Discover Cape Cod
by Michael O'Connor (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Almost all this land was pasture when it was donated to the town by Joseph Fay and his descendants, about a decade before the Civil War. The cultivated landscapes were typical of this period on Cape Cod, when very little forest remained anywhere along the 60-mile spit, from Sandwich to Provincetown. From any high point, a traveler could literally see from town to town, church steeple to church steeple. But Fay was determined to plant trees, and some of the hardwoods you pass on the cart paths and dirt roads passing through this landscape are remnants of his legacy.
In the vicinity of the pond you find fields of boulders, more reminders of the pronounced glacial action that created the Cape; as the last ice sheets retreated some 12,000 years ago, these massive rocks were transported, crushed, and then “dropped” by powerful natural forces. Of much more recent vintage are the uniform stands of white pine that are now part of the landscape, planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The Long Pond Trail begins beyond an orange vehicle gate. Walk north to a dirt road that bears left and then soon splits.
© Michael O'Connor/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.