Phone:508-495-0248
Phone:508-495-0248

How to Explore Chappaquiddick Island, Edgartown MA in four steps

August 23rd, 2016 by Julia Pearl

Woods Hole Shipyard Authority

Chappaquiddick Island, the island off of Martha’s Vineyard

Located off Martha’s Vineyard is Chappaquiddick Island, or Chappy as the locals call it.  Barely connected to the main island by a thread of beach, often breached in storms, the main way to Chappy is by ferry from Edgartown. Exploring this remote island is one of the highlights of a visit to Cape Cod and can be accomplished in four easy steps from the Woods Hole Inn.

1 — Take the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry 

The ferry terminal is about 100 steps out the back door of the Woods Hole Inn, with ferries departing to Oaks Bluff and Vineyard Haven regularly from 6am- 9:30pm. The trip takes about forty minutes ($17 RT passenger fare plus an additional $8 for your bicycle).  My friend and I hopped on the 9:30am ferry to Oaks Bluff to start our bike adventure to Chappaquiddick Island.

Oaks Bluff - Edgartown Jaws Bridge

2 — Ride the Beach Street Bike Path 

Once in Oak Bluffs, we hopped onto Beach Street.  This six mile bike path takes you along stunning Joseph Sylvia State Beach, right onto the center of upscale Edgartown, MA. It is a beautiful ride of about 45 minutes, and we successfully resisted diving off the famous Jaws Bridge — saving that for the way back.

Chappy Ferry

3 — Find the Chappy Ferry 

The Chappy Ferry is located right next to Memorial Wharf, off Dock street in Edgartown. The ferry travels 527 feet, lasts about 2 minutes and delivers you to a whole other world ($6 round trip with a bike). The ferry is called “On Time” as it has no official schedule, just goes back and forth all day.  We enjoyed the brief ride, waved to the ferry driver and zipped out the only road.

Wasque Point

View from Wasque Point

4 — Explore Chappaquiddick Island

We biked about four miles on pavement before the road turned to dirt. Wobbling over pebbles and spinning out in sand pockets was a bit tricky in our street bikes, but we managed. After about a mile, we crossed a small bridge which opened up to the gorgeous Wasque Point, facing the Atlantic to the southeast.  From here, it’s clear sailing, blue sky ocean as far as you can see, next stop Spain.

Our Chappaquiddick Island adventure took us to a whole other world with 38,000 acres of pure nature, conservation lands and unparalleled ocean views. The Island is larger than you think, so I highly recommend taking your bike over — maybe with tire repair kit for that sandy road.  Bikes are also available for rent in Oak Bluffs.

Next time, we will visit Poucha Pond at the Mytoi Japanese Gardens or find the famous Cape Poge Lighthouse.  There is much to see on Chappaquiddick, the island off the island, a memorable day trip from the Woods Hole Inn.  I called them four easy steps, but only you can be the judge of the “easy” part.  Enjoy exploring!

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