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Wellfleet Harbor

Wellfleet Short Walks on Cape Cod

Note: Please be aware that Wellfleet and other towns may require parking stickers to park at many of the locations. Please check with authorities before heading out.

Duck Pond

Topo Map

Park at Whitecrest Beach on Ocean View Drive in Wellfleet (001).

Walk south on Ocean View Drive, passing Wellfleet-by-the-Sea cottages on your left.  At about 0.4 mile (002), a woods road goes off to the west.  It is deeply rutted and easy to follow.  In about one-half mile, another woods road branches to the left (003), guarded by a rail fence.  Stay to the right.

You will pass several of these forks with rail fences (004).  Stay on the main track as it curves toward the north.  It is a pretty walk in the woods, well-shaded in the summer. You will come to the utility right of way (005).  Walk north on it until a distinct woods road appears to your right, in another 0.2 mile (006).  Follow it north to Duck Pond.

The road curves to the left and ends in a parking area.  Just beyond Is a little brown sign with regulations regarding use of ponds.  Follow the foot path to the shore of Duck Pond (007).  Enjoy the view!

NOTICE!  At this point, the previous guide is revised!  We have always followed a route around the north shore of the pond,passing through private property to proceed to trailhead 2.  The landowners object to that route, and we must comply with their wishes.

Reverse to return to the utility right of way.  Follow it to the west for about 0.5 mile to a sandy track heading northeast (008).  Walk northeast on it for another 0.5 mile to Cahoon Hollow Road (009).

Walk to Cahoon Hollow Road, passing by Trailhead 2 on your left.  Walk east on Cahoon Hollow Road about 0.3 mile to a point just opposite the east edge of little Southeast Pond (010).  Across the road to the south is a well-worn foot trail next to a rail fence. Walk east and south on it, heading for Trailhead 1.

You are now about to enjoy a wilderness adventure.  Be prepared, as the Boy Scouts say.  Have your compass out and refer to it at every trail junction.  The area is obviously well-known to local residents; it has evidence of frequent use on a multitude of paths.  You are in
a one mile square area bounded by Cahoon Hollow Road to the north, Ocean View Drive to the east, the original woods road to the south, and the utility right of way to the west.

Follow the trail south to (015), then east to (016), and southwest to (019).  You will have a steep climb up to a foot path heading east to (021).  Then walk north on Ocean View Drive to return to the parking area at Whitecrest Beach.

Long Pond in Wellfleet

Topo Map

From the parking lot for Great Pond on Cahoon Hollow Road (01), look for an opening in the fence at the northwest corner of the parking lot.  Walk out to a deeply rutted woods road (05) and follow it to the northwest past Turtle Pond on your right until you come to a second distinct fork (06).  Bear left, walking west, then northwest.

Shortly, Dyer Pond appears on your left.  Stay on the main woods road as it passes by summer houses, then curves to the right, heading in a more northerly direction.  You will walk past
"fire road" cables along the way, and also past summer houses on Long Pond on your right.

About 0.6 mile from Cahoon Hollow Road, you will come out on Long Pond Road (08), another two lane paved road.  Turn right, and in about one-quarter mile, a deeply rutted woods road goes off to the left at an acute angle (09).  Follow this road as it travels northeast,
paralleling Long Pond for a bit.

You will be on this track for nearly one mile.  Along the way, another woods road comes up on the right from Long Pond (20).  In about 200 yards further, a major fork appears (12).  Bear
right to stay on the same course.  The road ends at a little parking area enclosed by rail fences.  To your right is Spectacle Pond.  Walk down to its shore to enjoy the sights.

Come back to the parking area and look for a foot path heading northeast, around the fence.  You will come out on Ocean View Drive. Cross Ocean View Drive (13) and follow the foot path north to a woods road that heads east out to the cliff and a view of the ocean (14).

Reverse to walk west on the woods road to Ocean View Drive, then cross over to the woods road continuing on the other side.  Walk west on the woods road for almost one-quarter mile.  At the utility pole (16), walk southeast on the woods road that passes by Kinnacum Pond (17).
Where it intersects the road to Spectacle Pond (18), turn right and walk southwest to the fork (20).

