This March, I visited family and friends in my old stomping grounds of Cape Cod and the South Shore. While visiting, I completed hikes 7-13!!
Hike 7: America’s Hometown holds many of my childhood memories, so when I learned there was a new trail focused on being our best self, I added it my list! Right as I was arriving in Massachusetts I headed straight to Nelson Memorial park, where the Grace Trail is located. I met my mom and 18-month-old cousin, Declan here and we explore the healing trail together. Afterwards, we grabbed an incredible lunch at The Blue-Eyed Crab with my uncle and his family. I highly recommend in Jibarito Plantain Sandwich, I could eat five!! It is by far my favorite restaurant meal! Read more about the Grace Trail here!
Hike 8: The Atlantic Cedar Swamp trail in Wellfleet is listed on many sites as one of Cape Cod’s best hikes. Although I attending high school just one town away, I had never explored this particular trail. With my brother Gabe and cousin Aidan we ventured to the trailhead. When we parked our car, we immediately saw the ocean and started exploring the trails marked above the dunes. Behind us, we found the trail head and began to explore the forest. Since it was March, some shaded areas were icier than expected and we were quite chilly without the sun on our backs. The boardwalk section featured in many online photos was more beautiful than I could have imagined. The boys were mesmerized by the ice and Aidan kept calling the mossy mounds alligators. Read more about the Atlantic Cedar Swamp Trail here!
Hike 9: Also a part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Nauset Marsh trail in Eastham has a great deal to offer! I remember hiking this when I was a young teen and again when I worked at a summer camp. Accompanied by the boys again, I greatly enjoyed exploring this trail through their eyes. First, we visited the restrooms, the Salt Pond Visitors Center and their museum. They were rejuvenated by all the information and ready for a second hike! A kind park ranger shared a map of all the trails on the seashore with us, many that I have yet to explore. Gabe spotted what we think was a blue heron. At the end of the trail, we ended up walking through the Discovery trail because I was letting them lead the way. They quickly realized where we were and lead us back to the parking lot. After this we were all very tired and headed back to my moms for dinner.
Hike 10: One of my all-time favorite trails, the John Wing Trail is part of the Cape Cod Natural History Museum, connecting woods with the bayside over the course of 1.3 miles. I hiked this one solo and early in the morning. I found myself reflecting on how magical the seasons are and how both the fall and spring are a means to and end. I was looking at the fallen leaves as warmth for the frozen ground and the trees, homes for the many birds singing to me at that very moment. With a smile ear to ear, I kept telling myself, “this is why I hike”! I loved taking in the chatty birds, salty air and sandy shoreline. To enjoy this hike the most, I recommend visiting during low tide. I tried it last time I was home with my mom and it was not accessible. Check out the trail map here!
Hike 11: The hike I had planned for my next morning solo hike was under construction and after a quick google search, I found this Conservation Area! Exploring this new trail was peaceful. I was surrounded by 30+ small birds that I think I have since identified as the Eastern Bluebird which humbled me and quickly reminded me to slow down and savor my surroundings before the hike ended and I was back on a bustling highway. Ducks also sang a beautiful melody from the center of the pond. It was such an incredible start to my morning!
Hike 12: In 2014 my now husband and I got engaged in Wompatuck State Park! It was wonderful to visit and explore the numerous trails with Caitie, Megan, Aidan and Declan! We came here after attempting to explore a new trail that was far too muddy for the little feet who wanted to explore with us. We let Aidan lead the way until we were ready to head back and then I pulled up the map and led us back. Aidan got the feed a few dogs and greet many other walkers. Declan also walked a great deal of this hike before getting a ride from his mama!
Hike 13: On my drive back home, I stopped at Mackworth Island in Falmouth, Maine. I had never been here but after 3 hours in the car and many more to go, I needed a stretch. I found this trail a while ago and was happy to finally explore it. It was icy in areas and quite cold, yet the views were stunning! Afterwards, I went to The Holy Donut, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods before heading back into the woods. This my friends is a vacation well spent!
Follow me along my journey with #sammhikes52