Cape Cod & The Islands

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge

Chappaquiddick Island

516 acres

View of Cape Poge from Dike Br...

Explore this magnificent barrier beach with its sandy shoreline, expansive salt marsh, beautiful salt pond, and unique colony of hardy red cedars.


Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • What You'll Find
  • Facilities & Accessibility
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories


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Formed thousands of years ago by offshore currents, the barrier beach on Chappaquiddick Island’s eastern edge extends for eight miles from Wasque Point past the Cape Poge Lighthouse to the Gut. Powerful currents push through and flush Cape Poge Bay with oxygen-rich water that attracts striped bass, bluefish, bonito, and albacore, while tidal waters support extensive salt marshes around Poucha Pond.

Cape Poge elbow is home to a gull rookery and nests of piping plovers, least terns, and oystercatchers, while The Cedars offers a glimpse of century-old, low-growing eastern red cedars sculpted by salt spray and wind.

Leland Beach, also known as East Beach links Wasque Reservation and the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge. The property surrounds over 100 acres and a half mile of prime beachfront. The Trustees manages the area for the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), who got the property in 1993. Fishing access is preserved through this collaboration, allowing access to the legendary Wasque Point surf-fishing waters. Bluefish and striped bass are common targets among recreational fishermen.

Ideas for Your Visit

Purchase an oversand vehicle permit and explore Cape Poge’s diverse upland, marine habitats, delicate beach ecosystem and a lighthouse with origins dating to 1801, that used to guide ships through the shoal waters and shallows of Muskeget Channel into Edgartown Harbor.

Admission & Hours

Gatehouse Hours: 9AM – 5PM, Memorial Day – Indigenous People’s Day.

Free to pedestrians

Admission paid at Mytoi.

Learn more about OSV permits and buy a permit.

Open year-round, daily, 24 hours (10PM to 5AM – fishing access only).

We welcome school and youth groups for experiential educational programs. Please visit our Education Page for details and to initiate a visit request.


Directions & Contact Info

Dike Road, Chappaquiddick Island
Martha’s Vineyard, MA 02539
Telephone: 508.693.7662
Beach access hotline (current beach closure updates): 508.627.8390.

Get directions on Google Maps

From Edgartown-Chappaquiddick ferry, take Chappaquiddick Road 2.5 mi. At sharp right curve, continue straight on Dike Road (dirt road) and follow 0.5 mi. to entrance and gatehouse over Dike Bridge. Town parking area (20 cars) on town side of bridge. Additional parking (15 cars) at Mytoi on left side of Dike Rd. 0.2 mi. before reaching bridge.

What You'll Find

Advanced hiking over very soft sand along 10 miles of oversand vehicle and walking trails, plus beach front.

Swimming Beach

Park at Mytoi and walk to our pedestrian-only beach.

OSV Beach

Purchase an oversand vehicle permit to access several miles of beach.

Shining Light
At the northernmost tip of the sand barrier stands the Cape Poge Lighthouse. First erected in 1801, the lighthouse helped guide ships through the shoalwaters and shallows of Muskeget Channel, and into Edgartown Harbor. Storms and erosion felled the beacon twice; the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1844 and again in 1893 and this latter incarnation still stands. The Cape Poge light flashes a brilliant white 63 feet above the sand dunes and can be seen by sailors nine miles out to sea. The U.S. Coast Guard maintains the Cape Poge Lighthouse.

Facilities & Accessibility

Benches, beach wheelchair, bike rack, restrooms (May 30 – Oct. 15) provided.

Fresh water is available by hand pump from Mytoi parking areas.

Property Map

View or download a trail map by clicking here.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Rules and regulations for over-sand vehicles can be downloaded here.
  • Over-sand vehicle access is subject to occasional closures (June/July) to protect rare nesting shorebirds, the presence of rare or endangered species, or for any other reason pertaining to the safety needs of visitors and/or wildlife.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash from October through April.
  • Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties. Any questions may be directed to The Trustees at
  • Free town parking lot (20 cars) located on town-side of Dike Bridge.
  • Additional parking (15 cars) is located at Mytoi on the left side of Dike Road 0.2 mi. before Dike Bridge.
  • For assistance on the beach, please speak to a ranger at the Mytoi Gatehouse.
  • When bringing a vehicle across, please be aware that summer ferry lines to Chappaquiddick Island may exceed 1 hour. Walk-on passengers rarely have to wait more than 7 minutes.
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: We ask that photographers or their clients become Contributing Level Members before conducting portrait sessions at this property. Click here for more information, and to request permission for any portrait sessions. The Trustees of Reservations reserves the right, and may give permission to its designated photographers and videographers, or to outside media, to photograph or video visitors and program participants at all its facilities and properties. For film inquiries, please contact
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Original acreage a gift, with endowment, of Charles S. Bird and Oliver D. Filley in 1959. Additional land purchased in 1972, 1975, 1977, and 1995; and in 1970, 1971, and 1976 with funds given by Mrs. Seth Wakeman. Additional land given by Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Parmenter in 1964; Doris H. Chouinard in 1965; Dr. and Mrs. Edward B. Self in 1978 and 1984; Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Murray in 1983; and Philip B. Norton in 1986. Additional lands purchased in 1995 from Donald Greenstein.

The View From Here
See What People Say

The Trustees of Reservations tour of outer Chappaquiddick was excellent. You go over-sand in some of the remotest parts of the Islands. Fantastic views of Cape Poge Bay and Nantucket Sound. Great lighthouse stop.

JackMV, Trip Advisor

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