Anne's Cape Cod Favorites

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The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a major destination. Great Island is another special and unusual place. Wellfleet has beaches on the Atlantic and Cape Cod Bay as well as several freshwater ponds. These places are a few miles apart, although the bicycle ride connects many of them.

See the Wellfleet overview and Chamber of Commerce sites, and check out Wellfleet restaurants

Marshes at Wellfleet Bay

Marshes at the Wellfleet Bay
Wildlife Sanctuary

Things to Do

sightseeingwalkingWellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

The Wildlife Sanctuary is a treasure both for the preserved land of the sanctuary and the special events that it sponsors. It offers tours snd programs such as evening bayside talks and guided sanctuary walks. The nature center building has two 600 gallon aquariums let you see the underwater world of the salt marsh and tidal flats. The sanctuary is located on the west side of Rte 6 just north of the Eastham border. See the Tours page for additional information, or go directly to the Wildlife Sanctuary web site, which includes maps. The Short Nature Walks book also describes the trails.

The sanctuary covers 1000 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and grasslands. It includes five miles of trails that cross dramatically differing habitats. We walked all the trails in an afternoon last year and saw hardly another person. The trails traverse the Butterfly Garden, woodlands, a boardwalk over the salt marsh to the beach, around freshwater ponds, and along a babbling brook and wooded cliffs.

beachessightseeingwalkingAtlantic White Cedar Swamp & Marconi Site

This is where Marconi first built his wireless station facing the Atlantic in 1903. A model of the Marconi station commemorates the event, and a nearby observation tower offers a great view of the Cape. The Atlantic White Cedar trail takes you through woodlands and swamp, then up steep, sandy Wireless Road. The National Seashore web site and the Short Nature Walks book describe the trail. The turnoff from Rte 6 is 5.2 miles north of the Salt Pond Visitor Center. On a bicycle, just turn off the rail trail at the signs. Combine the walk with a trip down Marconi Beach Rd to Marconi Beach.

beacheswalkingGreat Island to Jeremy Point

Jeremy PointGreat Island begins at the mouth of the Herring River and extends four miles into Wellfleet Harbor. At the tip is Jeremy Point. At low tide, you may be able to walk out past the point to Billingsgate Island. Jeremy Point's forked and curving tips create fascinating tidal patterns as the waves converge. The walk includes stretches of beach and wooded dunes. Expect to see fiddler crabs, sand dotted with snails, and thousands of shorebirds. (The birds on these pages gained their fame on the Great Island beach.). The National Seashore web site and the Short Nature Walks book describe the trail. Parking is off Chequesset Neck Rd.

The National Seashore leads an exploration of the creatures living in the tidal flats and an evening campfire on the beach at Great Island. Check for times. Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary occasionally leads canoe trips at Great Island and the Herring River.

walkingUncle Tim's Bridge at Duck Creek

On Commercial St, as you head into town toward Kendrick St, Uncle Tim's Bridge crosses Duck Creek. It's a very inviting footbridge. On the other side are trails to walk along shore and forest.

bicyclingRail Trail and Bicycling

After crossing the length of Eastham, the rail trail continues through Wellfleet up to Lecount Hollow Rd. The ambitious person can continue on Lecount Hollow Rd to Ocean View Drive with great views of the Atlantic Ocean over the cliffs. This ride is described in Short Bike Rides. Perhaps stop at Cahoon Hollow Beach for a bite to eat at the Beachcomber. Turn left to take Long Pond Rdt into Wellfleet, with maybe a dip at the Long Pond beach. In Wellfleet, I head straight for Mayo Beach on Wellfleet Harbor, or more precisely, for the Bookstore restaurant with decks facing the beach.

For a return trip from Wellfleet center to the rail trail, take a careful look at the map. There is a shortcut back to the rail trail if you can brave just a little of Ret 6. Take Main St to Rte 6, to Cahoon Hollow Rd, then right onto Old King's Highway which will bring you back to Rte 6 near Lecount Hollow Rd and the rail trail.

beachesboatingGull Pond Beach and Boating

Gull Pond has a nice public beach. Jack's Boat Rentals (349-7553) rents canoes, kayaks, pedalboats, small sailboats, and sailboards, and offers sailing and windsurfing lessons. This is another good bicycle destination after leaving the rail trail.