A Day On Shelter Island: Mashomack Preserve, Marika’s, & The Islander

Ah, lovely Shelter Island…impossibly beautiful, quiet, simple, quaint, and utterly peaceful.  I’ve gotten into the habit of paying the $2 at the ferry terminal to walk on the ferry, hang over the edge of the boat, and turn my face to the sun like a dog with its head out the window.  I can’t help it!  The salty air is intoxicating and some of the most magnificent homes line the coast of Shelter Island.  The Chequit is a short walk from the ferry, along with some cute little shops and restaurants.


Today we took the car over and had a bit more mobility.  We stopped in town, walked down to Bliss Department Store and looked out at the empty harbor that will soon be teeming with boats now that spring is here.


Then we headed to the Islander for lunch.  The Islander has a great clam chowder (or so I’ve been told, since I don’t eat seafood) and all of us enjoyed our lunch.  The prices are reasonable, the staff is very friendly, and when Rob and I were there in September we were treated to a view of the resident turkey flock (gaggle?).


Just down the road is Marika’s Antiques, a lovely eclectic antique/vintage store that has tons of retro furniture, jewelry, and art.  I love this place!  It’s an absolute treasure trove.  Marika is brimming with personality and you can tell she loves what she does.  Every room is packed with stuff and there are buildings out back packed with more stuff.  The place is a picker’s paradise!

After Marika’s we headed for the Mashomack Preserve, which took all of us by surprise with its beauty.  The preserve is owned and maintained by the Nature Conservancy and has 2,039 acres of pristine land on the coast.

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There are about 10 miles worth of trails that are all well maintained, and even though they run through the woods and meadows, it seems that one could avoid deer ticks in the season if careful and dressed accordingly.  We took the yellow and red trails, about 3.5 miles, that took us past the shoreline, through some marsh, and into an expansive meadow where bluebirds and swallows were nesting.

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The meadow was a field of rolling golden grasses, boulders, and pairs of bluebird houses set up throughout.  A feeling of peace hung in the air.  The woods were quiet, save for bird calls, the muted swish of wings on a branch, and the crunchy undergrowth noises of chipmunks and squirrels foraging.

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I would love to come back when the marsh grasses are a lush green and the meadow is alive with butterflies.

We drove around the island, past the mansions on Shore Road, and I have to say, there wasn’t one house we passed that I couldn’t dream of living in, even the small ones.  The whole island is picturesque.  I always feel like life on the island must be so peaceful, so quiet.  Oh the writing a person could do!!!  Just for kicks I checked the real estate section in the Suffolk Times and the least expensive home listed on Shelter Island was $449k, boasting 1,000 square feet, and needing lots of updating.  I found a lovely place in better condition for about $795K.  I really need to win the lottery.
These times at home are so special.  As much as I love my house in Franklin and feel so utterly blessed to have it, I miss the water terribly.  You can’t grow up by the water, move away, and not miss it…simply impossible!   I would love to move back here, but there just isn’t a way right now…there may never be, but I will hold each moment I have here close to my heart.

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