Long Walks on Cape Cod
Copyright 1998 Cape Cod Trails Conference
USGS Map: Wellfleet
1. Parking lot at Marconi Beach. Follow signs
east from Route 6. Do not use in summer.
2. Abandoned road just east and south of
Seashore Headquarters. Follow signs.
3. Marconi Station Site. Follow signs.
You may begin at any of the trailheads. You also may walk
in the opposite direction. The guide begins at Marconi Beach
and takes you in a clockwise direction. Park in the southeast
corner of the parking lot. Look for path to the south that takes
you to the top of the cliff.
WARNING! The dune path to the south vanishes periodically as the cliff is eroded, and is replaced by a new path further inland. Walkers, hunters, bikers, and horseback riders create the new path.If you come to the edge of the cliff on the dune path, backtrack
and look for a new path inland. If you don't find a new path, we suggest walking west on the first fire road that you come to, in about one-quarter mile. That will take you to the road triangle described below. DO NOT descend to the beach from the cliffs. They are unstable and can smother you in sand.
Walk south on the dune path about one mile, passing two woods
roads going off to your right. At the third woods road, you will
reach a dead end. Turn right, walking almost due west. In a mile,
you will reach a dirt road that is the old King's Highway. Cross it,
continuing in the same direction for 0.2 mile. This brings you out
to the utility right of way, with the Cape Cod Rail rail along the
Walk north along the east edge of the right of way for about
0.4 mile to the second well-worn path leading east into the woods.
Walk east for 0.4 mile until you reach King's Highway. You have
just had a nice scenic detour!
Walk north about 0.6 mile until you reach a triangle of roads.
Going north from the east corner of the triangle is a noticeable
walking path, not a road. This is another scenic detour which
crosses Marconi Beach Road and then brings you to Trailhead 2, in
You can see the Seashore Headquarters building ahead, and
the water tower to the northeast. Turn left at the south end of
the paved road, walk west on the dirt road past the little block
building, then walk southwest on the foot path to cross Marconi
Beach Road again. Pass by a fire road barrier, and walk west on
the dirt road to a triangle.
Turn right and walk north on the foot path to intersect the
utility right of way again. Continue north on it, crossing Headquarters road. Route 6 will be visible on your left. Watch for
the South Wellfleet Cemetery on your left in 0.3 mile. Visit the
cemetery to see the headstone for John Taylor and Lydia Taylor, by
the flagpole. John Taylor was a "Life Guard", that is, a mounted
bodyguard for General Washington in the Revolutionary War.
Reenter the woods directly east of the cemetery. The path
leads to a woods road coming up on the right in 0.2 mile. Follow
it north 0.1 mile to the sign for the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp
Trail. Walk around on the boardwalk, absorbing the wild nature of
the environment. At the northern exit is a triangle of roads, one
of which is labeled, "Old Wireless Road."
Walk north briefly to the track heading northeast. Walk
northeast on it for 0.5 mile, to the cliff overlooking the ocean. DO NOT WALK DOWN TO THE BEACH! The cliff is unstable and dangerous.
Look for a well-worn foot path leading south along the top of the
cliff. Follow it for 0.3 mile to the gazebo at Trailhead 3.
Stop to read the placards describing the Marconi Station Site.
Then walk to the west end of the parking lot to the sign for the
Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail. Walk west on it, bearing left
at the fork to follow the signs. You will reach the entrance to
the trail in 0.9 mile from the gazebo.
Then walk southwest on the woods road for 0.1 mile to the
triangle, then west 0.2 mile to the utility right of way. Walk south
on the utility right of way for one mile to a woods road on the left.
Walk east on the woods road for 0.6 mile to the triangle
intersection. Walk southeast for one mile on the woods road to the
dune path overlooking the ocean. Turn left and walk north to the
Marconi Beach parking lot, about 0.4 mile. The total walk is eleven