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Wide Open Spaces: The Milestone Bogs

When this month’s frigid winds die down, visit Milestone Bogs. A little farther out of town (see directions below), this walk’s wide paths make it easy to walk several abreast and still have a good conversation, so it’s ideal for a larger group of walkers. The property also boasts a well-defined parking lot, good signage/maps, and trail maintenance. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation does ask that walkers (and their dogs) stay out of the inner bogs and use only the outside main roads/trails of this property.

Leaving the parking lot, take a right by the main sign/map and follow the trail beside the bogs. (Straight ahead in the distance you will see a fenced in area where sheep used to graze. We sometimes go into this area and release one dog who is normally leashed so she can run free for a bit.) 

If you forgo the fenced area, follow the main trail left and then left again around the large bog, and on your right a trail leads into the woods. I recommend you try these woods trails, too, but be warned: every time I’ve walked in here I get lost. Every time. They are not on the maps and they are not marked and they go every which way. For fear of ending up at Sankaty Head, I usually just turn around after 20 minutes and go out the way I came in. 

If you stay on the main trail (rather than heading into the woods), the bog trail takes you around the many acres of cranberry bogs, as outlined on clearly posted maps along the way. It’s all wide open mown grass and dirt paths, and you can decide how many of the bogs you want to circumnavigate, making the walk as long or as short as you have time and energy for.

We’ve seen deer here, especially in the early evening, so leash up if your dog is one to chase them. Two years ago there was a snowy owl that stayed at least half a year over by the sand pit, with very little fear of humans or dogs. Some months, the “whale tails” are on display in the first bog.

Also note that at certain times of the year the bogs close due to flooding and at other times for pesticide application. 

Directions: Head out of town on the Milestone Road. After Tom Nevers Road (which will be on your right), you will see a bus hut on your left, then a Nantucket Conservation Foundation marker with a small parking lot on the left (this is the Serengeti walk), then one more marker, which is for a scenic overlook to your left. The third Nantucket Conservation Foundation marker on the left with the stone reading 220 is the one you want. Drive in on Larsen Road. Drive through the gate to the 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.