Nantucket Bike Paths: Ultimate Island Access

August 9, 2018

For an all access pass to Nantucket, all you need is a bike. Blissfully removed from streets and cars, Nantucket bike paths will take you and two wheels to every lighthouse, beach, and brewery on your list.

Rent and Ride

Before you can explore all 33 miles of Nantucket’s bike paths, you need to find your wheels. Luckily, Young’s has been in the bike rental business since 1929. They carry bikes for all ages and sizes, and have mapped out the island’s most popular bike trails right from their store. Pick up your bike and set out on their special self-guided tour, which hits all the historical landmarks of downtown Nantucket.

For group bike rentals, Nantucket Bike Shop will prep and size your rides as part of a package deal before you and your friends even get there — with helmets and bike baskets included. They also have a selection of refurbished bikes and brand new rides available for purchase if you’d rather take your two-wheeler back to the mainland.

It lives a little out of town, but The Island Bike Shop is a favorite among locals. They offer a discount on reservations, so you can get a good price and skip the line. If your own bike needs a little TLC, get a full tune-up at their full service repair shop.

You’re a VIB: Very Important Biker

The real reason you want to have a bike on Nantucket is the VIP access it gives you to the island’s more secluded beaches. While it’s great to zip over to crowd pleasers like Jetties Beach or Cisco Beach, the magic happens when you venture a little further down the bike path.

Sconset Beach is a favorite destination for birders, early risers, and seals. To get there and back from town, try The Loop, an 18-mile adventure past cranberry bogs, Sankaty Lighthouse, and the Nantucket Shipwreck and Life Saving Museum.

On the western shore, Madaket Beach is famous for amazing sunsets and super soft sand. The bike ride out is a gentle six miles, but bring your appetite for a fresh lunch and ice cream from Millie’s Market or a lovely dinner at Millie’s Restaurant.

Let a Tour Guide Lead the Way

If you’d rather not bother with rentals or maps of any kind, let the good people at Nantucket Bike Tours lead the way. Take the family for a gentle spin on the Family Adventure Tour, or grab your buddies for the Brewery Tour. Bikes, helmets, water bottles, and enthusiastic know-how are provided, so just bring your cycle-ready self and a good camera for the photo-op stops. If the popular tours don’t appeal to you or you have your own trip in mind, talk to them about a private tour, and choose your own adventure.

Bikes against a fence on a Nantucket bike path.
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism via Flickr 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Bike Safe, Bike Happy

Helmets are required for kids 16 and under on Nantucket, but we all want to stay safe out there. It’s easy to get a  helmet with your rental, so you can get a good fit before hitting the trails. While the bike paths are separate from roads for the most part, use common caution when riding on the streets. And finally, a safe bike is one that’s well cared for, so treat your ride to a tune up if it needs one, and you won’t miss a day walking a flat tire home.

Free Wheels Wednesday

What’s sweeter than a breezing down Nantucket bike paths? A free rental and a homebase in the heart of Nantucket. Hit the trails on the double with our Free Wheels Wednesday package, good for you and a free-wheeling friend.