As a bike ride, this trail is quite short at about 3 miles round trip, but if you take your time along the trail and like the beach, you’ll love this trail. Starting at the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center at the National Seashore in Eastham, the trail begins at the end of the parking lot. There are a number of hills on the trail especially in the beginning, with only one that is a bit steep. Don’t let that deter you… the views later on are worth the effort.
You’ll be riding through pine forest for much of the way with a number of spurs that you can explore. One is a fire road that heads down to the salt marsh. Towards the end of the trail you suddenly break free of the forest and the salt marsh will come into view. With some patience, luck, and a decent camera, you can catch a variety of sea birds.
The most striking object will be the top of the Coast Guard Beach lighthouse which you’ll see at the end of the boardwalk above the marsh. A short, steep hill is well worth the effort to leave the marsh behind and see the lighthouse station and beautiful beach. From the station, you can see views of the Atlantic for quite a distance both north and south. During season there are restrooms available and there are bike racks year round.
From the station, you can ride along Ocean View Road heading north along the seashore if you don’t mind some traffic and hills. Or, head back to the Salt Pond Visitors Center, cross Route 6, and head onto the Cape Cod Rail Trail. My next post will be the stretch from Salt Pond to Marconi Beach. Until then, happy trails!