Archive for Trail Hikes

Lesson Learned

This morning while starting off on a very familiar trail near my house Brya was spooked for the first time in her life. I thought she was afraid of one of the dogs approaching us and for the first time in her life did not come to me when called. Like any dog owner, I was embarrassed in front of the people with dogs near me as well as worried that she would run further away from me so I panicked.

I collected her and leashed her to continue our walk. Where than halfway through our route we heard it whining in the woods. I quickly remembered hearing of an injured coyote in this area from a few days ago.

As I thought back, Brya did not leave my side for the entire walk. Why didn’t I trust her instincts? We are fine but even old trainer can learn new lessons.

I have always thought of Brya being a good judge of character for both dogs and people. Why had I doubted her? Because it was early in the morning and I just want to get my walk done. Next time I will heed the warning and pick a  different trail.

Just goes to show you, if you really listen dog’s instincts teach lessons every day.

Happy Trails!
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At least I got this picture :)

15 Towns in 12 Months-October

Brewster was the town of the month for October. What this town lacks in industry, it makes up for it in beauty and charm. This is a town that is reminiscent of “old cape cod”.   You won’t find a chain grocery store or restaurant in town, but there are many charming boutique shops and mom & pop stores. Make sure you pop into the Brewster General Store and you will feel as if you were transported back in time.

My first not so hidden gem of a nature trail is the Nickerson State Park. This park packs a big punch. With many fishing, biking and hiking trails, Cliff Pond was a perfect start! We started on Flax Pond Road at the parking lot in between Cliff and Little Cliff Ponds. Keeping the pond on our left, we made our way around the 3+mile loop    Brew-Cliff Pond May 2014-2        Brew-Cliff Pond April 2014

where there are many opportunities for the dogs to swim any time of year, and towards the end of the loop is a beautiful sandy beach where we stopped to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Trail map: http://www.mass.gov/eea/images/dcr/parks/trailmaps/nickerson.gif

Running through Nickerson is the Cape Cod Rail Trail which is a beautiful walk in itself!

The next trail we hit is adjacent to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, at 869 Main Street (Route 6A). Just west of the museum you will find a map at the trailhead. Dogs are only allowed October 1-April 30, so this was the perfect addition to our month! The weather cooperated, and although the trail is not long it is full of gorgeous scenery. You should be sure to check the tides, as the plank walkway across the marsh will be flooded at high tide

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As you transition from woods to marsh through another section of woods,

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you will eventually land on the beautiful stairway to the infamous Brewster Flats  that can go on for miles at low tide.

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Simply breathtaking!

http://www.ccmnh.org/The-Trails-of-the-Cape-Cod-Museum-of-Natural-History

Be sure to check out the Brewster Conservation Trust properties for more wonderful trails!! There are too many to list, so check them out for yourselves:

http://bct.capecodgis.com/ or http://brewsterconservationtrust.org/index.php/category/walking-trails/

All private land trusts are run by volunteers and donations, so consider possibly giving some time or perhaps money to save our open space!

Brew-Cliff Pond -1 2014      HAPPY TRAILS!

 

 

15 Towns in 12 Months-September

EASTHAM

 What a beautiful town in this beautiful month of September! This was a perfect pick as we transition from Summer to Fall here on Cape Cod.  Containing about 14 square miles and with a population of 5600 people, Eastham is home to the Nauset Regional High School. Interesting fact: this is the only school on the East Coast located within a national park –Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS)

IMG_7155The town of Truro allows dogs Labor Day- June 15 on beaches, so check out Dyer Prince Road and Rock Harbor beach. A recent update from the town: dogs are no longer allowed to run free on this beach, even though they had this freedom for a decade –Brya and I found it to be quite enjoyable in spite of the new rules

For a full list of Truro beaches, see the town web site (download the pdf) listed:  http://www.eastham-ma.gov/public_documents/EasthamMA_Recreation/index

 

IMG_7819       IMG_7598On the contrary, the National Seashore allows your pup on their ocean beaches all year long (on leash of course)!! Our favorite in Eastham is Nauset Light Beach. As the name hints, there is a beautiful lighthouse on the property. In season, the bath house is a nice addition to a very sandy day.

