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Massachusetts

David H. Smith Preserve and Fire Trail




Open to the Public

Yes

Things To Do

The Fire Trail, the only maintained trail in the preserve, is an easy walk. View All

Plan Your Visit

View All

Get Directions

Why You Should Visit
The David H. Smith Preserve represents the largest remaining coastal sandplain habitat left on Martha's Vineyard. The Nature Conservancy has created a three-fourths mile educational trail on the property, called the Fire Trail. This trail features interpretive displays on the natural history of fire on Martha’s Vineyard, and the role that controlled burning plays today in restoring rare natural communities and species.

Location
Edgartown, Massachusetts

Size
15 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
In cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, the Conservancy facilitated the protection of the David H. Smith Preserve because it is the largest remaining coastal sandplain habitat left on Martha's Vineyard.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy has retained ownership of the 15-acre parcel to serve as a site for a research facility where it will develop an integrated management and restoration strategy for the protection of this globally rare ecosystem.

Hours
Open year round.

What to See: Plants
Visitors can see the effects of fire on pitch pine and oak forest, as well as on wintergreen, sweet fern, blueberries, and huckleberries.

What to See: Animals
Hairy woodpeckers, neotropical migrants, bluebirds, quail and hermit thrush.

Accessibility
All reasonable requests for special accommodations will be made with ample notice.

The Fire Trail, the only maintained trail in the preserve, is an easy walk.

For ferry reservations call (508) 693-9130. If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Boston office at (617) 532-8300.

Directions

From Oak Bluffs Ferry: 

  • Exit straight off the ferry dock and take first left up Circuit Ave. Continue through town. 
  • Circuit Ave. becomes Barnes Rd. Keep straight for several miles through a blinking light and to the end of the road. 
  • Turn left onto the West Tisbury-Edgartown Rd. towards Edgartown.
  • After half a mile, Oyster Pond Rd. will be on the right and a Preserve sign and parking lot will be just beyond. A kiosk of trail information is at the trailhead.

From Vineyard Haven Ferry: 

  • At the first intersection (Five Corners) turn right and proceed up the hill, keeping left. 
  • Take first left to Edgartown. 
  • Drive about 2 miles and turn right at the blinking light. 
  • Go to the end of the road and turn left onto West Tisbury-Edgartown Rd.
  • After a half mile, Oyster Pond Rd. will be on the right and a Preserve sign and parking lot will be just beyond (approx. 3/10 of a mile). A kiosk of trail information is at the trailhead.
Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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