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The Clam Trees at Rock Harbor

Jennie Sparrow | 7/21/2017

One of the most scenic spots on the Cape is Rock Harbor in Orleans. There, you can catch a glimpse of the busy fishing boats, spend a peaceful day on the beach or watch a gorgeous sunset. If you look straight out, you’ll see the “clam trees” that mark the waterway going in and out of the harbor. Adorned with reflective signs, these young pine trees are placed out in the channel at the beginning of the summer season to aid in the navigation in and out of the harbor. According to local legend, quahoggers who used the harbor in the 1970s used to drop clams at the base of the trees. The clams would burrow down into the sands there, and when permit holders went out to harvest quahogs later in the season, they had the best success by the trees! Year-rounders would say the clams fell from the trees. Quahoggers don’t use the harbor much these days, so don’t get too excited thinking you might have a chance finding the tasty treasures there! Stick with watching the fishing boats and sunsets, those always have, and always will be, a guarantee at Rock Harbor.