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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.

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

Overview

Formed thousands of years ago by offshore currents, the barrier beach on Chappaquiddick Island’s eastern edge extends for seven 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.

Ideas for Your Visit

Ride a rumbling over-sand vehicle to tour and explore Cape Poge’s diverse upland, marine habitats and world-renowned fishing spots, 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.

For a different view, paddle through Poucha Pond or amble along an easily accessible two-mile walk at Wasque Beach Uplands.

Admission & Hours

Admission and fees from May 30 to Oct. 15: Trustees members FREE. Nonmembers: Adult $5, Child (15 & under) FREE. Free to pedestrians at other times of the year.

Learn more about OSV permits and buy a permit.

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

Gatehouse open Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend, 9AM to 4:45PM.

 

Directions

Dike Road, Chappaquiddick Island
Martha’s Vineyard, MA 02539
Telephone: 508.627.7689
Tours: 508.627.3599
Email: capepoge@thetrustees.org
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

Trails
Moderate hiking along 14 miles of oversand vehicle and walking trails, plus beach front.

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. Today, the Cape Poge Lighthouse is managed by The Trustees, while the U.S. Coast Guard maintains the automated lantern.

Facilities

Picnic tables, bike rack, restrooms (May 30 – Oct. 15) provided.

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

Property Map

View or download a trail map by clicking here.

Regulations & Advisories

  • 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 at all times.
  • Seasonal hunting (waterfowl only) is permitted at this property subject to all state and town laws. In addition, a Trustees of Reservations permit is required. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties.
  • There is no longer over-sand vehicle access to Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge via Wasque due to severe beach erosion at Wasque Point.
  • 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.
  • Limited handicapped-accessible transportation; call 508.627.3599 for details.
  • Tour participants may utilize a complimentary shuttle service that runs all day, with pickup 30 minutes before tour time at the Edgartown-Chappaquiddick ferry landing on the Chappaquiddick side.
  • 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.
  • The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Please read our photo and video policy.

 

Before Setting Out
More to Explore

Trustees on Martha's Vineyard

With eight Trustees properties to discover on the island, there is something for everyone. Experience unique coastal landscapes, and begin creating treasured memories today.

Explore the Sites

Advance Passes

Cape Poge is currently open in a controlled manner to limit overcrowding and advance passes are required.
Passes
Upcoming Events

History

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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