It’s April. The days are longer. The snow is finally gone. It’s time to get outside and breathe in some crisp Cape Cod air.
A Couple of Harwich Faves:
The Town of Harwich has done a spectacular job of preserving precious open space. The Harwich Conservation Trust has hundreds of acres with well-marked paths throughout the town. Download a map from the website, or access information on the go by scanning QR codes at the trailheads with your smartphone.
Bell’s Neck Conservation Land is easy to find. It’s on Bell’s Neck Road, just off Great Western Road, which runs past working cranberry bogs with several parking areas visible from the road. There are a total of about three miles of hard-packed walking trails (go about a mile down the road to the lot on the left if you want to hang out on the footbridge shown in the photo). April is herring season, so check out the west trailhead (it will be on your right) for a chance to glimpse the fish running. If you’re here later in the season, it’s kayak and canoe heaven. Be on the lookout for birds of prey, snowy egrets and great blue herons.
Over on Lothrop Road is Coy’s Brook Woodlands. It’s on the back side of Bell’s Neck, so similar views, but much less utilized. The mile-long trail winds around in a meandering circle with benches perched here and there for the best views of the water.
A Hidden Gem in Woods Hole:
A surprisingly underused beauty is The Knob in Woods Hole. Park at Quissett Harbor and follow the signs. A brisk ten-minute walk will pop you out onto a sandy beach with views of Buzzards Bay. “The Knob” is a spit of land – you can’t miss it – with a gentle knoll where the view is even better.
Off the Map in Provincetown:
Cape Cod National Seashore offers a self-guiding nature walks map with some great options. One option not found on the map is the old fire road out to Hatches Harbor. Just past the parking area at Herring Cove Beach on Route 6 is a sand parking lot with plenty of room. This is one of the most remarkable walks on Cape Cod and few people know about it. Marshes, tidal rivers, views of Provincetown Monument, a lighthouse; it’s all there. If you want to go all the way out to the ocean, be prepared for a long walk and be aware of the tides. The final leg of the trail, just before the ocean, becomes inaccessible at high tide.
Happy trails to you.