|TYPE:||Beach, Woods, Rural|
|LODGING:||Inns, Hotels, B&Bs|
Islands make for great inn-to-inn adventures because you never have to retrace your steps if you don't want to. They provide the perfect loop trails. Despite an unconscionable proportion of "private beach" signs, Martha's Vineyard is pretty much the ideal island for a two or three or eight-day walk. It's not only because we are partial to the place that we believe this. At 112 square miles, the Vineyard is laced with waterfront bike trails, wooded walking paths, white sand beaches, and towns conveniently placed about six miles apart, each with a different vibe.
Oh- and not too many hills. If you want some up and down on your walk, a good bet would be to stop on your way from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown and jump off "Big Bridge." Some people will tell you a Vineyard adventure isn't complete without this ritual plunge. But then, everyone seems to have their favorite island stop, or sandwich, or inn, or ritual. This fall, a certain Vineyard regular whose identity is currently being witheld for national security reasons, will be walking from inn to inn around the island. Where should he or she go? Let us know your dream Vineyard walk, or place for lunch, or inn. Your favorite block of your favorite street? If you could walk around the island, where would you go? If you or someone you know already has walked, cycled, or paddled around the island, tell us about your trip.(photo by Alison Shaw)
Where would you go if you had two days, or four days, or eight? Would you walk in the sand, or through the woods? Keep to pavement? Would you go clockwise around? Or counter-clockwise?
If you are feeling technically ambitious, and have a google (gmail) account, you can even click here to view the map above in a new window and, after logging in to google, you can add your suggestions or route to the map. Please be conscientious about other's suggestions and only add--not subtract from the suggestions on the map.
Resources: There are loads of great resources for walkers, but there is only one that is truely indespensable. The author, Will Flender, has been prowling around the trails of Martha's Vineyard just about every summer of his life. There's a fourth edition on the way, but in the meantime there is nothing wrong with the Third Edition. It's published by the Vineyard Conservation Society, which every Vineyard lover should join and support.
The Walking Trails guide is the best place to find everything in one place, but you should not neglect to look at the websites for the other great conservation groups on the island.
Sheriff's Meadow Foundation, the leading non-governmental land conservation group on the island, has a map of their properties here. And while you're on their site, figuring out which of their 2839 acres you are going to enjoy visiting...why don't you pitch in a donation.
The oldest public land trust in the country, The Trustees of Reservations, has helped to protect great stretches of both the main island and of Chappaquiddick. Their maps can be found here.
The Martha's Vineyard Landbank Commission, a public land trust, has a cool interactive map of their properties and trails.
You may not want to walk all the time everywhere--hey, we're not purists here, unless it's pure fun we're talking about. Check out the public bus routes here.
Martha's Vineyard Online has a an interactive map showing the bike routes, and linking to most of the inns, b&b's and other amenities you may want to include.
We want to hear from you about your own inn to inn adventure. About your favorite base lodge. About the fantastic guided trip or day trip that you think others should know about. All you have to do is sign in and follow the easy instructions.