Adventures out into nature are a Provincetown specialty. This time of year, outer Cape Cod’s winter/spring landscape is rich and invigorating in its own way. Two reasons why this time of year is awesome for exploring all Mother Nature has to offer: first, no crowds. You’ll probably have the beach or hiking trail entirely to yourself. Second, the wildlife. Spring is an ideal time to catch peepers, right whales (just off shore around Race Point), and a variety of birds. Here are three great walks/hikes that are perfect for this time of year.
Pamet Area Trails, Truro
The Pamet Area Trails, just down the road in Truro, are part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. There’s easy parking, the walks are not too long, and you’ll get amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, the great dunes, and now defunct cranberry bog that was once used in commercial cranberry harvesting. Cranberry plants grow wild all along the trail. If you are willing to negotiate some steep sand, you can even trek down to the beach and walk along the shore for as long as you want. Located at 111 North Pamet Road.
Directions: Take Truro Center/Pamet Roads exit off Route 6 in Truro. Proceed 1.5 miles on North Pamet Road to the end. Trail begins at the parking area adjacent to the Environmental Education Center (a hostel in summer).
Race Point Lighthouse, Provincetown
Birders, Dog walkers, and whale watchers, this old Ptown Fire Road is for you. It’s also an easier route to Race Point Lighthouse than trekking across the soft sand of the beach. People know Race Point Lighthouse as one of the quintessential symbols of Provincetown and the outer cape. What is less well known is that it is also one of the best spots on the Cape, and most likely the East Coast, to see Right Whales up close. Right Whales typically arrive off our shores anywhere from February to April. Bring bug repellent (in summer) and choose a calm day.
Directions: From Route 6 take a right onto Province Lands Rd. heading towards Race Point. In about ½ mile, just after the bike path crosses the road, there’s a small dirt parking lot on the left. The trail starts from the parking lot.
Great Island, Welfleet
This state park is actually a peninsula that forms the outer boundary of Welfleet Harbor. In a part of the world filled with jaw-dropping scenic vistas, Great Island stands above as one of the most beautiful spots on the Cape (in my opinion). It can be a long hike if you want (going all the way around the peninsula is 8.4 miles) but you can do an out-and-back walk and make it any length you want. There are wooded trails, a salt marsh, dunes, and a bayside beach. There is also a historical tavern site that dates to the 17th century. It is a challenging walk as most of it is in sand and you do have to pay attention to the tides.
Directions: Follow Main Street in Welfleet all the way through town. Turn left onto Holbrook Ave. Take your first right onto Chequessett Neck Road. Follow for 2.5 miles and the Park’s parking lot will be on your left. The trail starts at the far end of the parking lot.