IMG_7814However, I was sad to learn that the CCNS does NOT allow dogs to walk on any trails in the reservation. I did double check this fact with a Ranger at the Visitor Center, and she did reluctantly agree with my findings. This is apparently due to the delicate wildlife that lives along the trails.  We need to share with all animals right?   :)

Do you recognize our clue to the right?  This was a hard one!  This bone is by the Fort Hill trail (dogs prohibited, but photos allowed)

 

Not to be disheartened by the bad news, we were off to locate our new trail find!! We headed out to Cottontail Acres.

IMG_7781 The parking lot for this trail is well hidden so keep your wits about you. Heading down Samoset Road, when you get to the intersection with Lawton Road on your left, start to take the turn but do an almost u turn into a paved road just before the property at 875 Samoset. Immediately you will run into the small turnoff which is the parking for this trail. Cottontail Acres is a short, cute hike that is well shaded with trees and beautiful by itself. If you are looking for more, cross Samoset Street on foot in the crosswalk and enter into another larger parcel named Wiley Park.IMG_7798 The trails in this 40 acre parcel not only surround Great Pond, but also several smaller ponds for multiple swimming opportunities-Yay! All in all we walked 3 ½ miles total and not only was it beautiful, it was very interesting with a few picturesque spots along the way

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Eastham didn’t appear to have too many spots for outdoor eating, but we did find Red Barn Pizza with picnic tables outside (pretty good pizza too); and Ben and Jerry’s for a treat after your lunch. Both located on Route 6.

A great resource when visiting Eastham with your dog is the Eastham Dog Owners Assn web page :

https://www.easthamdog.org/id30.html

Get out and enjoy!!

15 Towns in 12 Months-August

Summer has FLOWN by! Brya and I enjoyed our month in these two lower cape towns. They both are what we could classify quintessential cape cod summer towns. Their population more than doubles in the summer months and even with traffic, we always feel like it’s worth the drive.

Truro

This tiny town incorporated in 1709 boasts over 15,000 people once summer hits. With over 75% of its land designated as National Seashore, no fast food restaurants and no stoplights, some say Truro is the forgotten town between the popular Wellfleet and Provincetown tourist areas, but it is truly a gem worth exploring!

We started by hitting the Smalls Swamp trail. This loop around the swamp is a quick trip rich in plant life and history! This swamp was the set in the bottom of a former glacial kettle hole. This is just one of the numerous walks in the Cape Cod National Seashore which stretches from Eastham to Provincetown. Visit their site to see what else lies in store for you!

Smalls swamp sign        Smalls Swamp steps

How to get there: From the intersection of Routes 6 and 6A in North Truro, take Route 6 north for 2.1 miles, then turn right on an unnamed road signed Pilgrim Heights. Go 0.5 miles to a large, paved parking area on the left side of a one-way loop. Two trails depart from a trailhead at the northwest side of the one-way loop. The trail to Small’s Swamp goes left (northwest) toward the interpretive shelter. The trail to neighboring Pilgrim Spring veers right (northeast)

Brya and I love the water, so Truro is perfect for us! Your dogs are allowed on all National Seashore beaches YEAR ROUND on leash. All Truro town beaches welcome your pet after 6pm in the summer. We loved Coast Guard Beach, but there are so many more to sample, we will be back! Here is the list to choose from: http://www.truro-ma.gov/beach-office/pages/beach-list-information

Mayflower Bch 2014-2

While in town, be sure to check out Truro vineyards. A must see! http://trurovineyardsofcapecod.com/index.php

If you’d like to stay in this beautiful town on near the tip of the Cape, the Outer Reach Pet Resort is set on 12 acres in the National Seashore and perched atop a bluff with beautiful panoramic views of Provincetown and Pilgrim Lake http://www.outerreachresort.com/

 

Wellfleet

Being from the upper cape, I did the touristy things for 20 years. Wellfleet has an outdoor flea market by day and drive in by night-done it! The National Seashore has Marconi Beach with great wave action (most every time we see seals, yet where there are seals…….sharks do tend to follow)-done it! But to explore this town with Brya was such a great experience.

