I thought it would be cool to follow the same path that Thoreau took along the shoreline, but because the Cape is slowly vanishing into the ocean, that route is now under water several hundred feet offshore. Instead we walked the interconnecting Fort Hill and Red Maple Swamp trails, which start near Eastham.
We followed Fort Hill Trail across open fields, through cedar and oak forests, and along the edge of a marsh. It offered wide vistas of tidal flats and the Atlantic Ocean as well as a Native American sharpening rock. Wildflowers and birdsong accompanied us along the clearly marked trail.
We took the cutoff to the Red Maple Swamp Trail and enjoyed the boardwalk that wound its way through an unexpected grove of maple trees rising from the swamp. I’ll bet this walk is beautiful in autumn, but the cool greenness of the walk was refreshing in the late spring.
The 2-mile loop was easy walking for us. We spent about 2 hours on the paths because we took our time observing the vast assortment of landscape and wildlife along the trails and reading the exhibit panels.
No restrooms, but free parking and information pamphlets are available at the trailhead. Check out the National Seashore for more info on what to see and do in the park. And if you’re thinking of going, go soon: this part of Cape Cod may well be gone in a few hundred years.
Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
February 2, 2003
At Christmas time they hang a large wreath on the lighthouse. A short walk from Nauset Light are the Three Sisters Lighthouses which were replaced by Nauset Light using one of the lenses from the Three Sisters.
From journal Winter Getaway in Cape Cod
March 13, 2005
From journal Cape Cod: Peaceful, Popular, and Picturesque
New York, New York
November 5, 2000
From journal Cape Cod on a Summer Weekend
Keene, New Hampshire
June 8, 2005
Here's the official park explanation: it comprises 43,604 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, including a 40-mile-long stretch of pristine sandy beach; dozens of clear, deep freshwater kettle ponds; and upland scenes that depict evidence of how people have used the land. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the seashore, including lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod-style houses. The seashore offers six swimming beaches, 11 self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
We went from one beach to the next, each as impressive as the last. This is a bit of a drive from the mid-Cape, where we were staying, but it is so much more pristine, majestic, and gorgeous that you can't even compare traditional beaches to this protected sanctuary. You must go and see it. It encompasses some 30 miles of coast that was placed into federal protection by JFK, a Cape Cod enthusiast. He knew what he was doing.
Visit the website to plan your trip, as you have many beaches to choose from: http://www.nps.gov/caco/index.htm. But make sure and go.
From journal Yarmouth is not the best Cape has to offer