Walking the Cape and Islands
by David Weintraub (Menasha Ridge Press)
© David Weintraub/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
This trail just covers one part of the enormous, 1700+ acre West Barnstable Conservation Area, one of my favorites. It is honeycombed with trails, most unmarked, and a popular spot for mountain bikers who have labeled part of their 14 mile route the 'Trail of Tears' (unfortunately demeaning the Cherokee trek across America) because the trails are studded with sharp rocks and networks of roots and because the frequent eskers lead to steep climbs and drops. The place is not popular with hikers and in the many times I have visited, have encountered few, usually accompanied by dogs. It's easy to get disoriented but there are a few reliable landmarks. Popple Bottom Road outlines the southern margin and Farmersville and Crocker roads, forming a narrow inverted V, running N-S, split the area into two large sections. Tom Mooney, a volunteer for Cape Cod Pathways, has kindly provided maps at a few major intersections, and these, though not strictly up-to-date, are helpful. The northern border contains the Town of Barnstable Shooting Range, audible throughout. A couple of unofficial trails come rather close to it, but if you stay south of the power line easement, running across from east to west, you will be out of harm's way. That landmark is quite valuable for orientation. The trail listed here is in the larger, eastern section, and is tortuous and fun, but you have to be aware of several forks leading to significant detours, so follow his directions exactly and you'll do fine. You could spend weeks just exploring this fine example of glacial hills and valleys.
Sign in/up to upload photos.
Keep Me Informed
Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.
We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.