Long Walks on Cape Cod
Copyright l997 Cape Cod Trails Conference
USGS Map: North Truro
1. Parking lot for Ballston Beach at the end of
South Pamet Road in Truro.
2. Parking lot for Highland Light, 1.5 miles
east of Route 6 in Truro on Highland Road.
From Trailhead 1, walk north to the end of the parking lot. Walk
across the beach at the end of the Pamet River. Turn left at the fence
on the paved road heading west. This is the road that once connected
North and South Pamet Roads.
Just past the old Coast Guard station on your left, turn right up
the stairs to the foot path. It is a National Seashore trail at this
point, with stations identifying flora species along the way. Follow
the trail briefly west, and then north up the hill, passing a small pond
to the west.
As you walk up the hill, notice the immense fields of bearberry
covering all the open spaces. At the top, enjoy the view of the ocean
and surroundings. Then descend east and north to the gravel road at the
bottom of the hill, and walk northwest on it past a "fire road" sign on a cable.
Walk west and northwest on the fire road for one mile until you reach
a little paved road that was the drive to the Ball house. You will see
remains of the foundation. This is another great lookout, so enjoy the
view. Then walk out on the paved road.
The road curves west and becomes a sandy track in Higgins
Hollow. Follow it for 0.6 mile until you see a well-defined foot
path going north. Walk it up and over the hill to Longnook Road, about
0.3 mile. Then walk west another 0.5 mile past the yellow house with
blue shutters and the unpainted house, to Old Kings Highway headed
You can also get there by a slightly longer and scenic road walk.
Continue west on Higgins Hollow Road, through the stone pillars, to the
paved portion of the road. On the way, you will pass a dirt road coming
in from the southeast, with homeowners' signboards on it. The road is
Old Kings Highway, coming up from North Pamet Road. You could walk it
back to Trailhead 1, if you wished.
To continue to Trailhead 2, walk west to the junction of Higgins
Hollow Road, Atwood Road, and Longnook Road. Walk east on Longnook
Road for about 0.3 mile to Old Kings Highway, and thence north. You
could also walk out to the end of Longnook Road, another mile, and
descend to the beach. Ballston Beach is two miles south; Highland
Beach is three and one-half miles north.
Old Kings Highway goes north from Longnook Road, then northeast,
then a long stretch northwest to Old Dewline Road. In total, it's a
two mile walk. When you come out on the road, the old Air Force Station
is to the east, and South Highland Road is to the west. Walk north on
South Highland Road one-half mile to the sign to Highland Light, and
You might consider a shuttle between the trailheads, and then walk
north to Highland Light. It makes a nice, varied seven mile walk, that
will take a small group about two and one-half hours, plus stops. The
very adventurous would continue north three-quarters of a mile on Coast
Guard Road, to the beach, then south on the beach to Ballston Beach, a
thirteen mile hike in total.
An off-season alternative, which cuts the total distance to ten
miles, picks up at the intersection of Old Kings Highway and Old Dewline
Road. Walk east on Old Dewline Road to the gatehouse for the Air Force
Station, then walk north on the paved road to the old Commissary
Building, now the NAC laboratory.
Walk northeast on a sandy track through the woods. In about 0.2
miles, you will fetch up at the fabled Jenny Lind Tower. On your right
are the radar domes for air traffic control. The Jenny Lind Tower is a
story in itself. If no one with you knows it, look it up when you get back, or ask some knowledgeable native Cape Codder to relate it.
Reverse course, then walk east a bit on Old Dewline Road to the
next paved road to the right. Follow it southeast, then south through
the line of NCO quarters, turn right at the next intersection, and walk
between the officers' quarters. The old Air Force Station is another
interesting story. It is the only military post with barracks shingled
in Cape Cod style.
Turn left at the next intersection and walk south on the paved road
until you come to an east-west road, in about 200 yards. Follow it
east, then south. It is a two-rut track, overgrown, but passable. At
a pronounced fork, bear left, walking southeast. The track meanders a
bit, and then heads due east through the woods.
You will reach a north-south track from Longnook Road in about
one-quarter mile. Walk south on it. Numerous side roads intersect.
The road meanders, but is obviously the main track used to reach the
remaining summer cottages in the area.
Longnook Road is about three-quarters of a mile to the south.
When you reach it, walk east down to Longnook Beach, and south on the
beach, about two miles, to Ballston Beach and Trailhead 1.