David H. Smith Preserve and Fire Trail

Why You Should Visit
The David H. Smith Preserve features scrub oak shrubland and oak woodlands habitat on the coastal sandplain of Martha's Vineyard. The Nature Conservancy created a .75-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.

West Tisbury, Massachusetts

15 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Conservancy protected the David H. Smith Preserve and facilitated the protection of the 801 acre ‘Hazy Acres’ portion of the adjacent Manuel F. Correllus State Forest by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation in 1995 because the site includes a portion of the largest remaining coastal sandplain habitat left on Martha's Vineyard. The Preserve is named after a philanthropist who generously supported TNC’s work on the Vineyard.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Conservancy completes regular monitoring and preserve maintenance on this property.

What to See:
Visitors can see the effects of fire on oak forest, as well as on wintergreen, sweet fern, blueberries, and huckleberries. Visitors may also see woodpeckers, neotropical migrant songbirds, bluebirds, quail and hermit thrush.

Preserve Policies
Please read our complete list of preserve use 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

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.
If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Islands office at 508-693-6287.


For ferry reservations call (508) 693-9130.

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 with 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 with trail information is at the trailhead.



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