Nauset Marsh Trail is a 1.3-mile loop that skirts Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh and returns through transitional forest and fields. The area is well suited for studies of salt marsh ecosystems and upland succession. It also offers excellent bird watching opportunities. NPS Guide Link
The Higgins Property is approximately 5.76 acres located at 0 Nauset Road. The property was purchased for Open Space with CPA funds in 2019. This property is entirely within the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program Priority Habitat for rare species and estimated habitat for rare wildlife. It is also located within the Water Resource Protection District, adjacent to the Town’s water supply well and storage tower. It provides critical wildlife habitat and passive recreation opportunities with hiking trails that connect to adjacent town-owned properties and to the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Nauset Regional High School Cross-country Team uses the trails for their practices.
The Lady Slipper Trail in the Wiley Park Conservation Area is a walking trail through the woods on Great Pond and Bridge Pond. There is also a beach at Wiley Park with parking and restroom facilities. Trail Map
Red Maple Swamp Trail with its serpentine boardwalk gives yet another dimension to Cape Cod that is totally unexpected compared to the Outer Cape’s general landscape. This quarter-mile walk is most colorful in the fall. A portion of this trail is wheelchair accessible via Hemenway Landing. NPS Guide Link
Fort Hill Trail is a one and one-half mile trail with some log steps on slopes. This walking trail offers spectacular views of Nauset Marsh, the Nauset Spit, and the Atlantic Ocean. Bring your binoculars for some wonderful birding opportunities. NPS Guide Link
This area is home to a rich variety of habitats surrounding three small ponds, boasting some unusual tree species. Park on the trailhead on Peach Orchard Lane. Abutting the SECA is Upper Boat Meadow, which has magnificent walking trails and woodlands. Parking and access are available at the trailhead on Smith Lane as well as the bike path on Rock Harbor Road. Trail Map
25 acres of Conservation land that has walking trails along Bridge Pond, Great Pond, as well as Widow Harding Pond. This is where Eastham’s Herring Run flows into Bridge Pond and on to Great Pond. It is located on Herringbrook Road, with parking at the Cole Road Herring Run. Trail Map
Cottontail Acres is more of Eastham’s conservation land with hiking trails through the meadows peppered with wildflowers along Herring and Jemina Ponds. Enter at Samoset Road. Trail Map
Cedar Banks Trail is a 1.5-mile hiking path that connects to the Nauset Marsh Trail and continues on to Coast Guard Beach. NPS Guide Link
Buttonbush Trail is a short quarter-mile multi-sensory loop designed for the blind with a rope guide, and interpretive text panels in Braille and large lettering. NPS Guide Link
There are several guides to the hiking trails in Eastham, see the following links: Eastham Hiking Trails, and information on the Eastham Hiking Club. A guide to the trails in the National Seashore can be accessed via this link.
At 47 acres Sandy Meadows is one of Eastham’s largest open spaces with natural and aesthetic values used by many local residents for walking. Sandy Meadows is unique among town-owned open space in that, in addition to a mix of developing Pitch Pin-Scrub Oak Forest, it contains significant amounts of some rare plant communities. These include Sandplain Grasslands and Sandplain Heathlands, both considered critically imperiled by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program, and the imperiled Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak community. Collectively the plant communities/habitats at Sandy Meadow support many plant and wildlife species that are rare and declining in Massachusetts and play an important role in helping to preserve Eastham’s and Cape Cod’s natural history. In recognition of this significance, the Natural Heritage Program has identified Sandy Meadows as a “core habitat”, critical to the long-term survival of rare species and species of conservation concern and part of a larger natural landscape that includes Sunken Meadow and the Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Massachusetts Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary in Eastham and Wellfleet has five very unique walking trails, all starting at their Nature Center and cross through forests, meadows, and marshes, including a boardwalk out to Cape Cod Bay.
Scenic Overlooks can be found at several points, but can best be enjoyed from Fort Hill, Salt Pond Visitor Center, Skiff Hill Pavilion, and Nauset Light Beach.