I really didn’t know that all National Seashore beaches allow pups all year long! Hard to believe, but I really didn’t. The deal is simple. You must keep your pet leashed and move past the life guard protected area. It is a little walk (so remember all your things in one trip) but it is truly a better spot! The beach is less crowded and we were able to get cell service. Be leery that most beaches require a lot of stair climbing/descending so it may not be a great place for an elderly pooch. Brya wasn’t a fan of the big waves at first, but soon grew to LOVE them! She actually body surfs!

Marconi waves 

Just this month we received some wonderful news!!! A trail once off limits to dogs is now dog friendly, and a must do! The Great Island Trail is just that, on an island. Therefore, you must watch the tides as it is inaccessible at high tide. Leashed dogs are allowed only on the trail from the upper Great Island main lot and the lower “gut” parking lot to the first dune and out to the beach….year round. Laminated maps are available at Great Island to direct pet owners to the newly opened areas.

Great Island sign     Great Island picHow to get there: Turn left off Route 6 to Wellfleet Town Center. Turn left onto Commercial Street. At town pier, turn right onto Kendrick Road, then left onto Chequesset Neck Road to the Great Island parking lot, 3-1/2 miles from traffic light on Route 6. Driving hint: Water view will generally be on your left.

Be sure to check out PJ’s family restaurant, Rte 6 & School St if you are looking for some good eats with your dog. (508-349-2126)

Paw House Inn, VT

ADVENTURES IN VERMONT

The Paw House Inn is located in West Rutland, VT.  Close to Pico an Killington Mountains and about 5 minutes to the bustling town of Rutland, this Inn is a perfect location for all dog lovers.  The Inn’s motto is “we cater to dogs, we tolerate humans”………and they mean it!

IMG_5627    IMG_5598

We were welcomed by the resident dog, Stanley, and were given a tour of the grounds.  The owner told an interesting story about the eccentric neighbor who is an art collector of sorts and has many “interesting” sculptures surrounding the Inn’s property.  Here are just a few:

 

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This Inn is SPOTLESS!! I am a clean freak, so for me to say that is something, especially about a house with dogs in it!  The mud room after entering allows the humans to take their shoes off and towels to wipe any dirty dog paws.  So many cute touches throughout!

IMG_5583     IMG_5570

Our room was on the second floor and immediately knew we were in good hands.  There was a framed dog bed with a bowl and towel for water, a towel in case of rain or an impromptu swim, and even a sheet to put over the bed in case your pup joins you for sleeping.

IMG_5573   We headed out to the fenced in “dog park” next and met our neighbors and their pups before hitting the sack.  Fun was had by all.

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Saturday we dined on the back porch with Brya and most of her friends for a gourmet breakfast which was delicious, then headed off to the indoor farmers market (dogs are invited)

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Since it was spring, the weather was just warm enough for a hike  The staff at breakfast was so helpful in giving us a list of possible trails. We finally settled on Pine Hill Park and it did not disappoint !!!!!  Breathtaking landscape and views awaited us at every turn.  Brya found several rocks to climb throughout our hike:

 

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Another great feature of the Inn is the on site kennel.  This separate building has kennels to keep your pup safe and cool/warm (depending on the season) if you have to go somewhere that isn’t dog friendly or just want an afternoon of human sightseeing. Although we didn’t use this service for Brya, it was nice to know it was available!

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It was so wonderful to be in a place that reveres these animals that are our family as much as we do, and to be around fellow dog lovers was such a treat.  Brya made wonderful friends and I know we will be back!

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Check them out for yourselves:  http://www.pawhouseinn.com/

 

 

15 Towns in 12 Months-July

So its summer…..dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, right? Wrong!

