Long Walks on Cape Cod
Copyright 1997 Cape Cod Trails Conference
USGS Map: Harwich
Dirt parking lot at the end of Run Hill Road, east off Stony Brook Road in Brewster.
Punkhorn Parklands is a major conservation area in the Town of Brewster, purchased by the town to protect it from development and to preserve its varied environment. It is a composite of wild areas and remnants of l9th century agriculture.
At first, the Punkhorn seems vast and forbidding. The way to
solve it is to realize that you are essentially walking back and forth
between and near two dirt roads - Westgate and Eastgate. They
run north and south and are roughly parallel. In fact, Westgate is
a continuation of Run Hill Road that can be driven on to Harwich.
The connecting route is as follows, referring to the Topo Map above:
Walk south on Archie's Cartway (020) for about one-quarter mile to a fork. Where the road goes to the right (021) is a private area, blocked by fallen trees and protected by dogs. So stay south as the little woods road gradually fades to a narrow path and then gently curves around a tiny pond (022-023) before heading east to cross Westgate Road (024).
On the other side of the road, pick up the path again behind a dirt barrier. Stay on it until you reach another path heading northeast (025). That is Deep Punkhorn Path, which is reputed to be a remnant of a principal north-south route of the Native Americans. We have avoided walking far enough south to reach Squantum Path, because you would be in a posted area of the Harwich Water Department.
Stay resolutely on a northeast course (026), avoiding the
temptation to go off on intersecting paths. We'll save those for
another walk through the middle of the Punkhorn Parklands. On