Bear left at the fork, walking south and then southeast to Long Pond Road (21).  Cross Long Pond Road and pick up the dirt road heading south and southwest around Long Pond.  It is an access road for summer houses (22), first to Long Pond on your right, then to Great Pond on your left. When you come to an intersection of woods roads  with a "fire road"
sign cabled across (07), you may either turn left and retrace the route
to the parking lot, or walk around Dyer Pond (27,28,29) and return.
The shorter walk is 5.3 miles.  The loop around Dyer Pond adds an
additional mile.

Griffin Island

Topo Map

Park at the National Seashore lot for Great Island at the end of Chequesset Neck road (001).  Follow the signs to Great Island from the east side of the parking lot.  At the bottom of the hill, about 200 yards (002), walk left on the sandy track to Chequesset Neck Road (003).

Cross the road and walk northeast on the dirt road.  You will quickly lose sight of the sand flat to your right because of the heavy vegetation.  Continue on this road for about 1.0 miles until
it bends to the west (005), running along the edge of Duck Harbor marsh.  You passed (004) which leads to Bound Brook Island Road.

In about 0.7 mile, you will come to the paved Duck Harbor Road (010) leading west to a parking lot for the beach.  At the west end of the parking lot (006), a foot path goes south up to the top of the cliff (007). Stop for a spectacular view of Provincetown and Cape Cod Bay. 

Walk south on the foot path for 0.3 mile until you reach another leading east (008).  Follow it for about 0.2 mile to Griffin Island Road (009).  Walk south on the road to the start.  You have circled Griffin Island, which is no longer a genuine island.  The walk is a little less than four miles. 

Gull Pond 

Topo Map

From Route 6 in Wellfleet, just north of the last sign to Wellfleet Center, turn east on Gull Pond road.  In about one mile, drive north on Schoolhouse Road to the driveway to Gull Pond Landing, and park.  Walk west to (001), then north to (002).  Continue on this road to (003), then east to (004).

If you wish you can continue east to a fork and then right to a footpath which will take you out to the ocean.  This is the route of our Truro Ponds long walk.  You will then have to backtrack to (004); you cannot walk around Horseleech Pond.

Walk northwest to (005), then circle Round Pond to (006) and continue southwest on what is Slough Road past (007) to (008), on Old Kings Highway.  Walk south on it briefly to the base of hill at (009).  Walk east past a house on your left, then pick up a foot path that circles up
the hill to (010).

Continue south on the path to (002), on Schoolhouse Road, and thence to (001) and return.  The total walk is 3.5 to 4 miles, depending on detours.  Hortense Kelly, who pioneered this route, would take her Eastham Hiking Club to visit Thoreau's famous "Wellfleet Oysterman's
House" on Williams Pond.  But that is private property.

Bound Brook Island

Topo Map

At the rotary at the end of Chequesset Neck Road, turn right and follow Griffin Island Road to the parking lot for Duck Harbor beach.  Walk west to (002), then follow a path northeast through the dune grass to (003).  Continue on the dirt road to (004), where you may visit the marker for the Brook Island School, about 100 yards south in the woods.

Continue on the dirt road to (005); stop to visit the Atwood-Higgins homestead.  Then walk down to the triangle at (006), where a remnant of the railroad bed goes off to the northwest.  Follow that to a sand road (007), turning west to walk past the houses to a foot path at
the end of Ryder Beach Road (008).  Note the sign that welcomes pedestrians along the way!

Walk south on the path past the houses to a sand road which heads south.  At (009), where the road heads east, walk west on the foot path out to the beach (010).  Walk south on the beach to return to (002) and the parking lot.  4.6 miles.

Great Island

Sketch Map of Route

Topo Map

Park at the National Seashore parking lot to the left of the end of Chequesset Neck Road in Wellfleet.  The walk is simply a short version of our Long Walk "Great Island."

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 Governor William Bradford (009) at a T intersection with a north-south 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.