In Provincetown, one of the most dog-friendly towns on the cape, dogs are welcome on the beaches on leash all year long. In fact, you may have your well behaved dog off leash from 6-9 am AND 6-9pm. But be sure to pick up after your pooch, if you know what I mean 😉 We have to keep the beaches clean so our furry friends don’t lose this invitation.

Ptown Beaches April 2014

Sometimes in the “dog days of summer” I get lazy. Not really, but I am definitely less motivated for a long walk. I think Brya feels the same way. Being near the water always helps! Just walking down the main drag of Commercial Street is a trip. Several stores and banks allow dogs inside the store, plenty of watering holes line sidewalks, and you can even get a dog cookie like we did at Paws & Whiskers Dog Bakery.

Ptown Aug 2014-4                       Ptown Aug 2014-5

If you are feeling adventurous, head out to the breakwater at the absolute tip of the Cape. You can walk for what seems like a mile, but I’m sure is a bit less, across this stone jetty and make your way over to the lighthouse. Be warned, this trail is 4.93 miles long, so make sure you time your tides right so you don’t get stuck……that’s right it almost happened to us, yikes!

https://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XMR016-043

ptown breakwater

If you aren’t as adventurous of just feeling a bit on the lazy side, Beech Forest Trail is a cute trail that is just over a mile:  http://www.hikingcapecod.com/beechforest.html

Lastly, Try walking the neighborhoods of this hustling summer city and you never know who you will find! We walked by the Pilgrim Monument and realized we hadn’t actually appreciated the significance in a long time, probably since visiting in grade school! For those of you who live off cape, check out the story as we know it:         http://www.pilgrim-monument.org/overview-faq#.VbDB_nLbLj0

Ptown Aug 2014

I would be remiss without mentioning the Provincetown Dog Park, located at the intersection of Route 6 and Shank Painter Road     http://www.pilgrimbarkpark.org/

I didn’t see a lot of shade, so maybe not a great location for a mid day romp, but a great looking park.  Its nice for folks to have some human interaction as well!!   The dog park site also give you a great selection of hotels and restaurants that are dog friendly:     http://www.pilgrimbarkpark.org/Ptown.html

One fact remains, BRYA AND I LOVE PTOWN!!!!  Come down and enjoy!

 

15 Towns in 12 Months-June

FALMOUTH in June

This month we straddle the spring/summer seasons, but here on Cape Cod summer is already in full tilt! Dogs are allowed on the beaches Oct 1-April 30, so off to the trails we went!

The Knob-Quinnaquisset Ave-One of my favorite haunts! Such beautiful landscape and places to roam all year long on the ocean! Some pluses are the many spots for awesome photos and two small beaches that allow the dogs to swim even in the summer! Minuses to this location are the limited parking spots and the trails are not very lengthy. A definite must see!!!!!     Map:   http://www.saltpond.info/pdf/trailmap_knob.pdf

The Knob Falm July 2014-4   The Knob

Crane Wildlife Reservation-Located on Route 151 this 1800 acres of property was acquired from Frances A. Crane in 1958. The landscape is so vast and starts in an open field (which can get muddy) and heads into an array of wooded trails that intermingle. If your goal is to let your dog run, this is the perfect place to make it happen! Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/Craneeast.pdf

Falm-Crane Reservation Feb 15    Falm-Crane Reservation 2 Feb 15

Shining Sea Bikeway is a bike/walking trail that extends from Route 151 all the way down to Woods Hole. Along the way, such beautiful landscape surrounds you that I got lost in it and ended up walking 8 miles…..yikes! A typical up and back you have several opportunities to sit on a bench and people watch or sit and listen to the birds. Helpful hint: when you are a walker, stay to the right of the trail and listen for bikers signaling to pass. Trail Map:               http://www.woodshole.com/documents/bikewaymap.pdf

Long Pond-This walk is awesome! Starting on Brick Kiln Road and park just before the Goodwill Park. The walk is approximately 4 miles around the pond and is gorgeous. We saw a lot of wildlife and the only downside I saw was that the dogs are not allowed to access the pond since it is a source of drinking water for the town. Trail Map:                http://www.300committee.org/documents/LongPondfinal.pdf

