Warm color tones, the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet, the smell of cool salt air—that’s hiking on Cape Cod in the fall. Of course, with over 500 miles of coastline, there’s plenty of opportunity for walking the beaches on Cape Cod. You will also find forests, sandy trails, and hilly terrain when hiking in these parts.
A quick online search will produce a long list of hikes on the Cape and Islands. But here is a short list of what we locals suggest!
Upper Cape Area
The Knob — Woods Hole
You will find the Knob at the end of a hidden, seaside trail in Woods Hole, which is part of the town of Falmouth. After a short nature walk along a small beach, marsh, and coastal bank, you will end up on the Knob. This little piece of land extends from Quissett Harbor to Buzzards Bay and offers amazing water views.
The Knob, extending into Quissett Harbor
Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge — Mashpee
This area of over 5,000 acres offers trails along salt and freshwater marshes, cranberry bogs, Atlantic white cedar swamps, and vernal pools. Not only is the area a great spot to hike, it’s a great spot to see local wildlife, including birds, foxes, rabbits, and deer.
Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge in Mashpee
Mid Cape Area
Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary — Cummaquid
You will find 2.5 miles of gentle, varied trails at Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary. Woodland and meadow walking trails take you along vernal pools, marshes, and boardwalks that lead to a gorgeous view of Barnstable Harbor and the dunes of Sandy Neck Barrier Beach. Don’t miss the Butterfly Mosaic Trail that takes you through open fields and native wildflower plots that attract over 30 species of butterflies.
Views of Sandy Neck from Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary
Crowes Pasture — East Dennis
This trailway to the beach has it all: a soothing walk down a country road, open pastures, and salt marshes that lead to Cape Cod Bay. One trail in the area will take you to Cole’s Pond, where you can walk around or just sit and take in the scenery.
Crowes Pasture in East Dennis
Lower Cape Area
Eddy Bay Trail — Brewster
This lovely, mile-long hike takes you through the woods where you will encounter a holly tree grove, pines and oak trees and out to a bluff with a sweeping view of Cape Cod Bay. It is perfect for dog walkers as well as those looking for a shorter trail.
Views of Cape Cod Bay from the bluff off of the Eddy Bay Trail
Kents Point — Orleans
Kents Point is a marvelous hiking spot. A wooded area that sits right on the water, the land contains more than a mile of undeveloped shoreline, and fronts on Lonnie’s Pond, Little Pleasant Bay, and Frost Fish Creek. Kents Point is dog-friendly and has a handicapped-accessible boardwalk overlooking The River, as well.
Views of The River at Kents Point
Outer Cape Area
Great Island Trail — Wellfleet
Great Island Trail is a beautiful, moderately-rated loop trail along Cape Cod Bay in Wellfleet. The trail runs from The Gut to Great Island and Great Beach Hill and out to the secluded area known as Jeremy Point. The trail winds through Great Island along marshes, sand dunes, and stunning beaches with beautiful views and wildlife. Please note that parts of Jeremy Point are underwater at high tide, so check the tide schedule to plan your trip. Views from Jeremy Point allow you to see from Brewster and Dennis all the way out to Provincetown.
Pamet Area Trails — Truro
Bearberry Hill Trail overlooks the glacial terrain of the Pamet River valley. It is rated as a moderate hike due to its incline up a steep hill. At the top of the hill, you will be awed by spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pamet landscape, a former boghouse from the era of commercial cranberry harvesting, and a small glacial pond.