PO Box 26, Menemsha, MA 02552

PO Box 26, Menemsha, MA 02552

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Hiking on Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is a mecca of trails and hiking opportunities primarily due to the Land Bank and its 2%

tax on all sales. Since its inception in 1986 and with help from conservation agencies like Trustees of the

Reservation, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the Vineyard Open Land

Foundation, conserving properties has become one of the top priorities of the Vineyard. As a result,

annually published on a map created by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and distributed by the Land

Bank, there are over 3000 acres of wonderful places to go for a leisurely walk

across the island. Some are large enough to make a day of hiking and enjoy some gorgeous scenery,

while others are smaller and great for short strolls, bird watching or photography. The Land Bank

categorizes each property for its primary uses like dog walking, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking

horseback riding, fishing and beaching to name a few.

I serve as a co-chair of the Chilmark Trails and By-ways Committee and thus have had much opportunity

to walk, bike and run many, if not most, of the trails in Chilmark, West Tisbury and Aquinnah. Many of

my favorites have some special destination like a remote beach or pond. Some have wonderful history

like the Brickyard. I love to go somewhere and feel like it’s my own. Of course time of day and season

have a lot to do with that. Some of my favorite hikes are Cedar Tree Neck, Menemsha Hills, Great Rock

Bight and Wascosim’s Rock. Sepiessa is a wonderful place to walk, as well, and even better if you want

to drop a canoe or kayak into the pond and paddle to the beach. Chappaquiddick is a full day adventure

to go out and walk Mitoi gardens and explore some of the Vineyard’s most amazing beaches or kayak

some really beautiful ponds. In addition to what is published on the Land Bank Map, there are also

countless trails that meander across the Vineyard, some through private properties and others on

ancient ways – roads that date back to the early days of settlement and are now only paths for foot

traffic or bikes. The knowledge of these trails is public but rarely can one find it publicized to protect its

pristine and sensitive nature. These trails are the interconnections that can allow someone on a bike or

horse to ride for hours and rarely cross pavement.

The Vineyard is a beautiful and scenic place and it’s these qualities along with the protections against

over-development by local zoning boards that have made it into the wonderful island I love.

Land Bank map

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