Martha’s Vineyard is an island known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque villages, and historic landmarks, but it is also home to some of the most stunning hiking trails in the region. Exploring the island’s scenic trails is a fantastic way to connect with nature and enjoy some of the most breathtaking sights the island has to offer.
To begin with, the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, located in the center of the island, offers more than 14 miles of trails through extensive woodlands, ponds, and wetlands. The forest’s trails range from easy paths to moderate hikes with rocky terrain, and they are perfect for a leisurely stroll, bike ride, or horseback riding adventure. The park’s hiking trails are well marked, and visitors can learn about the local natural history at the Forest Headquarters and Museum.
Next, the Great Rock Bight Preserve is a gem of a trail system. Located on the north shore of the island, this preserve offers scenic views of Vineyard Sound, the Elizabeth Islands, and the tranquil Great Rock Bight. It is about a two-mile loop trail that leads visitors through dense hardwood forests and meadows, and ends at a secluded beach. Moreover, the trail system connects with the Aquinnah Cliffs Reservation, where visitors will see some of the island’s most well-known landmarks, including the Gay Head Lighthouse, the Wampanoag Cliffs, and Moshup Beach.
For those seeking a bit more of challenge, the Polly Hill Arboretum offers longer trails and naturalized landscapes. The trails meander through forests of magnolia trees, beech trees, and evergreens. The Polly Hill Arboretum is home to a vast variety of rare and unusual plants, trees, and shrubs, making it an ideal spot to hike and bird-watch. The arboretum provides several trails that are well marked, ranging from a 1.8-mile loop to a longer hike of approximately 4 miles.
Finally, on the western end of the island is the Quansoo Preserve. It is an area with vast stretches of undisturbed landscape, hidden ponds, and magnificent beaches. The trails provide sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, stunning coastal cliffs and quiet ponds. Visitors can also explore many birds and wildlife species living in the preserve, and it is a popular spot for birdwatchers, anglers, and beachgoers.
In conclusion, Martha’s Vineyard offers a diverse array of hiking trails that will delight any nature lover. From dense woodlands to wide open spaces, pond-side paths to panoramic coastal views, there is a hiking trail suited to any level of adventure. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard’s scenic trails today.