Nature Trail

An entertaining way to see the real Cape Cod

CCMNHPhoto: Julie O’Neil

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anna see what Cape Cod looked like before they built the clam shacks and miniature golf courses? You can find it on a little-noticed guided hike behind the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. No secret to anyone who’s been stuck on the Cape on a rainy day (hey, it happens), the museum hides a blue-skies secret: really interesting year-round walks through the adjacent 383 acres of museum- and town-owned conservation land you never knew was there, much of it salt marsh, over trails leading all the way to Cape Cod Bay, plus traveling hikes each Wednesday to random other locations all over the Cape. If you’re an indoor person, there are snakes, live fish, frogs, turtles, even working beehives, and a room with giant widows that allows for unparalleled indoor birdwatching.

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There’s a jumble of Stonehenge-like rocks in the middle of the Cape Museum of Natural History’s salt marsh. But it wasn’t put there by the ancients. It’s a solar calendar built by college kids to depict how early people in places without trees (meaning, not Cape Cod) tracked the angle of the sun to determine when to plant and harvest.

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