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The Land Bank Celebrates National Trails Day- the first Saturday of June                            


Due to the continuing community-wide efforts to confront COVID-19, the Annual Cross-Island Hike will not occur in 2020. Nevertheless, people are encouraged to enjoy the public trails across the island on their own. In addition to the maps of land bank properties found on this site, the TrailsMV app ( from Sheriff's Meadow Foundation is a very useful in navigating all the public trails on Martha's Vineyard and has many walks from which to select. Enjoy the outdoors!


What is the Cross-Island Hike? 

Each year since 1993, the land bank has observed National Trails Day – the first Saturday of June – by conducting a day-long hike across the island to expose people to the network of trails that connect the island’s many conservation lands and public properties. Usually the hike will include sections along dirt or paved roads, but sometimes may include shorelines, steep grades and sections of overgrown vegetation (possibly including poison ivy). Hikes sometimes include stretches across private properties with the generous permission of the owners for the day of the hike only.  This is a day-long, guided hike that differs each year and is ordinarily less than 20 miles in length and most participants elect to walk only a portion of the hike's route, using the itinerary times and information provided on this website to plan their personal starting and ending points.                


Hike Itinerary

2019 Hike Map             2019 Hike Timetable

The pace of the hike is brisk.  Since not all participants have the same pace and hikers can get separated, colored tape is used to mark changes in the route’s direction.  Even if you are following some other hikers, be alert for these markers, especially where trails fork or intersect with roads.  A land bank staff member trails behind the slower hikers and, in addition, the hike’s leader pauses periodically to re-group.  Nevertheless, please respect your physical capabilities.  Most participants select only a portion of the hike’s itinerary to walk, using the itinerary times and information in the Hike Itinerary section to plan personal starting and ending points.

Wear sturdy shoes, bring sunscreen (or rain gear), insect repellent and sufficient water.

Well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome unless otherwise noted because of conservation restrictions.


Hikers should be prepared to tread on a variety of trail surfaces -- hardened earth, sand, cobbles -- and grades.  Trails are generally well maintained but vegetation grows quickly in the spring.  Always be watchful for poison ivy on trails and roadsides.    Details




HIkers have to cross roadways and frequently walk alongside some roads and bike paths.  Be cautious and alert!  Some guidelines:

  • Generally, it is safest to walk on the left-hand side of the road, against traffic. On bike paths, however, hikers should stay to the right, allowing for bicyclists from behind to pass.


  • On very narrow back roads where hikers have spilled out across its width, when a vehicle does approach hikers should move to the left rather than line both sides of the roadway. 





Rest Breaks:  




Transportation and Parking:

Transportation to and from the hike is the responsibility of each hiker. Whether any parking is available varies with each year's hike.  Sometimes hikers are able to get rides from the finish point from other hikers but that is not assured (i.e., you should not rely upon such a possibility and should have a contingency plan). Don't forget to check VTA bus schedules.




Tally of previous Cross Island Hikes