Provincetown’s unmistakable landscape has a wonderful way of transforming even the most reluctant city slicker into a veritable nature lover. Who can resist those crazy dunes, the classic lighthouses, and the mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets? While you can, most likely experience the beauty of the ocean out of virtually any window in town, it’s still nice to get beyond the village to enjoy Mother Nature at her best. Take a walk on the ocean side (or bayside, if you prefer)! Here are three of our favorite hikes in and around Provincetown:
Hiking trails in Provincetown
1) Long Point, Cape Cod National Seashore (6.6 miles)
As the perfect way to enjoy the best of Ptown’s scenic vistas including Ptown Harbor, Wood End Light, and Cape Cod Bay, this out-and-back walk brings you to Long Point Lighthouse, which stands at the very tip of Cape Cod. It’s a challenging walk but worth it. Dogs are welcome. Be sure to time it right as parts of the route are impassable at high tide. Choose a wind-free day and bring your scope if you are a bird lover. Wanna enjoy the Lighthouse with a little less walking? There is also a ferry: https://www.flyersboats.com/long-point-shuttle-provincetown.php
Directions: Go to the very end of Commercial St., where it meets Province Lands Rd. The hike begins at the Provincetown Breakwater.
2) Race Point Lighthouse (4 miles)
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 and choose a calm day.
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.
3). Beech Forest Trail (1.22 miles)
(NPS Trail Guide: https://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/upload/BeechForest.pdf)
Offering a unique ecosystem of brackish swamps and beech forests, this trail is in the Province Lands area, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Some of the trail is soft sand making it a decent workout, despite the shorter distance. At the wood walkway at the beginning of the trail, chickadees have come to expect sunflower seeds. Fill your pockets before you head out and the birds will take the seed right out of your hand.
Directions: Beech Forest trailhead is located on Race Point Rd
For more great walks/hikes around Cape Cod, check out hikingcapecod.com.