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Annual Cross-Island Hike

The Land Bank Celebrates National Trails Day — the First Saturday of June

What is the XIH?

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.

The next XIH will take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023. 

Details will be posted as the date approaches but in the meantime details of the previous XIHs are printed below

What to Expect

This is not a guided nature walk. Due to the length of the hike, the pace is briskly led. The hike leader marks turnoffs and intersections with colored tape for hikers to follow. About every hour, the hike's leader will pause a few minutes to provide opportunities for slower hikers to catch up. Hikers are encouraged to walk at their individual comfort levels.  Most participants opt to walk only a portion of the route.  Approximated times and distances for segments of the hike are provided with the map of the route to help people plan how they wish to be part of the hike. 

Sturdy shoes, water bottles, insect repellent and sunscreen (or rain gear) are recommended. Well behaved, leashed dogs are welcome. 

There is a 30-minute break for lunch where water and restrooms are available. There currently is no food available at the YMCA, so hikers must bring their own. The land bank augments hikers provisions with fruit and water at a 15-minute break in the morning and in the afternoon. 

Long hikes always have to cross roadways and frequently require walking alongside some roads for extended stretches. Hikers need to remain alert.

Transportation to and from the hike is the responsibility of the participants. Parking is often very limited at starting and ending points. Please check the VTA bus schedules. Sometimes people are able to arrange rides from the finish point from other hikers, but that is not a given.  

Questions about the Cross-Island Hike can be sent to Bill Veno:  veno@ 

Below are links to maps from several previous XIHs. For some years, only the morning or afternoon segment is provided. Only hikes and segments not involving any special permissions from landowners have been selected. We hope these will provide ideas for people to explore or redo portions of previous hikes, or to string together their own customized hike of whatever distance. Mapping has changed over the years. The early maps were just notes for land bank staff conducting the hikes. It was not until 2008 that maps were made for participants. People are cautioned to check the current land bank map or the TrailsMV trail app to verify the trail routes as they exist today. Enjoy the outdoors!

Maps from Previous Hikes

List of Previous Hikes

Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Cross-Island Hikes
Year Start and Finish Points Miles
1993 Lucy Vincent Beach to Bend in the Road Beach 20
1994 Katama Beach to Ocean Park 19
1995 Menemsha Beach to Vineyard Haven Harbor 27
1996 Katama Point to Eastville Point Beach 23
1997 West Chop Lighthouse to East Chop Lighthouse 25
1998 Edgartown Great Pond to Cedar Tree Neck 19
1999 Chilmark Pond to Wilfrid’s Pond 19.7
2000 Pecoy Point to Great Rock Bight 21
2001 Edgartown Lighthouse to Lambert’s Cove Beach 17.9
2002 North Neck to Quenames Beach 20.5
2003 Lucy Vincent Beach to Eastville Beach 19.1
2004 Bend in the Road Beach to Hillman’s Point 16
2005 Hillman’s Point to Long Point 14.5
2006 Long Point to Jetty Beach 16.3
2007 Jetty Beach to Blackwater Pond 17.6
2008 Blackwater Pond to Great Rock Bight 15.2
2009 Great Rock Bight to Felix Neck 21
2010 Quammox to Quansoo 19
2011 Sepiessa Point to Wilfrid’s Pond 14.6
2012 Wilfrid’s Pond to Katama Point 18.2
2013 Katama Point to Lambert’s Cove Beach 18.6
2014 Lambert’s Cove Beach to Chilmark Pond 16.8
2015 Chilmark Pond to Pecoy Point 20
2016 Pecoy Point to South Beach 21.1
2017 South Beach to Menemsha Beach 25
2018 Menemsha Beach to Blackwater Pond 17.2
2019 Blackwater Pond to State Beach at Big Bridge 16.2
2020 & 2021 Canceled due to COVID  
2022 Big Bridge at State Beach to Long Point 21