Are you ready to enjoy the great outdoors up close and personal? Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission is kicking off its monthly walks on Martha’s Vineyard starting on February 5th with a stroll around Pecoy Point Preserve Oak Bluffs. The walk starts at 1 pm and will take from one to two hours to complete.
Additional Upcoming Walks on Martha’s Vineyard :
- Toad Rock Preserve Aquinnah on Sunday, March 5th.
- North Neck Highlands Preserve Edgartown on Sunday, April 2nd.
- John Presbury Norton Farm West Tisbury on Sunday, May 7th.
All walks on Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank take place regardless of the weather – rain or shine. You should always dress appropriately in layers. Winter and spring walks can often be chilly so dress to peel as needed. For more information about the above-guided walks in Martha’s Vineyard call the Land Bank office at (508) 627-7141.
History of Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank
In the last few decades, many changes have come to Martha’s Vineyard Island with a decline in farming and an influx of residents. The area quickly became crisscrossed with fences, beaches were closed, and hunting became outdated.
Out of such chaos, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission arose in 1986. Since its inception, 3900 acres have been set aside for protection. The Land Bank Commission’s land makes up 7% of the island.
The goal of the land bank is to set aside land for use by everyone and also ensure conservation. Environmental protections lead the list of causes that the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission focuses on. The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission falls between the sanctuary and the park system.
Properties of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission
Camping and bonfires are prohibited on all Land Bank properties.
Many people who want to enjoy walks on Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission properties would like to bring their furry friends. However, only some of the properties are dog friendly such as the following:
- Wompesket Preserve
- Farm Pond Preserve
- Quays Corner
- Christiantown Woods Preserve
- South Indian Hill Woodlands
- Little Field Preserve
- Middle Ridge Preserve
Leashes are required at the parks.
Land Bank’s Cross-Island Hike
Every year, the Land Bank’s Cross-Island Hike takes place. Initially, the grueling was organized by William Veno in 1998. These annual walks on Martha’s Vineyard have stations for water and snacks located at the sites of the mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. There is also an area for the lunch stop.
The 19-mile trek is held on the first Saturday in June on National Trails Day. The focus of the day-long hike is to introduce hikers to the network of trails that run throughout the island’s protected conservation lands along with public properties. The hike traverses across dirt and paved roads. It often includes steep grades, areas of overgrown vegetation, and shorelines. Certain stretches of the hike will cross private properties that have given their permission for the hikers to cross. Many hikers opt to only walk a portion of the route. They pick their own starting and end points to meet their experience level and interests.
The next upcoming Land Bank’s Cross-Island Hike will take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Unlike the monthly hikes hosted by the Land Bank, this is not a guided walk. The pace is very brisk. The hikers have areas marked off for turnoffs or intersections. All hikers must follow the colored tape. Each hour, the hike’s leader will come to a stop for several minutes to allow slow hikers the opportunity to catch up. However, most hikers walk at their one pace.
If you decide to participle in the Land Bank’s Cross-Island Hike, you should wear sturdy shoes, and put on sunscreen and insect repellent. Always carry water bottles and pack rain gear if needed. You can bring your well-behaved dog on the walk as long as the pet remains on a leash at all times.
All transportation must be handled by the hiker. Remember, that parking is limited at the hike’s start and endpoints. Many hikes arrange rides with their friends.
Whether you want to participle in one of the monthly guided walks on Martha’s Vineyard offered by the Land Bank Commission, or you’d like to go on the annual Land Bank’s Cross-Island Hike, all will give you a chance to soak up the local beauty of the area.