The Best Bicycle Tours On Martha’s Vineyard
Photography | David Hobart
Martha's Vineyard is a beautiful island located on the eastern coast of the United States. Being off the shorelines of Massachusetts, it’s become well known for its sandy beaches, stunning landscapes, and rich history.
With water, forests, and scenic neighborhood roads, it's an unbeatable cycling destination.
Whether you're a serious cyclist or enjoy a light casual cruise, there’s surely a tour that will pique your interest!
In this article, we'll go over some of the best routes on the island. Curated by year-round resident and avid cyclist, David Hobart, you’ll learn hidden backroads, scenic shortcuts, and unique historic locations that you don't want to miss.
But that’s enough pedaling around, let’s get to the tours:
Down Island Towns Tour
The Down Island Towns tour takes you through three beautiful towns--Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. You’ll be met with a scenic route, with a good stretch by the water.
This route is the most efficient and safest way, on your bike, to incorporate all three towns. And as a bonus, roughly 95% of the roads have a bike path!
This tour takes you through some special, historical landmarks like the Old Whaling Church and Cannonball Park. The civil war memorial is truly a sight worth visiting.
Total distance: 16.7 miles.
Lambert’s Cove Tour
This route takes you through 9 nature preserves as well as multiple fresh and saltwater beaches. You can also plan the trip to make a stop at the Ghost Island Farm or the Scottish Bakehouse for lunch!
The Lambert’s Cove ride can be done as one continuous route or you can take it as an “out and back” down Lambert’s Cove Rd. (Instead of a loop, you’ll go up and back down the same road.)
Keep in mind: this tour includes the busier State Road, and has no bike trails. If you’re a novice rider or uncomfortable around vehicles, this might not be the route for you.
But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s well worth it! Just exercise caution.
Total distance: 7.2 miles
Lagoon Pond Tour
The Lagoon Pond bike tour takes you on a peaceful, relatively flat ride. This one also carries you through the small towns of Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs.
Along the way, you'll pass multiple points of interest. These includes the wonderful MV Museum, the MV Family Campground, the Alpaca Farm, the Featherstone Art Gallery, and the Sailing Camp.
Not to mention the preserves and breathtaking views. You’ll also pass by two shallow beaches on the Lagoon as well as in Vineyard Haven harbor!
Approximately 60% of the route has dedicated bike paths. It’s worth noting that a section along Barnes Road doesn’t have any and may not be suitable for novice riders. However, there is an alternate route for those who prefer more dedicated paths.
Keep in mind: The headwinds can be extremely strong along the Isthmus so be aware of the direction and strength of the wind before you ride!
Total distance: 8.3 miles.
West Chop Tour
This West Chop tour is a short, easy ride guiding you through the beautiful harbor beaches. You'll enjoy scenic views of Vineyard Haven harbor, Nantucket /Vineyard Sounds, Cape Cod and the Elizabeth Islands.
Traveling through downtown Vineyard Haven you’ll get a glimpse of the buildings, shops, and its historic ferry terminal.
It can be busy in the downtown areas but once you get out of town, the peaceful West Chop neighborhood and the beauty of its beaches will make you glad you took the ride.
Good to note: There are no bike paths along this route but it’s predominantly flat, and the roads along the way are nice and quiet.
Total distance: 4.5 miles
East Chop Tour
Similar to the ride above, the East Chop tour takes you through the quiet neighborhood streets and provides you with some incredible views.
Experience the sights of the Nantucket Sound, Vineyard Haven, and Oak Bluffs harbor. The lighthouse is a wonderful, unique landmark you don’t want to miss.
Again, there are no bike paths but outside of the town, the roads aren’t busy. A portion of the route is on a firmly packed dirt path. While it can be ridden, you can walk your bike if you’re more comfortable.
Safety note: You’ll also pass through the very busy New York Ave. We highly recommend you walk your bike here for safety.
Total distance: 5.5 miles
President’s Path Tour
Multiple former US Presidents chose the Vineyard as their beloved vacation destination. A few of them even enjoyed bicycle rides there with their families! The aptly named President’s Path tour will leave you feeling presidential.
This portion of the State Forest bike path was often chosen because it has very little traffic and limited or no motor vehicle access. It makes the quiet, western section ride through the forest a highly sought-after spot for cyclists.
Until the state forest entrance, there are no bike paths on County Rd so we do not recommend that portion of the ride for those who are less comfortable on their bike.
Great to note: In the tour, Hobart has included options and recommendations on where to park and how to make it an easy “out and back” ride if bike paths are preferred.
Total distance: 9.6 miles
Forest Primeval Tour
This gorgeous trail guides you through the largest wooded nature preserve on Martha’s Vineyard. Spanning over 5000 acres, it also protects the island's only sole source aquifer.
Expansive tree cover aside, the Forest Primeval tour takes you past the YMCA, a skateboarding park, the library, an ice rink, a ballpark, and the beautiful outskirts of Edgartown. You can enjoy these stops by bike or note them for later when you feel like taking the car!
Bicycling through the forest is without a doubt some of the most serene and calm riding you can experience. It’s the type of ride the whole family can enjoy with ease.
Great to note: With 95% of this tour consisting of bike paths, safety and traffic won’t be a problem!
Total distance: 11.4 miles
The Best Bicycle Tours On Martha’s Vineyard
With forests, picturesque ocean-front, and one-of-a-kind historical landmarks, it’s no wonder Martha’s Vineyard makes for some of the best bicycling in the eastern United States!
The seven above are just a few of the great self-guided tours on the Vineyard.
It was a pleasure to have island local David Hobart put together these incredible bike tours! He makes it easy to know exactly where you’re going--and to ensure you experience the full beauty of the island.
For a complete list of all bicycle tours available, follow the link in David’s name above or at the start of the article.