Getting outside is a must year-round on Cape Cod, but particularly in the off-season, it is nice to enjoy the natural landscapes when it is possible to share them with only a few others, if you’re lucky, all to yourself. Regardless of what time of year you go, Great Island in Wellfleet offers a different kind of hiking experience from many of the popular spots on the Cape.
The trail itself, which is part of the National Seashore, is a little off the beaten path – you will find the head of it only after winding your way through the scenic Wellfleet Center and Wellfleet Harbor – and includes stretches of beach and forays through a pitch-pine forest. You can choose a shorter distance of almost 4 miles or go all the way to and from the more secluded area of Jeremy Point which is about 9 miles. A map is definitely recommended, as the trail itself is not very well marked.
Whichever way you choose to go you’re bound to run into a seal or two, watch seabirds doing their thing, check out minnow filled tide pools and encounter hundreds of fiddler crabs, and of course take in scenery that is indeed breathtaking. When you reach the first vast sandy stretch of trail, you can’t help but feel the power of the natural environment that surrounds, and winding your way through salt marshes and dunes, as well as higher elevations that allow beautiful views of Cape Cod Bay you’ll fall even deeper in love with this place that provides so much beauty and inspiration.