Chatham, Cape Cod Nature Trails
Frost Fish Creek Trail – Orleans Road (Route 28), North
Chatham. Heading north toward Orleans on Route 28, from the traffic light in North Chatham, travel 0.7 mile north on Route 28. The entrance to the trail is a dirt road on the left just before the creek that runs under the road. Parking is available. Trail proceeds west along the creek and marsh. At the end of the trail take a left and proceed approximately 45 feet and then take the path up the ridge to return to the parking area via a ridge path. The ridge is somewhat difficult walking, so you may want to retrace the entry route. Woods, marsh, field plants, and birds; 45 minutes to 1 hour; 16 acres.
Barclay Ponds Trail –Old Queen Anne Road and Training Field Road. The entrance to the trail is at the Yield sign, 20 feet south of telephone pole #38 in the intersection. Park in the field (Crowell’s Pit) north of the entrance. A quiet, woodsy walk, up and down hill. Approximately 1/2 hour; 12 acres.
Honeysuckle Land, off Stage Harbor Road –At the bottom of the
hill, on the left side of the road are two short trails leading to the Old Ice Pond. Many water birds are generally seen in this area. The right side of the road near a telephone pole and alongside a narrow stream is a short walk featuring white cedar trees, leading to other trails in and around Cedar Swamp, which is mostly owned by the Town of Chatham.
Monomoy Wildlife Sanctuary
Chatham is a mecca for bird enthusiasts. In autumn, Cape Cod is a veritable tap for birds of numerous species. Its temperate climate attracts many birds through the winter when most have winged south. The summer months see the migration at its height. Chatham, with Monomoy Island, affords unexcelled opportunity to observe many species, both rare and common. Nearly every species recorded from New England has been seen at some time in this area. The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a link in the chain of migratory waterfowl refuges along the Atlantic Flyway. Access is available by car, by a short boat trip from Chatham, and local boat charters are available. The refuge provides nesting, feeding, and resting grounds for a known 285 species. This is one of the most famous and productive ornithological points on the Atlantic seaboard. Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary conducts guided natural history tours of Monomoy throughout the year. Call 508-349-2615 for information or reservations. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge consists of North and South Monomoy Islands and a portion of Morris Island.
The nearly 3,000 acre refuge stretches approximately ten miles southward into the waters of
Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Ninety-four percent of Monomoy’s acreage was designated a Wilderness Area in 1970, and is managed under the guidelines of the Wilderness Act of 1964. It is the only Wilderness area in southern New England.
Beginning January 2010, the Monomoy Wildlife Sanctuary will be open year-round on Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm. To reach the headquarters on Morris Island, take Route 6 east to Route 137 south to Route 28. A left turn takes you through downtown Chatham (about 3 miles). Turn right at the stop sign to the Chatham Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station. Take the first left after the lighthouse, then the first right. Follow Morris Island Road to signs for the refuge on the left. For further information, call 508-945-0594.