Nantucket Dog Walk

Walk. Walk your dog. Walk Nantucket.


State Forest

Wooded Paths

Some dogs

All shade

There are two parking lots for this walk. There is a large one that holds at least 10 cars right off of Lover’s Lane. Take Old South Road toward the airport and look for Lover’s Lane on your right. The parking lot is about 1/4 mile down Lover’s Lane on your right.

The other parking lot is off of Ticcoma Way. Take Fairgrounds Road from Old South Road and look for Ticcoma Way on your left (right across the street from The Faregrounds Restaurant). Follow Ticcoma all the way to the very end. It dead-ends in a small parking lot that fits about 4 cars.

This State Forest is basically a big rectangle bordered by Lover’s Lane and Bayberry Lane and Rugged Road and Old South Road (see map).

I like it for several reasons, and it is definitely my go-to walk on many a day.

First of all, it’s got shade, and on a hot, humid Nantucket summer day, sometimes that’s hard to come by. I’d say the walk is about 90 percent shaded, though since they put in the disc golf course, it’s a little less so.

From either parking lot, there are paths both to the right and left. As of winter 2013, the section of the forest closest to Old South Road is completely set up and maintained by the Nantucket Disc Golf course group. That doesn’t mean you can’t walk your dog here. Just be cautious of flying discs and give way to players. The other side of the path is also part of the course, but is not completed yet.

The paths wander here and there, but don’t worry, you can’t get lost. Remember that the entire walk is hemmed in on all sides by roads. If you hit a road, turn around and go back.

One of the most exciting things about this walk is that it’s got a great obstacle course. Technically, the obstacle course is on Camp Richard’s property. Camp Richard is a scout camp (owned by Nantucket District Boy Scouts of America) that is rarely used. If you cross over Rugged Road, you will see two small parking lot/entrances to the camp. One has a large sign that says Camp Richard, and the other one doesn’t, but they both lead you into the camp. If there is a troop there, I don’t use it, but as I said, I’ve rarely found it in use.

To find the obstacle course, head toward the camping buildings and keep going straight. You will come to a very large open field with a basketball hoop and sometimes a volleyball net. Keep heading straight and in a small clearing you will come upon some balance beams. This is where it starts. Follow it along as it makes a loop to the right.

If you can’t afford agility classes or equipment, this makes for fun lessons with your dog. This is a course meant for humans, but be creative and see how you might be able to teach your dog a new trick with some of the obstacles. Bring treats and lure them across (or over) the balance beams. Throw a tiny treat into the middle of each tire and make them “run the tires.” There are posts for “up and sit,” and even upright tires to teach “through.”

If you want to hang out with your dog in a less intense way, head NE to the aforementioned Nantucket Disc Golf course (starts at the Lover’s Lane parking lot). People and dogs aplenty just roaming around playing: a GREAT way to socialize your dog or spend outdoor time with your already socialized dog. Go grab a disc or two at the Sunken Ship. Be forewarned: there are some serious disc golfers on the course, so you may need to make way.

Dogs need physical and mental stimulation. This is a great place for them to get both!

Yeah, Makita’s not that into it. . .

State Forest

Mikaela leads Ike on the balance beams. Makita tries to distract him, but he is fearless!