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Colorful Fall Trees in the forest

Embrace the Colors of Fall: 10 Best Hiking and Walking Trails on Cape Cod

Colorful Fall Trees in the forest

As the temperatures begin to drop, and the leaves transform into a stunning palette of reds, oranges, and yellows, Cape Cod takes on a whole new level of charm in the fall. This is the perfect time to explore the Cape’s natural beauty and charming streets, and one of the best ways to do that is by embarking on hikes and walks through the vibrant autumn landscapes. In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the best hiking and walking trails on Cape Cod during the fall season, including a stroll through the picturesque downtown Chatham.

  1. Cape Cod Rail Trail

Location: Yarmouth to Wellfleet

Distance: 22 miles (one way)

Highlights: This former railway line traverses serene woodlands, picturesque cranberry bogs, and charming Cape Cod towns. In the fall, the trail comes alive with fiery foliage, making it a perfect spot for cycling or leisurely strolls.

  1. Nickerson State Park

Location: Brewster

Trails: Numerous hiking and biking trails

Highlights: Nickerson State Park, with its 1,900 acres of forests and freshwater ponds, transforms into an autumnal wonderland. Explore miles of well-marked trails amidst the vibrant fall colors.

  1. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Location: Chatham

Distance: Varies (multiple trails)

Highlights: One of the Cape’s most picturesque spots, Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge offers stunning marshland and coastline views. During fall, you’ll witness migrating birds against a backdrop of fall foliage.

  1. Cape Cod National Seashore

 Location: Various towns along the Cape

Distance: Varies (multiple trails)

Highlights: With its diverse ecosystems, the Cape Cod National Seashore offers a multitude of hiking and walking options. In the fall, the coastal landscapes and kettle ponds are framed by the rich hues of autumn.

  1. Scargo Hill Observation Tower

Location: Dennis

Distance: 1.5 miles (round trip)

Highlights: This short hike leads you to the Scargo Hill Observation Tower, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Cape Cod. The tower provides a fantastic vantage point to take in the fall foliage.

  1. Falmouth Shining Sea Bikeway

Location: Falmouth to Woods Hole

Distance: 10.7 miles (one way)

Highlights: This scenic biking and walking trail takes you through coastal areas, salt marshes, and charming villages. In the fall, the path is adorned with the colors of autumn, creating a picturesque journey.

  1. The Knob

Location: Falmouth

Distance: 1.5 miles (round trip)

Highlights: This short trail leads to a dramatic peninsula known as “The Knob.” In the fall, the surrounding woods burst into vibrant colors, enhancing the beauty of the bay views.

  1. Pilgrim Spring Trail

Location: Truro

Distance: 1.5 miles (round trip)

Highlights: The short path leads to a site said to be representative of where the Pilgrims drank their first fresh water in New England. The trail also passes a marker that commemorates the Pilgrim’s initial exploration of the area. The entrance is at the Pilgrim Heights interpretive shelter off Route 6 in North Truro. Trail guides are available at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham.

  1. Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Wellfleet

Trails: Multiple hiking trails

Highlights: Discover serene woodlands, marshes, and tidal flats. The autumn foliage provides a beautiful backdrop to this wildlife sanctuary.

  1. Downtown Chatham

Location: Chatham

Distance: 1 mile (one way)

Highlights: Strolling through downtown Chatham is a delightful experience during the fall. The charming streets are lined with historic buildings, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. The autumn decorations and friendly locals create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Cape Cod, with its coastal beauty and diverse landscapes, offers a spectacular fall experience. Whether you’re an avid hiker or prefer a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail on the Cape to suit your pace and interests. Grab your hiking boots, and a cozy sweater, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Cape Cod during this enchanting season. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the magic of fall foliage as it transforms this coastal paradise into a blaze of autumn colors.

When you embark on your Cape Cod adventure to explore these hiking and walking trails, one of the best places to call your home base is The Old Harbor Inn, conveniently located in downtown Chatham. Our charming Inn offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place to relax after a day of exploration. Our Inn’s welcoming ambiance and ideal location allow you to experience the heart of Chatham, with its historic charm and vibrant culture. You’ll find that it’s the perfect starting point for your journey into Cape Cod’s fall foliage and natural wonders.

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