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Getting High

Where to climb to the best views on the Vineyard

Menemsha_sunset_R_CheekPhoto: R. Cheek, Trustees of Reservations


n one side of the little-known Menemsha Hills Reservation, 150-foot sand cliffs overlook Nobska Point, the town of Falmouth and the Elizabeth Islands; on the other, Prospect Hill—at 308 feet, the second-highest point on the Vineyard—offers spectacular views of Menemsha and Gay Head. The conservation area is lush with blueberries, bearberries, and heath; harbor seals bask on the beach, deer and red-tailed hawks in the forest.


Gay Head, incorporated in 1870, changed its name in 1997 to Aquinnah, which is Wampanoag for “land under the hill.” The other option considered: “Yeah, we heard that one before, and, no, we don’t think it’s funny.”