Sheriff’s Meadow to host guided walk of Caroline Tuthill Preserve

The Caroline Tuthill Preserve in Edgartown overlooks Sengekontacket Pond. — Photo courtesy of Sheriff's Meadow Foundation

Martha’s Vineyard is rich in trails maintained by both public and private conservation organizations. On Friday, August 2, the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, the Island’s largest private conservation organization, will host a guided walk of the 150-acre Caroline Tuthill Preserve in Edgartown.

The preserve includes woods, savannah, salt marsh, wetlands, ponds, meadows, kettleholes, and glacial knobs.

“Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation (SMF) is offering this free guided walk because we want people to enjoy the new and existing trails of one of our largest and most accessible sanctuaries,” executive director Adam Moore said.

Caroline Tuthill Preserve is located to the south of Sengekontacket Pond. The trailhead is located just off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road near the Triangle intersection.

“New trails at Caroline Tuthill Preserve offer many new experiences,” said Kristen Fauteux, SMF’s director of stewardship.

The new Blue Trail crosses a moss banked stream with a bridge made of naturally rot resistant black locust lumber, and leads to a viewing platform at the edge of Sengekontacket Pond salt marsh overlooking the peaceful marsh scenery and wildlife activity. The Blue Trail has trailheads on the existing yellow Garrett Family Trail and on the Beach Road bike path.

The new White Trail has a trailhead farther along the Beach Road bike path, directly across from Trapp’s Pond Road. A footbridge on the White Trail crosses a concrete weir that once controlled the flow of water into Trapp’s Pond. The stream flowing beneath the White Trail’s footbridge could historically be blocked or regulated by inserting planks into the weir.

According to Paul Bagnall, Edgartown shellfish constable, this concrete weir once served as a “catching station” for a white perch fishery.

The new Purple Trail, especially welcomed by mountain bikers, offers a winding 1.7-mile trail that includes nearly 200 feet of elevation change. It curves its way over the rolling moraine on the southern section of the Caroline Tuthill Preserve.

The new trail was scouted by Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation board member Michael Berwind and established through the hard work of Mr. Berwind, Bill Brine, David Weagle, David Berwind, and SMF property manager Bill Bridwell. The Purple Trail connects to the yellow Garrett Family Trail.

The existing Yellow Garrett Family Trail follows a circuitous path through the forest, passing by sunken kettleholes and over high glacial knobs. The Garrett Family Trail was established in memory of Caroline Garrett Tuthill.

Generously given to SMF by John and Nora Tuthill between 1972 and 1983, the Caroline Tuthill Preserve is the largest single gift of land received by SMF in its history.

The August 2 guided walk will feature the yellow Garrett Family Trail and the new blue and white trails. No reservations are required. The walk will last approximately 1 1/2 hours, and walkers should bring water and wear appropriate footwear.

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