Tag Archives: hiking

Cape Cod Nature Trails

2016 came and went with quite a bit of mixed emotions.  Another year older, another year of supposed wisdom. Yet, I find that with everything that happened in 2016, I still had a sense of helplessness and odd mix of anxiety about what this year held. Another year older and yet i don’t know that I have much to show for myself.  Another year of opportunity lies ahead and I plan on reaching again. If I don’t, then next year I will have even less to show for myself.

One goal for 2017 is to get out more.  Living on Cape Cod provides so many opportunities to get out into Nature. Some even believe walking in the woods is as good as getting therapy.  Everyone knows about the pristine beaches, but there are also many acres of preserved woods and trails all over Cape Cod that are free to the public.

We started the day after Christmas and have been off discovering trails we know and trails we have never even heard of.  It’s been fun exploring the beauty of the Cape in a new way. The woods have been relaxing and a personal experience, yet sharing the walks with family has been nice too because we are able to share in the beauty of the place we call home.

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Walking Through the Woodlands

Living on Cape Cod, we are blessed with so many preserved pieces of land. Many of them offer trails and the ability to walk through them and enjoy the quiet peace that only nature can give. It’s no wonder that Thoreau wanted to spend time here, exploring and meditating.

Yesterday, since it was gorgeous and we had no Sunday plans, I decided to take the Daughter to the Mashpee River Woodlands and explore.

Back in elementary school, the field trip to the Mashpee River Woodlands was a fun one. We learned about the brackish water that was at the end of the river and how the river flowed from Mashpee-Wakeby Lake to Popponesset Bay and the animals. I will never forget learning about Wintermint and tasting a leaf of it to discover it did taste like my favorite flavor of trident gum!

Wintermint – I don’t know if I would recommend tasting it though – might not be wise and DEFINITELY DO NOT eat the berries!

The Daughter insisted on bringing her camera when we couldn’t find her binoculars which was fine with me. I was bringing my camera, it only made sense. It was such a perfect day for a walk through the woods.

There are three parking lots and depending on how long you want your hike to be, you may choose one parking lot over the other. Also, there are places where you can put your kayak or canoe in and view the woodlands while riding the river. We did this once, back when I was in high school. We took three of our Spanish foreign exchange students who were with us for the summer and oh man…that was one crazy canoe and kayak trip. I wish I had pictures to show you of that…just thinking about it has me smiling.

At any rate, since the water is a little cold this time of year, it is a great time to hike. The fear of ticks was minimal since the weather is getting colder (though we still did tick checks afterwards) and the trees with fewer leaves let more sun in through the canopy.

The Daughter taking a snap of something cool.

You can print out your own map of the trails and then head off for your own adventure. The best of the trails, in my opinion, is the Long River Trail. We parked at the Mashpee Neck Road parking lot and took the Partridge Berry Trail (marked PB on the trail markers) down to the Long River Trail. We turned up the Chickadee Trail and then went the opposite direction down the Partridge Berry Trail to Whitcomb’s Landing.

Along the way we saw a few amazing things:

So many trees were uprooted and down, exposing amazing root structures like this one.

This was deemed the “U” tree for obvious reasons.

At the end of the Whitcomb’s Landing trail where it connected to the Long River trail, there was a bench and a gorgeous spot to just sit and take in the peace and quiet of the surroundings.

Looking down the river, away from the bay.

Where the river bends and curves are known as “meanders.”

The Daughter asked that we come back some day and have a picnic lunch. She then told me I could carry it all for her in her backpack and we would spend all day there, basically, I would be her pack mule on a grand expedition, but I’m quite ok with it . While I agreed that next summer we could do that, I began to think of the possibility of snow-shoeing through these trails if we ever get enough snow. My mother, who came with us, actually said that out loud. I guess great minds think alike.

If you are looking for a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon and it’s not too cold out (or if you don’t mind walking in the cold), take advantage of this underused natural resource. It’s beautiful and peaceful, the perfect recipe for smiles like this:

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