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README before using our guides to Long Walks on Cape Cod

Long Walks on Cape Cod

Copyright 1996 Cape Cod Trails Conference


Great Island

USGS Maps:          Wellfleet

Sketch Map of Route

Topo Map


National Seashore parking lot to the left of the end of Chequesset Neck Road in Wellfleet.

From the parking lot (001), walk southeast on the gravel path leading down the hill.  Pause to read the signs.  At the bottom of the hill (002), turn right, as the sign indicates, to follow the sandy road west, then south for about 0.6 mile to the north edge of Great Island (003), plainly
visible ahead.

When you reach the trail fork (004), walk east on the track that follows the north edge of the island (005).  Continue along the edge of the cliff to (006), then make a sharp right turn at (007).  

The trail curves to the west (008) and brings you to a monument to Priscilla Alden Bartlett (009) at a T intersection with a north-south woods road.  Ms. Bartlett and her husband were the last private owners of Great Island.  The piece on the monument was written by Governor William Bradford On the woods road. walk south to the south edge of Great Island (010), then
west to the bay beach (011) or southwest to the spit connecting to Great Beach Hill.

The Long Walk resumes as follows.

Walk south to Great Beach Hill, then follow the sign which directs you up the hill to the southeast.  The woods road you are on curves to the southwest and brings you to the marsh at the south edge of Great Beach Hill.  Walk to the sign which warns you that Jeremy Point beyond is submerged at high tide.

If you have timed your hike correctly, that is, around low tide, walk south as far as you wish.  Toward the end, Billingsgate Island will appear at low tide.  The brick foundation of the lighthouse may be visible.  If it is high tide, or you only want to walk six miles, reverse at the sign.

Walk over to the marsh side of the dunes, then pick up the footpath heading north up Great Beach Hill.  Just before you get to the top, walk the left hand trail at the fork.  Soon you will be in a little sheltered hollow, which also has a view!  That's a rare combination.  It's a good
place for lunch.  

Reverse to pick up the footpath going east for a bit, then north. This path goes right along the edge of the dunes, and offers splendid views on the way.  While not as subject to collapse as the ocean cliffs, the bay bluff should be walked with care.  A portion may slide off on a
wet day.  In about one-quarter mile, you rejoin the main track headed northwest.  Follow it down along the spit leading to Great Island.  

The Short Walk resumes:   

Walk north on the beach to a gap in the dunes at (013).  Then walk on the inland path to (014).  Up the boardwalk and paved road to (015) and a little trail leading to the parking lot (001).  The short walk is from four to five miles.  If you walk out to Jeremy Point below Great Beach Hill, the long walk can be ten miles, eight if you omit this leg.