Sandw-Talbots April 2014

Bebee Woods-Depot Road, Falmouth. This hidden gem is located just behind the Cape Cod Conservatory at the end of Depot Road is a playground for dog walkers! There are two ponds, well marked trails and lots of shade for the summer. When the beaches are off limits, head here! You can tailor make your walk as long or short as you’d like!  Trail Map: http://www.300committee.org/documents/BeebeWoods.pdf

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I can’t fail to mention the Falmouth Dog Park located on 254 Brick Kiln Road-there are ongoing events and ways you can help fundraise for the park…for more info:          http://www.falmouthdogpark.com/

Falmouth has an AWESOME main street with many patios to eat with your pooch and a large grassy common area in the center to sit for a picnic. Some ideas:

Stone L’Oven-271 Main Street     http://stonelovenfalmouth.com/

The Pickle Jar-170 Main Street     http://www.picklejarkitchen.com/

The Raw Bar-56 Scranton Ave      http://www.falmouthrawbar.com/

 

15 Towns in 12 Months-May

Well, we did it again! May was a two town month :)

May 2015 Chat-Harw

Apparently, the people in Chatham and Harwich are passionate about their towns. All my cape followers guessed my “secret” clues very quickly which shows me that I need to get down cape more often. Not only are these two towns unique and beautiful, there are so many places to visit with your pup while there!

Chatham has beautiful beaches to enjoy with your pup September 16-April 30, but don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do in the summer season as well. We started May by heading to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (Clue #1)

Chat-Monomoy Wildlife Refuge 2015       IMG_5828

This beautiful stretch of beach and scrub is basically hidden from the general public….unless you are looking for it you wouldn’t stumble across this gem. You have to enter in to a neighborhood that makes it appear that you are entering a private subdivision, however just after passing the sign, you’ll see a paved driveway on your left that will lead you to the parking lot. Keep an eye out for seals that populate this area and be very careful of ticks as we had plenty on both human and dog!

For more trail hikes see: http://www.chathaminfo.com/nature-trails

Another wonderful trait of Chatham is the number of patio dining spots along the wonderfully quintessential main street for dining. We also came across the beautifully constructed Dog Bar at the Chatham Squire, so make sure you stop in for a fresh drink of water on your stroll.

Clue #2 IMG_5795

One of our favorites in the summer months is the Cape Cod Baseball League. You can watch games with your pup on the hill –just bring a chair or blanket and some refreshments! The field is near the rotary at 750 Main Street

http://www.capecodbaseball.org/games/2015-schedule/

Lastly, the Chatham Bars Inn is a beautiful waterfront resort that is pet friendly. They have beachfront dining as well (Be sure to ask if that is allowed with your pup in the summer season) There is a $100 pet fee Mid June – Labor day + $40/night fee.   http://www.chathambarsinn.com

 

HARWICH was our second destinationl!

It seemed to me that Harwich seemed to have more wooded walking trails to choose from. We visited both Thompsons Field IMG_5999  IMG_6002

and the D Isabel Smith Monomoy River Conservation Lands. Thompsons Field is more wide open and apparently a very popular dog spot where you are allowed to have well behaved dogs off leash. The field portion of the conservation is a dog park-like atmosphere, and there is NO hunting on this property which is a nice change. The D. Isabel Smith property is more of a traditional trail and nicely shaded for the upcoming heat. IMG_5988      IMG_5993

For trail info: http://harwichconservationtrust.org/trails/

Don’t forget the rail trail is right off Main Street (aka 39) where you can have a great paved walk while keeping an eye out for bikers passing you on the left. When traveling to the main street town center we happened upon the Adirondack chair randomly placed in front of a pediatric dental office-so cute! Harw-Main St Chair 2015 Brya and I didn’t find any restaurants in the main section of town, but plenty of places that do take out and right on the main road is a gazebo which would be a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a sandwich.

Harwich has a Cape Cod League team as well-you can catch their games at 105 Oak Street.

