Nantucket County High Point Trip Report

Sankaty Head (110+ ft)

Date: October 25, 2002
Author: Ken Jones

Mike Schwartz' trip report was good, but I chose an alternative method of reaching this one.

I took the Steamship Authority fast ferry ($52 round-trip from Hyannis at this time of year) to Nantucket. I could also have chosen a Hy-Line ferry. Schedules for both are linked from the Nantucket Island Information Center page at I also paid to park at the Steamship Authority lot ($8 this time of year, payable upon leaving). I must admit to finding the driving a bit confusing as I looked for the ferry terminals and ticket offices in Hyannis - you might look for a map of the area beforehand.

Upon arriving on the island at Steamship Wharf, I walked into town and found a number of bicycle rental shops within blocks - only one (Young's) open this late in the season. You can find bike rental information for Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard at I rented a bike (with helmet and lock) for a half-day ($21) and got a bike trail map from the dealer (free).

I followed the map's directions through town, and took the Sconset trail out to Siasconset and the Polpis trail back. The total bicycle round trip was about 20 miles, but it's an easy 20 miles - I'm no bicyclist.

At Sankaty Head, there are a couple of options for where the actual HP might be. There is a large, grassy area behind a fence by the lighthouse. This is posted by one of the local land trusts "No Trespassing Please." The other bump is behind one of the first two houses south of the lighthouse. I found nobody home when I knocked on the door or when I peeked around back to see if someone was in the yard.

I'm not sure how easy it is to get authorized access to this one - I couldn't find anyone to ask (but then, it was late October). Be aware that there is some traffic on the road (a tour van showed up when I was outside the lighthouse), and you are in plain sight of nearby golfers much of the time.