 miles from the rotary, bear right where there is a semi-circle pull out in the road (I think for school buses). There is also a red decorative fence on the right. The number is 243 Polpis Road. Follow this pull out to nearly the end and turn right into a parking lot.
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.