Whether you like to stroll at a leisurely pace or prefer an adrenaline-pumping power walk, the Cape offers more than 75 trails of varying length, difficulty and terrain, each surrounded by its own special natural beauty. Enjoy walking on the seashore, along the salt marshes or through the woodlands.. Whatever your speed, Cape Cod has a trail to suit your style.
Sandy Neck Recreation Area
The Sandy Neck Recreation Area has nearly five miles of sandy trails in between Cape Cod Bay and the Great Marsh. The area is surrounded by 50 to 100 foot dunes and various types of vegetation such as bayberry, beach heath, cranberry, and blueberry plants. Entrances can be found at the end of Sandy Neck Road, north off Route 6A in West Barnstable. For more information, call 508-790-6272.
West Barnstable Conservation Area
This forest trail is Barnstable’s largest conservation area with over 15 miles of winding trails. The woodlands contain a variety of tree species including pine, oak and fir trees. Limited parking can be found at the intersection of Popple Bottom Road and Route149. Another parking lot can be found at Farmersville Road off Race Lane. For more information, call 508-790-6272.
Nickerson State Park
This 1,900-acre park in the woods includes eight miles of hiking trails that connect to the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Some of the trails pass by Flax Pond and Cliff Pond. A hike to Higgins Pond will lead you to an excellent location to view endangered birds such as peregrine falcons and ospreys. If you enter the park from the north side of Mass. Rt. 6A, rangers offer guided walks through the trails informing hikers about the abundant wildlife and various habitats in the area. Maps can be found at the park entrance on Route 6A. For more information, call 508-896-3491.
Indian Lands Conservation Area
This two-mile nature trail traverses woodlands and salt marsh along the banks of the Bass River. In the winter bird watchers can view blue herons and kingfishers, while in the spring lady’s slipper orchids bloom around the area. The trail entrance can be found one-half mile west of the parking lot at Dennis Town Hall on Main Street in South Dennis. For more information, call 508-760-6123.
Cottontail Acres Conservation Area
This one-half mile trail crosses meadows full of pine, red cedar, and oak trees. Hikers can also view Herring and Jemima Ponds. Parking is located at the corner of Samoset Road and Lawton Road. For more information, call 508-240-5900.
This 334-acre island is located in Waquoit Bay and is accessible by boat from Town Landing Road off of Cotuit Road. The island, part of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, offers swimming, fishing, and camping in addition to hiking. For more information, call 508-457-0495.
Bells Neck Road Conservation Area
A favorite site of the Cape Cod Bird Club, this
two-mile dirt road trail winds through herring
runs, tidal creeks, and a pond. Trail entrances
are on Bells Neck Road and at the end of North Road
in West Harwich. For more information,
South Cape Beach State Park
South Cape Beach State Park is part of the 2,500-acre Waquoit National Estuarine Bay Research Reserve. A barrier beach that is located in between Waquoit Bay and Vineyard Sound, the park has a variety of habitats including beach and dunes, salt marsh, woodlands, and kettle ponds. Hikers can access three miles of sand roads and the one-and-a-half mile Great Flat Pond trail. The entrance can be found on Great Oak Road. For more information, call 508-457-0495.
Corn Hill to Pamet Harbor Railroad Right of Way
This one-and-a-half mile trail is located next to the new Foss Woods Conservation area between Routes 6 and 6A. The trail winds along a former railroad through woodlands and dunes. Entrances are located on Howland Lane and in town on Route 6A. For more information, call 508-487-3424.
Ryder Conservation Lands
This 243-acre area features century-old native holly trees and five mile trails that pass through abandoned cranberry bogs and beech tree groves. Parking entrances can be found off the west side of Cotuit Road between Harlow Road and Boardly Road. For more information, contact 508-888-4200.
Pilgrim Heights Area
The Pilgrim Spring Trail of the Cape Cod National Seashore leads to the place where the Pilgrims tasted their first New England water. Scattered along the trail are oak and pitch pine trees, bayberry, azaleas, and a blueberry farm. There are also views of the Atlantic Ocean. The entrance can be found off Route 6 in North Truro. For more information, call 508-349-3785.
Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Hikers can explore five miles of trails through a diverse setting of habitats ranging from freshwater wetlands, ponds, fields, salt marsh, pine woodlands, and sandy beach. Hummingbird and butterfly gardens complement the picturesque trails. The sanctuary is located on Route 6 in South Wellfleet right before the Wellfleet Drive-in Theater. For more information, call 508-349-2615.