Summer Hiking on Martha’s Vineyard – The Brickyard at Menemsha Hills

Trail approaching derelict brickyard tower in Chilmark

One of our favorite Martha’s Vineyard hikes to escape to in the height of summer is the Brickyard Trail at Menemsha Hills Reservation in Chilmark.

Menemsha Hills Trail View

The Menemsha Hills reservation is found on North Road just after Tabor House Road on the right (if you are heading up island towards Menemsha). There is plenty of parking (20 cars) and a number of different hiking trails from which to choose. The Cobble Stone Beach hike is beautiful with lookout points and a lunar looking stone beach at its end, the hike up to Prospect Hill gets great views out to the Elizabeth Islands and the Nashawahkamuk Loop is an easy and quick hike through the woodlands. Our favorite in summer though is the Brickyard hike. The trails are open to the public year round from sunrise to sunset.

Wooded Trail at Menemsha Hills

Water view at Menemsha Hills Brickyard

The Brickyard hike is a total of 3.2 miles of moderate difficulty. The remains of the old brickyard are 1.6 miles from the parking lot and sit on a bluff overlooking a sandy cove beach. The views are gorgeous and the total hike, there and back, will take about 1.5 hours.

Derelict Pumphouse at Menemsha Hills

Tower at Brickyard

A derelict brickyard is not what you’d expect to run into on Martha’s Vineyard but back in its heyday of the 1860’s the water-powered brickyard in Chilmark was churning out 800,000 bricks a year that were sent to Boston and New York to help build those growing cities. The brickyard was powered with water from Roaring Brook and the remains of the iconic 45ft tower are still standing today.

Beach view at Brickyard at Menemsha Hills

Even in August it is possible to be viewing the brick tower or walking down to the beach with only a handful of other people around. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon enjoying the Martha’s Vineyard countryside, doing some bird spotting or simply soaking in the spectacular water views.

Safe travels,