On our way out of town was where we captured the rocket and other lawn “ornaments” in a private yard just before the intersection of Rte 39 and Rte 137.    We are not short on art-loving eclectic people here on the cape but that prized possession was just too unique to pass up a photo op! Harw-Rocket yard 2015

Sooo much fun heading down cape! These two are must see towns!

15 Towns in 12 Months-April

 

DENNIS is where it’s at this month! Now I know why people rave about the beaches in Dennis……it rocks!!! Being from the upper cape, we are used to having a lot of rocks under our beach blankets but not here. What fun we had exploring this huge town with so much to offer the pet friendly world! This is the first month the snow is GONE! Now we deal with mud here on Cape Cod.

The first week Brya and I head out to Crowe’s Pasture Conservation Area April #1  clue(Clue #1)                      Den-Crows Pasture trail 2015

Located on South Street just off Route 6A past the Quivet Cemetery, this beautiful piece of conservation is a cooperative project  Den-Crows Pasture that results in heaven. We started from the first parking lot after the cemetery, but if the first lot is full there are other opportunities to park along the road. As we meandered along the woodsy trail that had beautiful glimpses of Culvert Creek to our right we were thrust into an open field just before joining the off-road trail leading to the beach. Although the beach ground remains rockless, what lends to the beauty of this location are the rocks that jet up along the waterline. Brya loves to climb so she was so thrilled to do so and run and play in the waters of Cape Cod Bay. Best news—-leashed dogs are allowed YEAR ROUND on this property. Yay!

 

Another beautiful white sandy beach is Mayflower Beach (Clue #2).

Mayflower Beach Dennis 2014               Den-Crows Pasture March 2014-6

Located on Dunes Road also off Rte 6A, is not as easy to find as you think but there are signs so just be on alert or use your GPS. This is a great flat beach walk with beautiful stone jetties. Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted Memorial Day through Labor Day on this beach, so get out there quick or mark this on your calendar for Fall!

 

Very different from the beach atmosphere, yet with plenty of opportunities for swimming is the conservation at Flax Pond (Clue #3)             Den-Flax Pond April 15

This property was surprisingly large and we were able to do a 4 mile walk, but you can mix and match your route for a longer or much shorter walk. The parking lot is located on Setucket Road and has plenty of parking.  I am told this place is well attended in the summer for its shady trails and access to the Pond, so I would recommend going early or later in the day to avoid crowds. Trails are marked by either a white or red arrow affixed to tree bases. Starting from the trailhead, take a right when you dead end at the pond. It would be hard to get lost in here as most trails intersect or loop around to dump you back to the main trail. If your dog is a mud seeker, beware as there are several swampy areas in the middle of the tract…..or be prepared to get the shampoo out when you get home.

 

A much smaller walk, but ever so beautiful, Swan Pond Overlook Conservation Area

(Clue #4)                      clue 4

is located on Center Street (from Rte 134, take a left on Upper County Road and left on Center Street…parking lot on right). This property is GORGEOUS and all 4 loop trails give you a quick woods walk and if your pup is a swimmer you can certainly tire them out on Swan Pond! A great find!

 

Pet Friendly Eateries

Box lunch                 Patriots square, Route 134, Dennis-sandwiches, outdoor seating

Kreme & Cone         Corner Rte 134 & Rte 28, on Swan River, Dennis-great fried clams!

The Dog House       Outdoor picnic tables with umbrellas, 189 Lower County Road, Dennisport

Remember to ask if you see the restaurant has an outdoor patio, most will allow you to have your dog join you there!

 

Other quick notes:

Fresh pond dog park-Route 134  small fenced area, very close to road, ramp for swimming on Fresh Pond  Denn-Fresh pond Dog Park 2015

Cape Cod Rail Trail-also on Route 134-huge parking lot!  This trail is well shaded for the upcoming summer months.  Keep in mind that as we get to the warmer months it will be increasing in traffic and you will be expected to share the road with bikers and rollerbladers.         Den-Rail Trail 2015

Remember your bike path etiquette and stay to the right and pass on the left.

