Long Point to reopen with online ticketing

Long Point Wildlife Refuge is set to reopen. –Lexi Pline

Starting June 18, Martha’s Vineyard residents and visitors will once again be able to enjoy Long Point Wildlife Refuge via the summer gatehouse entrance, but with a new, online ticketing system in place, according to The Trustees of Reservations.

The refuge, which includes 600 acres of beach, dune, and woodland, was initially closed in March amid mounting fears of COVID-19. Vineyard properties were able to reopen in early April, and the Trustees has since implemented a phased reopening process for its 118 properties, in accordance with all state guidelines.

In order to maintain social distancing, the Trustees will limit the amount of people on Long Point to 60 cars — half of its normal capacity, said Sam Hart, the Trustees director for Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. In order to maintain this limited capacity, the Trustees are implementing a timed ticketing system. With this new system, all visitors, including Trustee members, must reserve passes online, and sign up for a time to enter in advance. Passes will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Because of the ongoing threat of coronavirus, beachgoers should also expect a slightly different experience at the property. The Trustees is requiring all visitors to bring a face covering, which must be worn by all visitors over the age of 2 as they enter and exit the property. Visitors are also required to maintain six feet of distance between themselves and other guests. 

These guidelines will be in place during the initial stages of Massachusetts reopening plan, and are not permanent. “As the state continues to reopen, we imagine these restrictions will relax,” said Hart.