Logo   Walking & Hiking Martha's Vineyard MA
Lots of great walks, and many ways to get away from the crowds and into nature on Martha's Vineyard island.


One of the best things you can do on Martha's Vineyard is to walk: stroll through the towns, walk along the beaches, and take short hikes in the many wildlife and nature reserves.

Along with bicycling, it's the best way to explore and experience "the Vineyard."

It's expensive and troublesome to bring your car to Martha's Vineyard, but very easy to bring your feet.

Distances are such that you probably won't want to walk everywhere—the island is over 20 miles (32 km) wide—so for the longer distances you'll rent a bike or use the island's inexpensive, convenient public bus service.

Hiking in the wildlife and nature reserves requires a few special instructions. In order to protect these areas from over-use, parking is limited, and when the (usually small) parking lots fill, you cannot stay.

The roads to many of the best nature reserves are narrow single-lane sand tracks that can be traversed easily enough by a normal car, though the going can be slow: when cars going in opposite directions meet, one may have to reverse along the road to a turn-out to allow the other(s) to pass.

So the wise summer hiker goes early or late in the day, especially on weekends, and the wisest hiker gets to the nature reserve by bicycle (or bus and bicycle), as there may be no limit on people coming by bike.

Some nature reserves have a water fountain and toilets, but check in advance, or don't depend on it: bring your own water. Virtually none have snack/drink stands or other shops.

Some reserves allow picnicking, some don't. If you plan to take a big picnic, check the rules in advance.

Also, poisonous ticks are a concern on Martha's Vineyard. The blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis; also called the deer tick) can carry Lyme disease and babesiosis.

Read these important tips on how to prevent tick-borne disease.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Planning Your Visit

Getting to Martha's Vineyard

What to See & Do

Vineyard Haven

Oak Bluffs



Up Island

Island Transportation

Tourist Information

About Martha's Vineyard


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Wasque Walkway, happaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard MA

Boardwalk to the beach: the reward at the end of a Martha's Vineyard hike.





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