SIASCONSET’S HISTORIC BLUFF WALK
Open 7:30am until sunset
Siasconset derives its name from an Indian word meaning “near the great whale bone.” The village was first settled in the late 17th century as a whaling outpost to spot the giant sea mammals offshore.
In 1873, William Flagg, a summer resident of Nantucket, obtained title to a large section of land north of the village known as Plainfield. When Flagg sold some of his lots in 1892, it was recorded that the easterly line of these lots was separated from the edge of the bluff by “a footpath along the top of the bank.” In August of that year, Flagg petitioned the Proprietors to accept a tract of land “for residents and visitors to Nantucket to be used as a footpath or foot promenade and for no other purpose or purposes whatsoever.”
The footpath no longer ends at Sankaty Head Lighthouse due to erosion of the bluff but still provides outstanding views of the Atlantic. As historian Edouard A. Stackpole commented, the path is “situated as it is at the top of the bluff, always commanding intriguing glimpses of the sea and the heathland on either side, curves and dips as it follows the conformation of the bluff, and provides an entirely unique opportunity for a stroll.”
The steep angle of the bluffs and its sandy glacial material are prone to erosion from water and storms. Sea-level rise and the deadly force of storm waves have had dramatic effects on the bluff and adjoining properties. Following some simple rules will go a long way to protecting this fragile path and limit the impact of humans.
Be considerate of neighbors’ privacy and keep voices low.
Turn off your cellphone.
No running or wheeled vehicles allowed.
Dogs must be on a leash.
Stay on the path and leave only at designated exit markers.
Native vegetation includes poison ivy and watch for ticks.PUBLIC ENTRY/EXIT POINTS
# 1 - On path between Front Street and northern end of Bank Street. Path off of Front Street is to left of 21 Front Street.
# 2 - At the end of Nosegay Lane
# 3 - Between 13 Baxter and 15 Baxter (where Rosaly Lane intersects with Baxter)
# 4 - Between 27 Baxter and 29 Baxter (where Emily Street intersects with Baxter)
# 5 - Between 63 Baxter and 61 Baxter# 6 - Between 65 Baxter and 67 Baxter