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Places We Protect

Hoft Farm Preserve

Massachusetts

A view through overhanging trees of a large pond with a forest on its opposite bank.
Hoft Farm Pond at Hoft Farm Preserve on Martha's Vineyard. © Isabelle Mackell

Enjoyed by many for its trails, this preserve features a field station used by researchers and burn crews.

Overview

Description

Why You Should Visit

The preserve features a mix of (mostly hilly) pitch pine and oak woodlands, open fields, a small pond and a small shrub swamp. The property sits on the Martha’s Vineyard moraine, meaning that its topography is hillier and more varied than that of most of our other Islands preserves, making it a rewarding place to explore. It abuts other protected land holdings and provides some of the best hiking on the Vineyard.

Why TNC Selected This Site

The Hoft Farm property offers a unique perspective on the history of Martha’s Vineyard’s natural landscapes and the impact of humans on these landscapes. The 90 acres include a number of parcels of land in various stages of use and recovery. This tract was acquired largely because of the presence of a farm house, which was promptly expanded and renovated into the present-day Hoft Farm Field Station. The farm house overlooks Blackwater and Duarte’s Ponds, artificial impoundments on Blackwater Brook.

What TNC Is Doing

A farmhouse on the property is a private residence used as a field station to house TNC staff and equipment, as well as interns from a variety of conservation organizations on the Vineyard. The field station also supports TNC's ecological restoration of sandplain grasslands, a globally rare community type. TNC co-leads the Sandplain Grassland Network, a partnership focused on developing solutions to restoration challenges.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Hours

Dawn to dusk

Highlights

The preserve contains some of the most intact and healthy morainal woodlands found anywhere from Long Island to Cape Cod. Birds of prey such as red-tailed hawks and northern harriers, as well as blue birds and migratory songbirds are found here.

Size

92 acres

Explore our work in this region

What to See

Trails on land owned by The Nature Conservancy and partner organizations wind through a mix of open fields, pitch pine and dry oak forests. Depending on the time of year you visit you may see woodland, field and bog plants typical of the moraine as well as box turtles, neotropical migrant birds and Cooper's hawks.

Preserve Policies

  • Preserve open daily from dawn to dusk.
  • Foot traffic only.
  • Groups larger than 10 people are asked to coordinate their visit with our Islands Office at 508-693-6287.
  • Please stay on the trail.
  • No collecting of plants or animals or metal detecting.
  • Carry out all litter.
  • No fires, smoking or camping.

Accessibility

  • All reasonable requests for special accommodations will be made with ample notice.
  • If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Islands office at 508-693-6287.