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Ascent of Marthas Vineyard High Point on 2011-10-01

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Rose
Date:Saturday, October 1, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Marthas Vineyard High Point
    Location:USA-Massachusetts
    Elevation:311 ft / 94 m

Ascent Trip Report

A super touristy destination with numerous options for a Peakbagger. An short/easy trail hike to 2 Peaks.... less than a mile, 35 minutes loop hike for both peaks.

After overnighting at the Shawme-Crowell State Park Campground in Cape Cod we drove south to the Steamship Authority Palmer Street Parking Lot in Falmouth (10$ per day), located 5 miles north of the Woods Ferry Terminal. They provide free shuttle service to the Ferry, there is no parking at the ferry.
We got on the 9h15 hour Ferry (16$ return per person) for the 45 minutes cruise to Vineyard Haven (Tisbury). The original plan was to rent a bicycle for transportation to the highpoint, rain however changed out plans to a rental car (much too expensive to transport our own car). There are a number of National Car Rental outfits on the Island, we chose to go with the local "A-A Island Auto Rental". After discussing the different options (including the cost of a taxi) with Benn, the guy at the counter, we chose to rent a Jeep Wrangler for 66$ per day, tax included (a lot cheaper than a taxi).

We first went to the "Bunch Of Grapes" book store to pick up the "Walking Guide to Martha's Vineyard" by William Fender (15$), the guide provides information/maps for 53 hiking trails. A network of trails is provided for Peaked Hills Reservation, which is owned by Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission and the town of Chilmark and open to the public.

We took South Main Street out of Vineyard Haven, stayed right for W Tisbury at the first main fork intersection, this is State Road (left is Old Country Road). At the next main intersection stayed right again for Menemsha, this is North Road (left is W Tisbury). After a good distance we turned left on the paved Tabor House Road, .5 miles turned right on the dirt Pasture Road, .5 miles come to a farm house with a stone wall on the left, take the dirt road right signed "Peaked Hill" (Pasture Road continues straight) which dead-ends 100 yards at the TH Parking with a Trail Kiosk. The area is posted for hunting (hiking of course is not an issue), an Oak Forest with dense underbrush.
A Blue Trail to the right of the Kiosk is signed "Peaked Hill", to the left is a Yellow Trail signed "Radar Hill, 1/4 mile".

From the kiosk we took the Blue Trail, .1 mile stayed left at a fork signed "To Peaked Hill", 60 yards to a herd path on the left (yards past a White Trail on the left), 15 Yards to the MARTHA'S VINEYARD HP (PEAKED HILL) ... a wooded bump with stunted oak trees and a number of large rocks amid dense brush, I chose my spot at GPS 41.35702,-70.73845.

We took the White Trail eastbound .2 miles to the Yellow Trail, where we turned right (south) .2 miles to the PEAKED HILL (RADAR HILL) open summit ...... a large flattened area with great views to the west, a Communication Tower with a building, a world war two radar installation sat atop this hill until the 1950's. A paved road comes up from the south side Middle Road. I chose my HP beside 3 large rocks, 40 yards east of the Tower, GPS 41.35538,-70.73460.
We returned northbound to the TH on the Yellow Trail (.3 miles).

NB: I found that these 2 peaks as named by PB (Martha's Vineyard High Point and Peaked Hill) are not the same as the "Signs on the Ground", the "guide book" that I purchased and the "Google Search" that I did. The names according to these references should be as per those I added to my text in Paranthesis.
Also I must note that the near-by Prospect Hill, second highest on the Island, should be included in this trip. I erred in my research and only found out about this Hill after leaving the Island. I added it to the PB library for Greg's approval.

We drove the whole Island before our 14h30 hour Ferry back to the mainland. The rugged coastal bluff at the tip of Aquinnah is most impressive (lot of people), we drove to the Chappy Ferry and to Oak Bluffs (where we had lunch) on the way back to Vineyard Haven.
We overnighted at the same Campground as last night. An enjoyable day.

"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER." ........ Berraism.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:21 ft / 6 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:21 ft / 6 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:blue trail wb from TH off of pasture road
    Trailhead:Pasture Road TH  290 ft / 88 m
    Time Up:6 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Route:white/yellow trail to radar hill
    Trailhead:Radar Hill  
    Time Down:10 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: martha

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Marthas Vineyard High Point2011-10-01 a
2Peaked Hill2011-10-01 b



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