Chappaquiddick-or as we call it- “Chappy”
When you live on Martha’s Vineyard, everyone always asks: “What do you do in the off season?” It’s a great question and last time we met, we discussed the simple pleasures of the “Windshield Sunset.” Chappaquiddick or “Chappy” is also a worthy adventure and a great thing to do , while social distancing. Also, I wrote this before “The Stay In Place” order so call before going to any restaurants or stores.
Some background before we start: Chappy is geographically part of Martha’s Vineyard and politically part of Edgartown. Sometimes it’s connected to the rest of the island via an isthmus called Norton Point. Vehicles with 4×4 and very low tire pressure can traverse it with a sticker from The Trustees of Reservation. Large storms can sever the connection, however, making Chappy a true island. The primary means to get there is via The Chappaquiddick Ferry. If you have seen the movie Jaws, you have seen the ferry. Their URL is the home of many webcams. Check the camera that focuses on the ferry line before you embark, cause even off-season, it can still be busy with contractors and trucks.The one and only store on Chappy is closed off-season, meaning bring food or beverages with you.
Vintage MV Wine and Spirits has a great selection of beverages. For one-stop shopping for food and beverages, check out Rosewater on South Summer Street. Both are in Edgartown. Download The Trails MV app to help explore the many conservation areas. And, don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars; Chappy is a target rich environment. Two words of caution:
- The military practiced aerial bombing there, so don’t go near any metal objects found on the beach!
- Do a tick check when done. (Yes, the bug.)
This is one of our favorite spots on the entire island. It’s also off the beaten track, literally and figuratively, so a car with clearance is essential because the road can be bumpy. Drive straight off of the ferry, travel 1.3 miles, and be on the lookout for the first road on the left past this sign.
North Neck Road
Then, follow the road; meander 1.1 miles through forests and The Royal and Ancient Chappaquiddick Links, an amazing old-school nine hole golf course. Keep going till you come upon The Land Bank property North Neck. A short walk from the parking lot is a lookout with commanding views of Marth’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Nantucket Sound. If you stand on top of the bench at the lookout toward the parking lot, Nantucket island is majestic on a clear day. It is actually one of the few spots on Martha’s Vineyard that Nantucket is visible from. Unfortunately, the stairs down to the beach are currently under repair but hopefully that will be remedied soon. Map
Next on your adventure, head back to the parking lot. Leave the car and continue walking down the road. On the right-hand side is another Land Bank property. This side of North Neck has views of Cape Poge pond
When you’re done with the view, get back to your car and go back the same way you came. Varsity tip: when you get to the end of the road, fork left and take the next left. When the road turns 90 degrees to the right, go straight on to Dike Road to the next area near the end of the road….Map
Mytoi is a quaint Japanese Garden tucked away on Chappy – a secluded place to walk and reflect. A massive whale vertebrae greets you at the start of the trail. It’s easy to feel small when you look at this behemoth.
Time to head back to your ride and continue down the road to the infamous bridge. If you don’t know the story/stories, Google it.
Heading back the same way you came make a left onto Chappaquiddick Rd. At the next intersection stay left on Pocha Rd. and you’ll be on the cusp of…Map
Located at the elbow of Chappy, Wasque is a vast conservation area managed by The Trustees of reservations. It’s an awesome area shaped by the ocean and wind. Take the left fork fto the south east corner of the island;here is a great trail along the bluff…
Lastly, head back to the fork and make a left on the other road, parking at the beach. You don’t want to miss this great “windshield sunset” as we discussed in our last blog. Offseason, it’s “second base” in terms of privacy.
Thus concludes your Chappy adventure and another episode of “The MV Innsider blog” – although what we’ve experienced today is just a sliver of what Chappy has to offer. Let’s plan to take another Chappy adventure in the near future.