Pack the boots but skip the multi-day backpack. The highest peak on the island is just 311 feet, so this is far from Wild territory. What the best hiking trails on Martha’s Vineyard do offer are leisurely year-round paths that lead to vistas, wetlands, and beautiful beachfronts. The following trails are easy for hikers of every level to enjoy.
Great Rock Bight Preserve
Distance: 1.5 mile loop
Never judge a hike by its distance. The path may be short, but this popular destination is certainly one of the best hiking trails on the island. Just off of North Road in Chilmark, Great Rock Bight Preserve mixes a bit of everything in this little loop. The trail brings hikers through out to a bluff with views of Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands. If the goal of this nature expedition is to escape summer beach crowds, this is a prime place to achieve it. Only accessible from the hiking trail, the sandy cove at this preserve is one spot that’s sure to be less populated.
Menemsha Hills Reservation
Distance: 3 miles
For those who crave a bit of elevation gain, the second highest peak on the island is Prospect Hill in the Menemsha Hills Reservation. At 308 feet, it’s just a few feet shy of the island’s top peak, appropriated named Peaked Hill. The preserve has about three miles of the best hiking trails around, leading visitors through wetlands with red maple, beech trees, and black cherry trees. Outlooks along the trail give hikers a terrific perspective with views of Menemsha Village and the Elizabeth Islands.
Long Point Wildlife Refuge
Distance: 2.1 mile loop
Island isolation has never looked as beautiful as it does at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest areas that can be publicly accessed on the island. Combining the beachfront, dunes, and woods, this spot hits the hiking trail trifecta for Martha’s Vineyard. Despite the opportunity for a mid-hike dip in the waves, some would argue that the best time to hit these trails is during a winter getaway. Swimming may be off-limits in winter, but hikers with sharp eyes may spot snowy owls along the beach.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Distance: 4 miles
Some of the best hiking trails in Edgartown wind around the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Take the four trails separately for short jaunts, or combine them to explore the entire sanctuary perimeter. No matter which path you take, you’ll admire all the woodlands, meadows, marshes, and ponds this 194-acre spot has to offer. Plus, at under five miles from the Square, this is one destination that’s close enough to visit by bike.
After an afternoon of exploring, we’d say an evening of relaxation is in order. Whether that means heading to the Square to catch live music during summer or warming up by the lobby fireplace in the winter, kicking your feet up post-hike at Vineyard Square will never lead you astray.