Fall on the Lower Cape
When you think of Autumn in New England Cape Cod isn’t usually the first place to come to mind, especially with its proximity to the traditional New England Fall Foliage destinations of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Green Mountains of Vermont, or even the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. The fact remains that Cape Cod represents a different type of fall vacation and has a tremendous amount of charm. Cape Cod autumn has become one of the most rewarding autumn getaway spots anywhere in the world.
Although Fall doesn’t officially begin until the middle of September, on Cape Cod it begins after Labor Day, when the summer help and tourists have mostly left for parts unknown. The nights are cooler and the days shorter, but the sun still warms the dunes and the water still invites. A bonfire on the beach becomes a welcome source of keeping warm after the heat of the summer. A few weeks into September and the day temperature turns crisper and fall is definitely in the air. This is the best time to visit Cape Cod!
This sandy land was a forest of trees when the pilgrims first landed but they were all cut down for building and fuel. Today it is mostly scrub pine and not attractive to hardened foliage seekers however the colors of fall tend to pass over Cape Cod with the faintest of brush strokes here and there in the isolated clusters of deciduous woods or planted gardens.
Come to Cape Cod in autumn not for a bright colorful foliage show or views of mountains with colors spread throughout but instead for walks along deserted dunes and beaches. Hike through the marshes preparing for the impending winter storms.
The Cape Cod National Seashore has miles of protected dunes and beaches. You can walk the beaches that stretch for miles but the protected dunes should only be navigated on organized tours. Some of my favorite beaches to walk are Coastguard Beach in North Truro and Marconi Beach in Wellfleet and Corn Hill Beach on the bayside in Truro. You can literally walk for miles in the autumn and not meet another soul. The peace of the bay and ocean that time of year is inspiring.
Within the boundaries of the National Seashore are superb nature walks at the Fort Hill area in Eastham along the Red Maple Swamp Boardwalk Loop, and the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail near the Marconi area in Wellfleet.
The Cape has several bike paths that offer mostly on paved and off-road trails. The bike paths on the Lower Cape are the Cape Cod National Seashore sections of Nauset Trail in Eastham, Head of the Meadow in Truro, and the Province Lands Trails in Provincetown, and the popular Cape Cod Rail Trail – 25-miles of paths running from Dennis to Wellfleet and through Nickerson State Park, this section is particularly beautiful during the autumn. The bike paths are less crowded during the fall season but expect busy bike traffic and limited parking on weekends.
Fall in New England is a time of festivals and fairs and Cape Cod brings its own flavor to these events. Harwich is home in September to the Cranberry Harvest Festival, and if you want to experience a working bog and farm visit Cape Farm and Cranberry Company also in Harwich. Also in September is Truro Treasures a weekend festival featuring arts and crafts, treasure hunts, road race/walk and golf tournament. October heralds in the Wellfleet Oyster Festival with nature walks, cooking demonstrations, road race, spelling bees, arts and crafts, and of course the great Oyster Shuck-off.
The autumn season is truly a wonderful time to visit Cape Cod, and with the activities and event selections that have been mentioned here it’s easy to see why the region is becoming so much more popular for fall getaway vacations in New England. Be sure to contact Annie or Lucy today at Cape Vacation Rentals to book your rental for a Fall vacation on Cape Cod.
Thank you to Cliff Calderwood and his article “A Cape Cod Autumn –- Spell-Binding Getaways” for this great information. http://www.exploringnewengland.com/cape-cod-fall-getaway.html