Thursday, July 09, 2009
It has been a long time since anyone produced a Cape Cod guide that pleases innkeepers from Bourne to Provincetown. The Appalachian Mountain Club’s new Discover Cape Cod by Michael O’Connor does just that. If this innkeeper is wearing such a wide smile it is because she now possesses a book with easy-to-read tips to the best hiking, biking and paddling in the region, activities, which are exactly what most of my bed & breakfast guests seek out while here on vacation. Without further ado, I tested the guide on the guests from Scotland. Upon their return this evening after filling up on tasty food at Pearl, they pronounced Discover Cape Cod “excellent.” The trail they chose for their last expedition was “Nauset Marsh to Coast Guard Beach,” a hefty six-mile trek through marshland and dune. Our Scottish gentleman is a geologist by trade, which may explain this choice – as well as the fact that over the past week, they have explored the Wellfleet trails already. Another reason may be getting to see Doane Rock, perhaps “the largest glacial erratic in southeast New England.” The popular Atlantic Cedar Swamp Trail at Marconi is listed with a rating Easy to Moderate. Closing my eyes, I run my finger down the list of peddling options to the bottom: Province Lands Bike Trail, identified as “one of the most starkly beautiful natural environments on the East Coast.” So true. This is the trail I always suggest to bikers because of its savage beauty. Wellfleet’s ponds are, of course, fully described, with suggestions on HOW to paddle Gull. I learned Williams is slowly becoming a marsh, and that the Herring Pond, nearby, feeds the Herring River. At the beginning of each main section, O’Connor provides guidelines for safety and etiquette, a nice touch which many guidebooks neglect. I was pleased to find mention of risk of Lyme Disease. O’Connor also thinks to suggest walks within four Cape towns, including Wellfleet. Nature and history essays, covering every topic from Pilgrims to coyotes and striped bass, are interspersed among the biking, hiking, and paddling tips. Outdoors types who plan to visit the Outer Cape would do well to first study Discover Cape Cod, an indispensable addition to every athlete’s backpack. I can already tell that one copy will not be enough for this little bed & breakfast ...
Posted by Alexandra Grabbe at 7:46 AM
New Guidebook Gives Tips On Hiking, Biking & Paddling