 

 

15 towns in 12 months-March

I basically live on the Sandwich and Barnstable town line, so I decided with the area beating the record in snow totals, I might as well stay close to home and do these two towns I know so well. Again I am only highlighting a few trails for this series, but as I do others along the way I’ll be sure to share those too!

Boyden Conservation is owned by the Town of Sandwich and great for a quick walk. Located on Cotuit Road near its intersection with Quaker Meetinghouse Road. The trail loop is approximately 1 mile, but that is not the intrigue of the trail. The best part of this walk is the field visible just off the trail so you can’t miss it! You can use this field for ball play, training purposes, or just to add mileage to the trail walk by doing its circumference. Tucked way in the back of the field surrounded by woods is a very cool cemetery where Clue #1 was taken

Sandw-Boyden Conserv 2014

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Cape Cod Canal in Sandwich! This side of the canal is blessed with picnic tables at the beginning with bathrooms (always important). Marked and well maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, this asphalt walkway is 6.5 miles to the railroad bridge, so if you are feeling energetic you could complete all 13 miles! Just past the marina at the canal is the Welcome Center open “in season” with its own covered picnic area and walk to the jetty at the mouth of the canal.

Sand-Canal visitor center

If you “do the math”, if I have to visit 15 towns in 12 months I would have to combine two towns a couple of times right? This next Clue #2 was taken at Sandy Neck Beach in BarnstableBarn-Xmas 14 on hill

Located right off Route 6A, this beach is a six mile long barrier beach with both a trail along the marsh as well as paved trails. I learned a few new things about the beach after being a frequent visitor for many years. Run by the town of Barnstable, the upper parking lot land was donated by the Bodfish family and named in their honor as Benjamin Bodfish Park (parking lot by snack shack). You need a resident sticker for Barnstable or Sandwich to park or you will pay $15  for the day in season. Leashed dogs are allowed year round on the trail that starts from the guard shack (deep sand in spots) and on the off road beach (for which a special sticker is required-of course I have one). The main beach welcomes dogs September 15-May 15 and not during the summer months. One last note: the entire property allows hunting so be sure to check the season before heading out…. especially on the marsh trail . I have found it isn’t a hugely popular place for hunting so the risk is minimal.

There is a great book about the history of this area:

http://www.amazon.com/Luminaries-Early-West-Barnstable-Chronicles/dp/1626193150

 

Locals raved about Eagle Pond aka Bell Farm and Little River Sanctuary in Cotuit (a village of Barnstable) so I had to see for myself. I found a few parking lots, but the largest and most convenient is just off Route 28 on Putnam Avenue. Owned by Barnstable Land Trust, a private organization, the trails around the pond are beautiful and private. However, there is a spot that you must cross a private road (Little River Road) to access the rest of the trail, and a few spots were close to the main roads, so I was a bit nervous about that. The good news is that once you cross the street there is a lovely field lined with bird feeders where we found this funny post with distances to local and NOT so local places from the trail Clue #3. It cracked me up! We will definitely be back when all the snow is melted. Here is the link to the trail map.

http://blt.org/wp-content/uploads/TrailGuide-EaglePond.pdf

Barn-Eagle Pond sign 2015         Barn-Eagle Pond 2015

To learn more about the Barnstable Land Trust and how you can volunteer or donate to keep these lands pristine check out their website: http://blt.org/

There are plenty of eateries in both Towns, just a few to mention:

Sandwich:       Café Chew has outside tables as soon as the weather turns as does the restaurants at Russells Corner; also not to forget the many ice cream stores some of which offer wonderful sandwiches as well -Ice Cream Sandwich; Shipwreck; Twin Acres, and Sweet Carolines. Pet Friendly Hotel=Sandwich Lodge Resort

Barnstable:    Main Street in Hyannis offers many outside tables to eat and Barnstable village has the Barnstable Tavern with a courtyard and many wonderful take out spots where you can venture out to eat at the nearby marina. Pet friendly hotel: Comfort Inn, Hyannis