The Windswept Bog and Stump Pond contain 231 acres of retired cranberry bogs, hardwood forests, shrub swamps and freshwater ponds that provide habitat for a wide variety of animals and plants. Once a certified organic cranberry bog operated by the Foundation, Windswept Bog is now in the process of being restored to a naturally functioning wetland. The surrounding protected conservation land provides miles of walking trails that connect to several thousand acres of additional Foundation-owned land in the Middle Moors via property owned by the Nantucket Land Bank to the south. We hope that you enjoy your visit to one of the Island’s most beautiful, scenic and secluded conservation properties!
From the Rotary, follow Milestone Road approximately ¼ mile to the Polpis Road. Follow Polpis Road approximately 6 miles (just after the Wauwinet turnoff) and turn right into the Windswept parking area. It is located directly across from #300 Polpis Road. There is a large parking lot with an information kiosk. A handbook detailing the area’s habitats is available from the NCF offices; the kiosk has trail guides. There are no public rest rooms or facilities.
Windswept Bog is a man-made bog built in the early 1900’s that was purchased by the Foundation in 1980. Cranberries, once an important part of the island’s economy, have been grown on Nantucket since 1857. While this historic island tradition continues at the Foundation’s Milestone Cranberry Bog (the site of its Cranberry Harvest Festival held annually on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend), the Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted to retire cranberry cultivation at Windswept Bog in 2019. In partnership the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, the Foundation is now in the process of developing a wetland restoration plan for Windswept Bog. The goals of this project are to restore a naturally functional wetland that provides habitat for native species and improves water quality and nutrient loading within the Polpis and Nantucket Harbor watersheds while also maintaining public access, use and enjoyment of the property.
Stump Pond is a human-made wetland created during the cranberry bog construction process in the early 1900’s. Once a red maple swamp, this reservoir once served as a readily available source of water for flooding when the cranberry bogs were operational. The stumps that gave the pond its name, visible when the water level was low, are all that remain of the former forest. Maintaining this human-made but unique and ecologically valuable pond is a high priority goal for the Foundation. The hardwood forest surrounding Stump Pond contains some very old trees, including several American beeches and American hollies that are at least a century old. Examples of other tree species found on the property include black tupelo, shadbush, black and white oak, mockernut hickory and sassafras. Because much of the land on Nantucket was cleared and used for agriculture at some point during the last three hundred years, forested communities and old trees are relatively rare on the island. Pockets of red maple swamp occur throughout the hardwood forest in low lying areas containing standing water. Growing below the tree canopy and forming another vertical layer in the forest are shrubs such as highbush blueberry, northern arrowwood, swamp azalea and sheep laurel. Below these is a third layer of flowering plants and ferns, including wintergreen, whorled loosestrife, trailing arbutus and cinnamon fern. These diverse natural communities at Windswept Bog and Stump Pond provide a wide variety of habitat for the many species of wildlife and plants that occur on the property.
The purchase of the Windswept Cranberry Bog was made possible in part by a bequest from Eleanor Ham
James H. Evans
Mrs. Lee S. Holmes
Day Family Trust
An anonymous gift subject to reserved life estates
Bargain sale from:
Rosemary Hall Evans