Concern for Edgartown swimming path


To the Editor:

We are writing to object to the development of the proposed Swimming Place Path connecting Herring Creek Road and Road to the Plains.

We currently own a home at 20 Deacon Vincent Way, within the Edgartown Estates Association, yet not abutting the proposed trail. Our family has visited Martha’s Vineyard for over 30 years, and has enjoyed the numerous beautiful walking and hiking trails across the Island. Our initial thoughts were that a new trail close to our home to walk our dog would be great. After learning that there has been some controversy regarding the proposed pathway, we decided to explore it for ourselves last weekend.

The name Swimming Place Path implies that the trail would be a lovely walk accessing some form of recreational swimming. We quickly realized after a short distance down the path that the proximity to abutting neighbors’ homes, decks, outdoor showers, rear windows, and swimming pools made us very uncomfortable. We felt as though we were illegally trespassing through privately owned backyards. It was extremely unpleasant to encroach upon private citizens’ homes. 

We realize the town of Edgartown owns most of the land between the properties, and there is money allocated for this project, but in our opinion, any hiker lured in by the lovely trail name would be sadly disappointed, and very uneasy about intruding on private citizens’ homes. In April 2022, Edgartown voters approved funding for this project. We wonder if voters would still support the project knowing how much it affects the privacy of 31 abutting Edgartown residents.

We strongly object to the development of Swimming Place Path. Currently, there are roadways which would enable pedestrians to pass between Herring Creek Road and Road to the Plains. We question whether the marginal benefits of this narrow pathway, with little intrinsic aesthetic views, outweigh infringing upon the privacy and security of 31 abutting Edgartown residents.


Christopher and Sandra Trailor