09 Oct 2012

Happy Trails on Nantucket

Happy Trails on Nantucket

One of the many benefits of living or vacationing on Nantucket is the ability to bicycle to most of the island’s beaches and popular destinations. The extensive network of paved trails offers accomplished cyclists and novice riders alike the opportunity to tour the island without the hassle of navigating the congested summer automobile traffic. You can make your way from Surfside to ‘Sconset, from Madaket to Dionis, from Polpis to the airport without ever leaving a bike path.

Until recently however, one of the trendiest areas of the island has been without a bike path. The Cisco area, with its popular surfing beach, Cisco Brewery, Bartlett’s and Pumpkin Pond Farms and East Coast Seafood Market draws a huge crowd. With the heavy traffic on Hummock Pond Road, it has become increasingly dangerous for cyclists, joggers and motorists alike to frequent the south shore hot spots. So it was a big cause for celebration when the announcement came last spring that an anonymous donor had offered a $500,000 contribution if the city would agree to expedite its 10 year plan for the creation of the Hummock Pond Road Bike Path and complete it by 2013.

As a local resident who lives just off Hummock Pond Road, I can tell you it’s been both heartwarming and amazing to watch the fast and furious creation of the path unfold. The joint effort of many island contractors, businesses and officials has been evident and their cooperative endeavor has been like watching a synchronized swim team. Mr. Backhoe digs and clears, Mr. Strawman lays giant straw retaining bales, Mr. Pavement pours the hard surface while Ms. Policewoman directs traffic. There is an exuberant energy on display as they work.

As I slow to observe the unfolding masterpiece each evening on my way home from work, I’m struck by how quickly the path is being created. It appears to be way ahead of schedule, with pavement already poured on a section close to the beach! More importantly, as I look beyond the “beauty” of the unfolding trail, I observe what appears to be mass destruction in many of the lawns impacted by the necessary cuts the path must take to wind its way out toward the beach. These homeowners are making a genuine sacrifice as they allow the pathway to cut a wide swath into their personal property. This new bike path exemplifies all that’s wonderful about our island; community resources, donations, a unified effort and personal sacrifice to create something for the greater good of our residents and visitors. This is Nantucket at its finest.

If you are on Nantucket in the next few months, take a trip out Hummock Pond Road to observe the progress. By Summer 2013, you can plan a family bike ride or morning jog out to Cisco via the newly completed trail. As you enjoy the island scenery along Hummock Pond Road, take some time to consider all of the people owed a debt of gratitude for the opportunity to tour the island safely.

Keep peddling!

Shellie Dunlap

Related Posts
  • 20 Sep 2011 Nantucket kids Peter Pan says if growing up means it would be beneath his dignity to climb a tree then he refuses to ever grow up. One of the most amazing things about Nantucket is it brings out the child in all of us. I had the opportunity last week to experience Nantucket through the eyes of... Continue Reading
  • 17 Jul 2012 GPS on Nantucket For a tiny island measuring only 14 X 3 miles Nantucket is replete with numerous little destination spots. It’s difficult to explain our geography and “neighborhood” system to new visitors. The conversation goes something like this Yes there is technically only one “town” and yes that’s correct the town bears the same name as the... Continue Reading