Long Walks on Cape Cod
Copyright 1998 Cape Cod Trails Conference
USGS Map: Wellfleet
1. One mile east of Route 6 on Gull Pond Road, turn left at granite marker, "Gull Pond Landing," then drive one-quarter mile north and bear right to parking lot.
2. Parking lot for Ballston Beach, at the end of South Pamet Road in Truro.
NOTE: This walk has been revised to discontinue using the dune path from Newcomb Hollow Beach to Ballston Beach. Part of it has vanished from erosion of the cliff; part has been blocked to prevent further erosion. You must now walk the beach to Ballston Beach.
Walk west from the parking lot at Gull Pond to the sandy road going north. On it, you will immediately pass a sign regarding parking at Higgins Pond. When you come to the fork, bear left. The right hand road goes to Higgins Pond. Immediately on your left is Herring Pond, and over a little rise to your right is Higgins Pond.
You will cross over a little creek bed connecting Herring Pond and Higgins Pond. When you come to the next fork, you will see Slough Pond in Truro ahead of you. Bear right to walk east along the south shore of Slough Pond. Be sure to stop for a moment at the overlook.
To the south is Williams Pond, obscured by vegetation. In the
spring, the shade bushes, which are tall and graceful, bear white flowers
that brighten the woods before the leaves come out. Continue east past
private drives and through triangles, passing Horseleech Pond to the
Bear right at the fork on to a road with a sign "Private Homes." The road heads southeast, then quickly curves to the northeast. Soon you come to a fork with numerous signs indicating no entry, no parking, private property, etc. But just to the right of the rail fence is a footpath that leads east.
Surprise! Within 200 yards, you reach a low point in the dunes
where you can easily walk to the beach. Walk out on the beach, and to
the south is Newcomb Hollow Beach. Ballston Beach, and the Pamet
River is almost three miles north. There is no public access to the
From Ballston Beach, walk back on South Pamet Road about 200 yards.
Just before the bend a foot path leads south and then southeast.
At the intersection with a wider track, head east. About 100 yards
into the clear, a foot path goes sharply right, that is directly south,
Pause at the military crest for a spectacular view of the ocean. Continue southwest for about one-quarter mile until you come to an east-west fire road. Turn left, walking southeast, then south on this road for another one-half mile.
When you come to the intersection of fire roads, turn left and walk east for one-quarter mile. At the fork, bear right, to the southeast. In another 0.3 mile, you will be just west of the lookout, intersecting a foot path that goes east and west.
Walk up east to the top of the lookout. The view is stupendous, not to mention the wind. To the north you can see the radar domes of the Federal Aviation Administration. Highland Light flashes to their left. More than 180 degrees of the ocean is visible. To the west, a sliver of Cape Cod Bay appears above the ridge line. Some of its cape shore is to the left, and Plymouth shore is to the right.
To return to Gull Pond, walk west on the foot path. It is much used and easy to follow through the short pitch pine woods. Cross the fire roads that intersect it. The direction is generally west, with some meandering to the southwest. After a mile, the path turns sharply right. Ignore the faint continuation to the west, which is a false trail. Walking north, you will reach a major fire road heading east and west.
Walk west until you come to a rail fence, and beyond to a paved road. Walk south along the paved road. It is Collins Road, and it's too bad that it is paved, because the area is deserted most of the way. And, of course, it will never be built upon, because it is within the National Seashore boundaries.
In about one-half mile, Truro's Great Pond appears on your right. In another half-mile, little Snow Pond is to your right. At the top of the rise, the paved road turns sharply right. Behind the arrow sign, a triangle of roads includes the dirt road that is Old King's Highway, headed south.
Walk south on Old King's Highway, passing over a creek bed that is Herring River, up a long hill, then down the hill for a bit to a woods road crossing perpendicularly, about one mile from Collins Road. Walk left on the road briefly, until you see a footpath heading almost due east into the woods.
Follow this path as it meanders for about one-quarter mile. You will come out of the woods right on the paved drive to the Gull Pond parking lot. This circular walk is about ten miles.