Best Cliff Walks Part 2: ‘Sconset, Nantucket

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Last week I posted about the beautiful Newport Cliff Walk. It turns out that’s actually not the only place you can traipse through the backyards of beautiful houses to walk along an ocean bluff. There’s another such walk and it’s on the island of Nantucket. If you head to Nantucket’s easternmost edge and the town of Siasconset (locally known as ‘Sconset) and navigate to Front Street, you will find the start of the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk. Front Street, itself, is a picturesque road made up of seashells and bordered with grass. A sharp turn onto the bluff walk and you are skirting the broad yards of large, shingled houses, heading north along the edge of the ocean. The houses are well aware of their location and seemingly face the ocean, their backs to the road behind. The path used to go all the way out to Sankaty Head Light but has eroded into the sea. Sankaty Head has been moved back from the bluff but you can still get there on foot if you follow Baxter Road just a little ways north past the end of the bluff walk.

The ‘Sconset Bluff Walk might be an inaccessible ocean view but for local architect and developer, William J. Flagg. Flagg recognized the value of this view for the community as early as the late 1800s. As he built houses along the ‘Sconset bluff, he wrote the public-access path into their deeds to ensure that residents and tourists alike would always be able to walk this scenic bluff. Thanks to Flagg’s foresight, the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk has become iconic and is enjoyed by far more than just the residents of the houses it borders.

Do you know of a similar trail that crosses private land? Let me know in the comments, below!

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Sources and Further Reading:

Don’t miss my other recent New England posts:

You can read more about the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk in a number of places including the Bluff Walk’s official websiteNew England Today, and Travel & Leisure.

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6 thoughts on “Best Cliff Walks Part 2: ‘Sconset, Nantucket

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