The Salt Pond Visitor Center is a central point for activities.
Just south of there is the Fort Hill area, rich in history
and a variety of ecosystems. Walk the trails and tour Captain
Penniman's house. Schedule tours of Nauset Lighthouse and
the 3 Sisters. Check out the windmill on town common.
See the Eastham
overview and Chamber
of Commerce sites, and check out Eastham
restaurants. Also see Kathy
Nauset Marsh viewed from Fort Hill
National Seashore Salt Pond Visitor Center
The Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor
Center at Salt Pond has exhibits, a film showing the Cape's shifting
sands over time, walking trails, and a shuttle bus and bicycle trail
toCoast Guard Beach. The National Seashore sponsors many tours and
programs at the Visitor Center and elsewhere. See the Tours
page for additional information, or go directly to the National
Seashore web site.
The 1.2 mi. walking trail takes you along the edge of Salt Pond
and Nauset Marsh. The National Seashore
offers a guided walk called "The Outermost Beach" that
follows in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and Henry Beston.
The 1.6 mi. Nauset bicycle trail takes you up and down forest hills
and across a marsh on a boardwalk to Coast Guard Beach.
Nauset Marsh from Salt Pond
Nauset Marsh covers a wide expanse between Eastham and Orleans.
Salt Pond at the National Seashore Visitor Center opens into Nauset
Marsh. The Seashore offers guided canoe trips through Nauset Marsh
beginning at Salt Pond. You can even take a canoe lesson. The Seashore
also offeres walking explorations of Nauset marsh, including "The
Lore of Nauset Marsh" and "Underseas Mysteries of Nauset
Marsh." Check with the National
Seashore for times.
Fort Hill Trails
The Fort Hill Trail takes you across meadow to the Red Maple Swamp,
where a boardwalk lets you walk through the heart of the swamp.
I've walked a lot of nature trails, and the Red Maple Swamp was
one of the most intriqing, taking me into an unfamiliar environment.
Back across the meadow, you come to a walk along the cliffs overlooking
Nauset Marsh. The trail is described in the
National Seashore web site and the Short
Nature Walks book. 1.2 miles north of the rte 6 and 28 rotary,
turn off rte 6 at Governor Prence Road to Fort Hill Road.
Captain Penniman House
Take a guided tour of this historic home and learn its history. The house
is next to the parking lot at Fort Hill, so combine the tour with
a walk on the Fort Hill trails. There are also open house times.
Check with the National Seashore for times.
Nauset Lighthouse and 3 Sisters Lighthouses
was recently moved back from the edge of the cliff. Sundays 4:30-7:30
in summer you can tour inside the lighthouse and climb to the top.
The schedule of tour times
includes a map. Arrive early on a nice day to stand in line. The
National Seashore also gives a historical
tour of the 3 Sisters lighthouses in the same area, and takes you
into one of the lighthouses. For a nice photo of the Light, see
Jay Pulli' s
web site.Nauset Light parking lot is at the north end of Ocean View
Windmill on Town Common
Windmill on the town common is usually open with a volunteer
explaining its works. If you're lucky, Jim Owens may be the volunteer.
He probably knows more about windmills than anyone else on the Cape.
The Eastham Windmill was built about 1688 and moved to Eastham in
1793. The Eastham town common is on the west side of Rte 6 just
north of the Orleans town line.
The Rail Trail
The Rail Trail passes through Eastham from Orleans to Wellfleet.
It's flat and open and the paved surface is smooth. You can get
on and off at Locust Road, just across Rte 6 from the Salt Pond