Thousands of people flock to Martha’s Vineyard to relax in the summer sun, read leisurely on the beach, sip cocktails along the harbor and find solace in doing a whole lot of nothing. Then there’s the subset of visitors who seek action and adventure, those who look forward to burning countless calories while traversing our 100 square miles of challenging terrain. This post is for them. With miles of ideal hiking, biking and running routes, and with fun outdoor fitness options, Martha’s Vineyard is the ideal destination for active travelers who want to get outside and get moving.
Martha’s Vineyard is home to miles and miles of hiking trails. From wooded paths, to open field trails, to stretches along seaside cliffs, there really is a trail for everyone. The island is mostly flat meaning most trails can accommodate an easy to moderate skill level. In fact, the highest elevation is only 311 feet at Peak Hill in the town of Chilmark, making hiking on the Vineyard a great family activity or a simple way for the more serious hiker to complete all trails.
New this year, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation launches a free app, TrailsMV, which provides maps and info on all public hiking trails and over 100 preserved properties. TrailsMV uses GPS to pinpoint hikers’ locations, shows the direction hikers are going, and guides hikers. Plus, it works without cell service or wifi, making it ideal on trails. c trails
If you’re looking to pick up the pace and go for a run, the Island’s diverse landscape is ideal for that too. Stay down-Island for the flatter roads or head to Chilmark and Aquinnah for windier roads of varying elevations. The Martha’s Vineyard Manuel F. Correllus State Forest located in the middle of the Island, offers 14 miles of wooded and paved paths away from island traffic, making it a safe, secluded option, where you can keep a steady pace. For runners looking to take off along the water consider a stretch of Beach Road between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs or a jaunt along the hillier East Chop Drive. For those runners looking to go the distance, check out: Martha’s Vineyard Marathon and Half Marathon; Memorial Day 5K Road Race; Murdick’s 5-Mile Run the Chop Challenge; and the Chilmark Road Race.
If biking or cycling is more your thing, Martha’s Vineyard has you covered there too. Biking is one of the best ways to enjoy the Vineyard, from paved pathways to miles of off-road trails that crisscross the Island. From Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, or any combination of down-Island towns, you’ll find over 44 miles of bike trails that are mostly flat and easier for children, as well as adults. For the more experienced rider, a tour of the up-Island communities of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah can prove quite the challenge with their hilly and curvy roadways in the more rural area. Want to cycle the entire Island? You’ll easily log 60+ miles along the perimeter. Click here to download our bike map and browse our directory of bicycle rental shops if you need to borrow gear while you’re here. You're welcome to bring your bike with you over to the island, or you can easily rent one here at any of these bike rental shops. There's even one called Wheel Happy!
There are numerous options for the active traveler looking to break a sweat and have fun at the same time. During peak season, CrossFit Martha's Vineyard offers morning workouts on the beach which often include movements with sand bags, swimming, and body-weight workouts. Other outdoor fitness options include beach yoga, outdoor bootcamps, stand-up paddleboard yoga, and even goat yoga!
It's my job to love this place, and it's no work at all.