Nauset Marsh Trail

Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

Elevation Gain270ft
Trailhead Elevation46ft
Elevation Min/Max3/46ft
Elevation Start/End46/46ft

Nauset Marsh Trail

Nauset Marsh Trail is a hiking trail in Eastham, Massachusetts. It is within Cape Cod National Seashore. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 46 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 270 feet. The Salt Pond Visitor Center (elevation 7 feet) information office is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms and a museum. Along the trail there are cliffs and a viewpoint. This trail connects with the following: Nauset Trail and Buttonbush Trail.

Nauset Marsh Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"NAUSET MARSH is one of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts for paddling serene, unspoiled, and protected water. Amid abundant bird and marine life, kayakers find sweeping vistas of low islands, narrow blue channels, and high green bluffs.

The area’s beauty more than makes up for its frustrating hydrography. The fall of the tides exposes sandbars and raises wide islands of waving cordgrass, making navigation a challenge in this largely unmarked area. It is very easy to get lost in the maze, and a walk is likely at low tide. Regardless, the rewards of paddling this quiet, special spot far outweigh the difficulties. Attractions: Bird-watching, unspoiled vistas, Cape Cod National Seashore’s Salt Pond Visitor Center and trails."

"The end of Hemenway Road is a great place to start a trip onto the magnificent Nauset Marsh, one of the most sublime natural places on outer Cape Cod and in New England. The marsh extends south from Coast Guard Beach, the start of a 30-mile stretch of wild, protected beach that Henry David Thoreau wrote about in his 1865 classic Cape Cod. The put-in is the province of striped bass fishermen in their modest aluminum skiffs.

The marsh is flushed by a powerful break in the long extension of Nauset Beach, providing at once protection and a thin line of defense against the loud booms of the open Atlantic’s crashing surf. The launch site gives you a magnificent panorama of the marsh and tributaries, along with the Coast Guard station, the white towering red-roofed Victorian building perched high on a sand dune. Back in the nineteenth century when this structure was built, the Coast Guard would use surf boats or fire a line to the ship so a breeches buoy could be used and haul the forlorn and terrified mariners in on buckets."

"When you first dip a paddle into the water of Skiff Hill Creek, the tidal stream that introduces you to Nauset Marsh, your inclination might be to explore every backwater and corner in a single day. But you can find so much to see here you may want to split your Nauset Marsh experience into several days, depending on tide and if you want to spend time on the oceanfront.

This trip is ideal when you embark about an hour to 90 minutes before high tide. Slip into the creek and almost immediately you paddle left into Salt Pond Bay. At the northwest corner of the bay you reach a short connector creek leading to Salt Pond, its northern shoreline running just below the Salt Pond Visitor Center."

Nauset Marsh Trail Reviews

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I recently explored Nauset Marsh, and wrote up a review (with images from the hike) on my website:
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Kayaked from Orleans town landing (limited parking) to marsh and back. Nice sandy bottom in marsh with a feeling of isolation. We stopped at Hopkins Island in the Orleans cover for a quick picnic and a nice swim on the way back.

Nauset Marsh Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Cape Cod National Seashore
Nearby City
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore
Local Contacts
Arrow Street Atlas: Cape Cod including Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket, p. 45
Local Maps