National Seashore Cape Cod: A half-dozen list

Great Island Trail

The outer coast area of Cape Cod stretching from Chatham to Provincetown has been protected since President Kennedy signed the National Seashore legislation in 1961. I have just returned from a week there and offer my half-dozen ‘to-do’ list:

  • Spend a few hours at the National Seashore visitor centre at Eastham to immerse yourself in the history of the area, view videos, collect maps and visitor guides.
  • Visit the Highland Light, Truro – the lighthouse that was moved intact from the edge of the cliff!
  • Walk some of the numerous hiking  trails; our favourite was the four-hour Great Island trek by the Cape Cod Bay shore line.
  • Cycle some or all of the Cape Cod bike trail developed on the former railway line  with over 20 miles of off-road bicycle paths.
  • Wander around Wellfleet and sample the seafood at the town’s Mac’s Shack.
  • Pick up  a copy of Thoreau’s Cape Codoriginally published in 1865and be amused by some of the writer’s opinions e.g. ‘The time must come when this coast will be a place of resort for those New Englanders who really wish to visit the sea side. At present it is wholly unknown to the fashionable world, and probably it will never be agreeable to them.’

The National Seashore was certainly agreeable to this visitor.