Long Walks on Cape Cod
Copyright 1996 Cape Cod Trails Conference
Coast Guard Beach
USGS Map: Orleans
1. Parking lot at Salt Pond Visitors Center, Cape Cod National Seashore, east off Route 6 in Eastham.
2. Parking lot at Coast Guard Beach, following signs past Visitors Center, off season only.
3. Nauset Light Beach parking lot at the end
of Cable Road, off season only. North on
Ocean View Drive from Coast Guard Beach
or east on Brackett Road from Route 6.
NOTE: Each of the three legs of this long walk are listed in Eastham Short Walks on Cape Cod under the headings of
Nauset Marsh, Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Light Beach,
Little Creek. The Nauset Light Beach walk begins at
Trailhead 3 above.
You may begin at any of the trailheads. You may also walk in the opposite direction. The guide begins at the Salt Pond Visitors Center.
Park close to the building. Walk through the amphitheater to
the right of the stage, then follow the signs to the Nauset Marsh
Trail. As you walk past the inlet, consider that the area was
You will come up to a bench at a lookout in about one mile.
Pause for viewing and pictures. About 100 yards from the bench,
watch for a small, low sign directing you to a hiking trail to
Continue on the trail, following the signs, for another mile until you come to the paved bicycle path. Turn right and cross the wood bridge. At the end of the bridge, exit right to the edge of the marsh.
Low tide offers the best conditions for walking the marsh
side of Coast Guard Beach. Continue along the west side of the
spit, staying away from roped-off areas. Walk out to the end of
The house is gone, and even the plaque that commemorated it; both swept away in the storm that also took the buildings and parking lot at sea level on Coast Guard Beach.
Walk up the seashore past the Coast Guard Station, now used
as an environmental education center. In another mile, you will
reach the staircase to Nauset Light Beach. If the staircase is
Walk up to the parking lot and read the signboards. The distinctive red and white lighthouse is visible above the trees just across the road to the northwest. Follow the signs to visit Nauset Light, which was moved to its present location in 1996, to prevent its tumbling into the ocean.
Walk west on Cable Road about 300 yards to the Three Sisters lighthouses, which you now know about. During the summer, guided tours are occasionally offered by the National Park Service. Get a schedule from the Visitors Center, if you are interested.
For this hike, go back east on the south side of the road,
watching out for cars, until you come to a No Parking sign in
about 100 yards. No kidding; this is important! Look for a
Follow the path south. You should have a compass, or head
for the sun. If not, good luck, because there are many, many
paths crossing the area, going in every direction. You want to
When you have found it, head west until you reach Nauset Road--two lane, paved, with houses. Immediately circle around to the east, looking for a dirt barrier to a former paved road, "Little Creek Road." It still has some vestiges of pavement.
Follow this road to its end, passing the huge National Seashore parking lot. Walk west for a bit until you see the sign for Doane Rock picnic area. Visit the rock, if you wish. The entrance road continues to the bicycle path and to the hiking trail you started on.
Retrace the trail west until it intersects the Nauset Marsh at the Visitors Center. Tour the museum inside, if you have not done so before.
You have covered eleven miles on this hike, and seen a wondrous variety of Cape Cod scenes.