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Time to Take a Dog Dip

Nantucket's Best Dog Swimming Holes

I realize we live on an island surrounded by beautiful beaches. And in the winter, I love bringing my dogs to most of them. However, in the summer the beaches are crowded, not all allow dogs, and if you have a dog who isn’t always polite around other dogs or steals snacks from  picnickers, well, you might want alternate swimming options. There are plenty of ponds on Nantucket where your dog can wade on in, and a few that are open enough for full-on dog paddling.

Take a Swim

Barrett Farm Trail. This walk takes you along the edge of Clark’s Cove. There are a few small inlet paths along the trail, but wait until the end and you come to a sandy beach between the pond and the ocean. Dogs can go right on in and have a good swim.  

Stump Pond at Windswept Bogs. Grab a trail guide when you arrive so you can find the pond, but it’s probably only a quarter of a mile from the main parking lot. Stump pond is a quiet, calm, clear pond. Even when the larger ponds have had algae alerts, I’ve never heard of one here. You will often see egrets, cormorants drying their wings, and turtles basking on logs. Dogs who like to swim will find this a favorite summer outing.  

Gibbs Pond by the Milestone Bogs. Rather than parking at the lot at the Milestone bogs, head back west on the dirt road you are on. Alternately, take Barnard Valley Road from the Milestone Road straight to the pond. This pond even has a sandy beach!

Wade on In

Maxcy Pond is a great place to hop out of your car and get right into the water, with no long walk required. Leash Alert: This pond is right beside Cliff Road, so you might want to leash up.

Mizzenmast ends at a dirt turn-around, and here you will find an inlet into Miacomet Pond. Be careful, though, as many people fish here, and I have found a hook and line.

Millbrook offers several small paths to Hummock Pond. This is one of the ponds that has had algae alerts in the past, so always check the water quality before letting your dog drink or swim here.

Gardner Farm also opens to Hummock Pond at several places. Heed the warning above about algae, however.

Sanford Farm has at least one entrance to the pond a little way down and across from the fenced in area where they are doing deer research. There is a short path along a partial split rail fence and you end up directly across from the outlet at the Millbrook walk! So, again, heed the algae warning.

Norwood Farm has two ponds along the loop trail, but both are pretty mucky. If your dogs like the mud, and you don’t mind tubby-time, let them have at it.

Have I missed any great dog swimming holes on Nantucket? Let me know!  

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.