Truro Short Walks on Cape Cod
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,
straight up to the top of the ridge.
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 Ballston Beach, 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, which is Collins Road. Walk north on it to South Pamet Road
and return to Ballston Beach. This loop is just short of four miles.
A shorter version of the Paradise Hollow walk is described in detail
in the guide for the Long Walk. Topo maps and a sketch map are
applicable to both. See Paradise long walk.
Park at the National Seashore parking lot at the end of Head of the
Meadow Road, east of Route 6 in Truro. Follow brown Seashore signs.
From the parking lot, walk back to the entrance to where the bicycle
trail begins, marked by a sign (001). It is a two mile, paved path that ends
at High Head Road. Walk along the edge of the path. Grass is easier
on the legs, and it feels more like a hike. A detailed map of the
bicycle trails is at Map of National Seashore Bicycle Trails in Eastham and Truro.
Stop to look at the marker at Pilgrim Spring (002). Then walk
northwest on the trail which circles to the west and up the hill to the
gazebo at the parking lot (003). Stop to read the information placard.
From the gazebo, follow the nature swamp trail west down the hill and
north across the little valley.
Where it begins to turn east to climb the hill (004), exit north on the
short trail that rejoins the bicycle trail. At the end of the bicycle trail is a
small parking lot (005). Just above you is the bluff called High Head,
which affords a spectacular lookout to Provincetown Harbor, Province
Lands, and Peaked Hill Bar on the ocean.
To reach it, you will have to walk south on High Head Road, then
make a sharp left to climb the hill on the paved road to the houses at
the top. Stay to the left and follow a seashell road to a foot path
leading out to the bluff (007).
Return to High Head Road and walk north on it to the bicycle trail,
and back on it to (001). The walk will be about 4.8 miles. For a
longer and more strenuous hike, go north on High Head Road to the
top of the dunes (008), and then follow the dune path overlooking the
ocean back to (001).
Ryder Beach Map
Park at the south end of Ryder Beach road in the beach parking lot (001).
Walk south past Ryder Hollow Road to a sandy road leading east, at
a sign that says "Private Homes." At the fork (002), bear right. Continuing
east, when you pass No. 69, look for a foot path that goes east (003) up
and over the hill. You will pass a large sign stating "Pedestrians
The old road continues east. In about one-half mile from Ryder Beach,
you reach a well-defined woods road that is the old railroad bed (004).
Follow it southeast to the triangle of paved roads (005). Head west
on Bound Brook Island Road. Visit the Atwood-Higgins homestead (006),
preferably with someone who knows the history.
Then walk west briefly to (007) where a wide foot path begins behind
a rail fence. Follow this path northwest out to a spectacular lookout at
(008). Walk due south on the foot path to (009) where a branching road
from Bound Brook Road heads west.
Walk on that road to (010), then west on a foot path to the beach (011).
Trudge north on the beach, admiring the view, to (012) and then inland
to return to the parking lot. A little less than four miles.