Cape Cod Walks

Does it get better than this?
Does it get better than this?

Cape Cod walks.

By George Bogosian

There are over 50 walks on Cape Cod but here are five that will give you a good example of the Cape Cods walking opportunities. A decent pair of walking shoes or hiking boots is all you need on your feet and the desire to move them down the trail. These five trails (walks) and many others on the Cape are great for folks who are afraid of long arduous hiking adventures that you may have been “forced” on in earlier years by parents, friends or encouraging…. but possibly miss-guided mates. No forced marches here! Hey, these are easy but interesting walks; they’re not really hikes, more like a stroll and most of us can deal with that. These are the Thoreau “walk in the woods” kind of adventures. It’ll do your soul good! These walks will be a good example of what the Cape Cod landscape is and was all about. There are plenty of longer walks here on the Cape but we’ll stick with some shorter adventures in this writing. Most of these are about one hour long. We start at the far end of the Cape in Provincetown, but please take these walks in no particular order.

 

Beach Forest Trail is in Provincetown off Race Point Road. It's part of the Cape Cod National Seashore area and the bike paths are near by if you wanted to encompass both a walk and a ride. There is a parking lot and the trail is about 1.2 miles and is a loop, so pay attention…you won’t be coming back the same way. I always like loop trails…everything is new right to the end of the walk! It’ll take about 1 hour and it’s an easy walk. You’ll be going around a couple of ponds and quiet mouths will improve the chance of seeing wild life. The flora will include some beech trees, as well as oak, eastern red cedar, black cherry, tupelo, red maple and others. Leave the shinny leaves alone, poison ivy is about. The Cape seems to grow a good crop each year.

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail another loop trail of 1.2 miles and is an easy stroll. Yep, cedar trees right here at the Cape. It’s located in South Wellfleet. Take the Marconi Beach Road off RT 6 and follow the signs. Near the parking are is an observation tower that can be interesting. Having a decent pair of binoculars would be an added bonus. Mosquitoes chased us out of here one time because we forgot our bug repellent…we made that mistake only once! It turns out we can still run.

John Wing Trail is in Brewster off 6A is a 1.3 mile easy “stroll” that includes a salt marsh, a wooded area with wind pruned pines, hickory, sassafras and takes you down to Cape Cod Bay. It’s a one hour walk. The trail begins at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, which is a great museum to spend a little time in before you begin you walk outside their doors. No fee here as with all the trials I’ve mentioned. (except one) The boxes you see are for birds to help keep the mosquito population under control, but they won’t bother you because you brought some repellent along. When you arrive at the beach you may see gulls and terns and other shorebirds and possibly see flocks of ducks during the migration times in spring and fall. Your binoculars will help you indentify and enjoy them.

 

Nature Trial in Yarmouth begins near the town commons on 6A is sponsored by the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth and is a 1.2 easy walk with a self guided nature trail; complete with numbered markers along the trial which are described in a pamphlet….it’s available at the beginning of the trail.  Listen for the birds that surround you in the forest trees and shrubs, there are plenty here in this walk.  This is an inland forest trail which can include a walk around a kettle pond (left behind by the glaciers) called Miller Pond. It’s a nice addition to the walk. You can also visit Captain Bangs Hallet House just uphill from the parking lot.  It has a large weeping beech tree over 100 years old.  The old Kelly Chapel built in 1873 is also near the parking lot is also here for a look-see.  So this walk has some nature aspects and some history thrown in for good measure; a nice combination.

Goose Pond Trail at the Audubon Society off RT 6 in South Wellfleet is 1.4 miles and falls into our short walk category. The nature center here is full of samples of flora and fauna and is worth a stop and the small fee for non members using their trails. I love this trial because of its diversity. It’s a self guided trail, meaning they proved a walking map with points of interest and identification of flora. The trail surrounds Goose Pond and you can also take the boardwalk down to the bay. I always see lots of birds when I take this walk so don’t forget you binoculars for “enhanced” enjoyment. It’s taken me too long to appreciate just what a good pair of binoculars does for my viewing pleasure.

It was difficult to leave off the Fort Hill Maple Swamp Trail in Eastham but I’ve covered that in other writings. But these five walks, hikes, strolls, adventures give a good overview of the Cape Cod and create some interesting walking opportunities. I hope you enjoy them and the many others available at the Cape. Walk on!

Click below for more walks and hikes on the Cape.

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