Norton Point Beach
Find Your Place
Norton Point Beach Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA
254 acres

About Norton Point Beach

What makes Norton Point Beach a special place?
This 2.5-mile-long strip of sand and dunes served as a vital link between Martha's Vineyard and the island of Chappaquiddick until 2007, when a major ocean storm caused a breach in the barrier beach. But this ever-changing environment still provides an important habitat for nesting shorebirds, and a sporting challenge for the fishermen who surfcast from this popular site.

This beach provides summer recreational opportunities for shellfishing, swimming, bird watching, and picnicking. In the autumn, the extensive sandflats are used by migrating shorebirds for feeding and resting. During the winter, the beach and adjacent waters are often frequented by winter bird residents such as snowy owls, mergansers, and bufflehead ducks.

Trails
Due to recent beach erosion, there is only 1.8 miles of oversand-vehicle trails. There are 4.5 miles of walking trails and sandy roads in the upland area.

Facilities
The western end of Norton Point Beach abuts the state-owned bathing beach, South Beach, which has lifeguards and seasonal restrooms and changing areas. Please note that Norton Point Beach does not have lifeguards. We urge you to exercise caution when swimming or wading at Norton Point.

Norton Point Beach no longer connects Edgartown/Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. The ocean caused a breach in this barrier beach in April of 2007. It is not known when it will fill in. Trails permit access from both ends, but they no longer meet in the middle.

Due to strong currents and riptides, swimming at Norton Point Beach can be hazardous. Use caution at all times and if in doubt, please don't go in the water. The breach can be particularly dangerous. Please stay at least 10 feet away from the edge of the breach and obey all posted signs.

Also, avoid swimming where seals are present. The growing population of seals on the sand islands offshore may attract sharks.

Please use common sense – be safe, be wary, and respect the power and beauty of nature from a safe distance.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 24 hrs. Over-sand vehicle access is subject to occasional closures due to erosion or storm damage, or to protect rare nesting shorebirds.


Beach access hotline (current beach closure updates): 508.627.8390.

Regulations & Advisories

Norton Point Beach no longer connects Edgartown/Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. The ocean caused a breach in this barrier beach in April of 2007. It is not known when it will fill in. Trails permit access from both ends, but they no longer meet in the middle.

Due to strong currents and riptides, swimming at Norton Point Beach can be hazardous. Use caution at all times and if in doubt, please don't go in the water. The breach can be particularly dangerous. Please stay at least 10 feet away from the edge of the breach and obey all posted signs.

Also, avoid swimming where seals are present. The growing population of seals on the sand islands offshore may attract sharks.

Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Directions

Telephone: 508.627.7689
E-mail: capepoge@ttor.org
Beach access hotline (current beach closure updates): 508.627.8390.

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Edgartown follow Katama Road south out of town all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean; the Oversand-Vehicle (OSV) entrance and gatehouse will be on the left.

Admission

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 24 hrs. Oversand vehicle access is subject to occasional closures due to erosion or storm damage, or to protect rare nesting shorebirds.


Beach access hotline (current beach closure updates): 508.627.8390.

Admission Fees & Permits:
Free for pedestrians. Unsuitable for bikes due to deep sand.

Oversand vehicle (OSV) permit fees: Annual permits are $120 if vehicle is not registered on Martha's Vineyard; $70 if vehicle is registered on Martha's Vineyard. Permit is valid Apr. 1 to Mar. 31.

Daily OSV passes are available at the gatehouse only; $35 if vehicle is not registered on Martha's Vineyard; $24 if vehicle is registered on Martha's Vineyard.

OSV permits are available at the gatehouse entrance to the property at Katama, at the Cape Poge and Wasque gatehouses, at The Trustees’ Islands Regional Office at 860 State Road in Vineyard Haven, at Coop’s Bait & Tackle in Edgartown, and from the County Treasurer’s Office (508-696.3845) at the County Administration Building in Edgartown.

Purchase a 2014 OSV permit online now >>

Property History

Property Management
Norton Point Beach is owned by the County of Dukes County and is managed by The Trustees of Reservations.

Programs

Claire Saltonstall Education Program (CESP)
Educational programs for Martha's Vineyard school children are offered throughout the year. For more information, contact the Education and Interpretation Program Coordinator Molly Peach at mpeach@ttor.org.

Maps and Resources

Printed trail maps are distributed free from the bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out.

Some publications are also available for purchase at the Islands Regional Office at 508.693.7662.

Additional resources:



Planning Your Visit

Before You Visit
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.

Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations

Safety

About Hunting on Trustees Reservations

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:

  1. Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.

  2. Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.

  3. Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.


Submitted by Garrett on: June 7, 2012
Great first visit of the season. Just wanted to say they guys out there were very nice today. Bill and Will, I believe. Very friendly, gave my dog some treats and helped me with my permits, really nice morning on the beach. Thank!v



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Announcements & Alerts

Notice: Trails may be especially icy or muddy during the winter to spring transition. Use caution.

Purchase a 2014 OSV permit online now >>

Norton Point Beach is now open for Oversand Vehicles.

Beach access hotline (current beach closure updates): 508.627.8390.

Due to a breach created by an April 2007 storm, Norton Point Beach no longer connects Edgartown/Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. Trails permit access from both ends, but they no longer meet in the middle.

Due to strong and changing currents, swimming at Norton Point Beach can be dangerous. Use caution at all times. The breach is particularly dangerous. Please stay at least 10 feet away from the edge of the breach and obey all posted signs.

Other parts of Norton Point Beach are safe for swimming and fishing, but please note that lifeguards are not present.

Be a part of our Martha's Vineyard facebook community!

Upcoming Things To Do
No events for this reservation at this time.
Other Trustees Properties You Might Like:

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
Chappaquiddick Island, Martha's Vineyard

Wasque
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Mytoi
Chappaquiddick Island, MA