A Walk for All Seasons on Cape Cod

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You might be surprised to learn that Cape Cod has miles and miles of walking trails. Nearly every town on the Cape has set aside abundant land, much of which is full of little-known walking trails, and which is protected from future development. For the most part level and easy to navigate due to relatively few hills in the region, these trails are a great way for visitors to “get off the beaten path” and see Cape Cod from a new perspective no matter what the season.

Talbot’s Point, East Sandwich

In East Sandwich, Talbot’s Point Conservation Area and the adjacent East Sandwich Game Farm offer a total of 245 acres of open space. The main trail is a loop just a mile and a half long. Allow plenty of time for photos (you might spot the occasional osprey nest). Multiple side trails wander through the adjacent Game Farm next door. Bear right just beyond the parking area onto a well packed sandy trail. Within yards you’ll come to an expansive salt marsh that changes color with the seasons.

Getting toTalbot’s Point, East Sandwich

  • Exit 3 off Rte. 6
  • Left onto Quaker Meetinghouse Rd.
  • Right onto Rte. 6A
  • Right onto Old Country Rd.
  • Left into parking area (sign: Talbot’s Point)

The Knob, Falmouth

Winding through woodlands past views of quaint Quissett Harbor and an ancient stand of oak trees, the trail to Falmouth’s Knob is another little-known treasure. Park in one of the designated spots in the small lot and beware the tow zone signs. They mean it. The trailhead begins directly behind you, to the right of the harbor. Stay on the trail through the woods for approximately 15 minutes and soon you’ll emerge onto a crescent-shaped sandy beach tucked into a small inlet. The Knob, a hill of land jutting out into the water that offers amazing views of Buzzards Bay, will be on your left as you face the water. To the far left, you’ll spot the Elizabeth Islands on the horizon. The towns of Wareham, Marion, Mattapoisett, and Fairhaven follow the coast from right to left. Sakonnet is the last town before the coast shifts around into Rhode Island Sound.

Getting to The Knob, Falmouth

  • Rte. 28 South into Falmouth Center
  • Straight onto Woods Hole Rd.
  • Right onto Quissett Harbor Rd. (at traffic light)
  • Park in area just past Quissett Harbor

Bell’s Neck, Harwich

Just over the Dennis/Harwich line, and not far from exit 9 off Route 6, is Bell’s Neck Conservation Lands, a nearly 260-acre parcel of woods, salt marsh and ancient cranberry bogs. A 3-mile trail loop leads through the marsh to an active herring run where, for a short time in the spring, thousands of river herring fight their way upstream to spawn.

Getting to Bell’s Neck, Harwich

  • Exit 9 off Rte. 6
  • Left at 3rd traffic light onto Upper County Rd.
  • Quick left onto Great Western Rd.
  • Right onto Bell’s Neck Rd.

Monomoy, Chatham

This is one of our favorite places on Cape Cod. It’s a great place for a summer picnic, welcoming to dogs on leashes, and the launching point for the water shuttle to Monomoy Island. At the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge you can walk the nature trail along the top of the cliffs, stopping at the frequent overlooks for spectacular views of the ocean, then mosey down a set of wooden stairs to the beach below. Across the channel is North Monomoy Island. At the bottom, take off your shoes, stroll down the beach to the right a bit away from the stairs (which is the launching spot for the shuttle), park your chair at the edge of the water and watch the parade of boats, birds, and sea life until the sun sets…or the tide comes in…or you get hungry or thirsty and the picnic basket is empty…or nature calls. You get the picture; it’s a great way to spend the afternoon. Be sure to interrupt your picnic for a short walk to the right in front of a couple of pretty spectacular homes. Less than a mile out you’ll see Stage Harbor and the old Stage Harbor Light out around the bend.

One thing of crucial importance here is the tide. Plan your visit around low tide or count on getting wet above the ankles because there is one short stretch of beach that is under water at high tide.

  • Getting to Monomoy, Chatham
  • Main St. (Rte. 28) through Chatham Center
  • Right at Stop sign (still Main St.)
  • Past lighthouse
  • Bear left onto Morris Island Rd.
  • Over causeway
  • Left at sign (National Wildlife Refuge) onto Tisquantum Rd.