Martha’s Vineyard is a picturesque island on the Massachusetts coast, known for its pristine beaches, quaint towns, and scenic hiking trails. Hiking on Martha’s Vineyard offers a unique opportunity to experience the island’s diverse landscape, from lush forests to breathtaking ocean views. Here’s a guide to the best hiking trails on Martha’s Vineyard.
1. Menemsha Hills Reservation
Menemsha Hills Reservation is a 211-acre nature reserve located on the western side of Martha’s Vineyard. The reserve is known for its scenic trails that wind through oak and pine forests, over rocky terrain, and up to spectacular overlooks of Menemsha Pond and the Elizabeth Islands. The trails range from easy to moderate, with some steep climbs and rocky terrain. The highlight of the reserve is the stunning view from the top of Prospect Hill, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
2. Long Point Wildlife Refuge
Long Point Wildlife Refuge is a 632-acre barrier beach on the southern tip of Martha’s Vineyard. The refuge is an important nesting and feeding site for many species of birds, including piping plovers and least terns. The trail through the refuge starts with a walk along the beach, then crosses a salt marsh and climbs up to a high point with sweeping views of the ocean and barrier beach. The trail is about 2.5 miles round trip, and is rated as easy to moderate.
3. Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary
Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary is a 300-acre nature preserve that spans the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard. The sanctuary is known for its rugged terrain, which includes oak and pine forests, rocky outcroppings, and salt marshes. The trails through the sanctuary range from easy to difficult, with some steep climbs and rocky terrain. The highlight of the sanctuary is the stunning view from the top of Cedar Tree Neck, which offers panoramic views of Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands.
4. Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is a 5,200-acre forest in the center of Martha’s Vineyard. The forest has over 14 miles of trails that wind through oak and pine forests, around ponds, and over rolling hills. The trails range from easy to difficult, with some steep climbs and rocky terrain. The forest is also home to several species of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and coyotes.
5. Great Rock Bight Preserve
Great Rock Bight Preserve is a 63-acre nature preserve located on the eastern shore of Martha’s Vineyard. The preserve is known for its stunning views of Nantucket Sound, and its winding trails that pass through pine and oak forests, across grassy meadows, and over rocky outcroppings. The highlight of the preserve is the view from the top of Great Rock Bight, which offers panoramic views of the sound and the surrounding landscape.
Hiking on Martha’s Vineyard offers a unique opportunity to explore the island’s natural beauty and diverse landscape. Whether you’re looking for an easy walk along the beach, or a challenging hike through rugged terrain, Martha’s Vineyard has something for every hiking enthusiast. So grab your hiking boots and hit the trails to discover the best of this beautiful island paradise.