Winter Walks on Cape Cod

Most everyone knows that there are plenty of fabulous things to do on the Cape in the Summer time. Number one is relaxing on its magnificent stretches of beaches. Winter provides a time for more soul searching and quiet introspection. The beaches are still a wonderful place to walk in the winter but here and in subsequent blogs I will focus on some other great walks around the Cape that are easy and also provide some fresh air to keep cabin fever at bay.

The Salt Pond Visitors center at the Cape Cod National Seashore, is just a short 20 minute drive from the Inn, and is a great place to start. The Nauset Marsh trail head begins right at the visitor’s center. At the trail head there is a detailed map with descriptions of highlights of each portion of the trail. At only 1.3 miles it is easy for everyone even the most novice trekker. The trail circles a portion of a salt pond where I saw black ducks cautiously negotiating the thin ice that covered the pond scattering as I approached. The salt or kettle pond was formed when glaciers retreated and left huge chunks of ice behind and formed large depressions in the earth when they melted. Ponds were formed when the water table rose. These are common all over the cape. Red tail hawks, herons and wild turkeys are also around at this time of year. About halfway up the trail, you come upon a glorious overlook with views across the marsh out to Nauset Beach and the Ocean. This is one spot where Samuel de Champlain moored during his 1605 voyage. Apparently it was a huge bay at that time and has slowly filled in with marsh grasses over the centuries. The trail then curves back to the Visitors center through red cedars, black oak, white oak and the winterized skeletons of bayberry and rosehip bushes.

Back at the Visitors center, there are some excellent exhibits and several different 12 minute movies to watch. In the winter the movies are shown on demand so no waiting. I watched sands of time which illustrated the geologic history of the Cape. This is a great way to start or end a walk to get some insightful meaning to this lovely stroll.

Please ask us for maps when you visit our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast

Paula & Tim Miller
The Carriage House Inn
Your Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast

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