A ruggedly beautiful coastal environment where deer, raptors, seals, and shorebirds play.
Made up of a pair of long peninsulas, Coskata-Coatue (pronounced “co-skate-uh coat-oo”) Wildlife Refuge is both a popular warm-weather destination and a wild, remote barrier beach.
Rolling maritime dunes cover more than 200 acres and support bayberry, beach plum, heather, and beach grass. The Cedars, a red cedar savannah and woodland facing away from Coskata Beach and the Head of the Harbor, is the largest of its kind in New England. Coskata Woods is a mature maritime oak forest that contains gnarled, wind-blown trees.
Gray and harbor seals feed on fish and invertebrates in the Great Point riptide and use the nearby beach as a haul-out.
Explore Great Point Lighthouse and the assorted natural wonders of the refuge on seasonal tours, or explore the refuge along the popular Beach Trail, Inside Trail, or Coskata Woods Trail.
Free to all pedestrians and boaters. OSV permits are available for purchase online.
Open rear-round, daily sunrise to sunset (Unless conditions prevent access).
Property is patrolled year-round. Sections of the refuge may be closed depending on environmental conditions. Allow a minimum of three hours.
Nantucket, MA 02554
From Nantucket town rotary, take Polpis Rd. east for 6 mi. Turn left onto Wauwinet Rd. and continue to end where gatehouse is located.There is no parking area.
Access is by oversand vehicle (permit required) or foot.
Free trail map distributed from bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out.
We recommend that you take a photo of the map on your phone so you can refer to it during your visit, or download a trail map before you head out.
Warning! Seals are wild animals and can be dangerous. Seals in this area will chase fish caught on a line. Seals are attracted to fish that are being filleted. Stay Safe.
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.
How do The Trustees of Reservations determine where hunting is permitted?
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As was the case on Martha’s Vineyard, 17th-century European settlers arrived to find the Wampanoag people had been living on this island for thousands of years. The indigenous peoples called their home Nantucket, “the land far away at sea” and their chief was Wauwinet, whose name now graces the gateway to the refuge.
Coskata and Coatue also derive from Wampanoag place names, meaning “at the broad woods” and “at the pine woods,” respectively.
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