The WCT would like to thank the Extreme Terrain Clean Trails Program for their recent grant of $250. The moneys awarded will be used for equipment to help keep our trails clear and for various trail improvement projects.
A new video for the Herring River Overlook Conservation Land and Trail has just been released. As with our other videos, thanks go especially to Mary Doucette, advised by Mike Fisher.
The Herring River Overlook Conservation Land and Trail consists of 18+ acre uplands property with a 1 mile trail consisting mainly of a pine-oak woodland. The northwestern portion of the trail offers panoramic views of the Herring River, Griffin and Great Islands and Cape Cod Bay.
Length of Trail & Total Conservation Land Area: 1 miles; 18.3 acres
Area description: This beautiful 18.3 acre uplands property is a typical coastal heath that is succeeding to a pine-oak woodlands. It hosts about a 1 mile walking trail loop which starts and ends at the parking area. In the northwestern stretches, the ridge offers spectacular views of the Herring River, Griffin and Great Islands and into the Cape Cod Bay. Previously the land had been part of the surplus land holdings of the Chequessett Club, known for its golf, sailing and tennis activities. The Trustees of Chequessett Club had a strong preference to see the land in conservation and open to the public. This land has never been inhabited in modern times. Geologically, the land is an outwash plain, a remnant of the last glacial age of approximately 25,000 years ago. The land was graciously donated by Ms. Jacqualyn Fouse, a local resident, to the Wellfleet Conservation Trust in 2020.
Location: The trail head is at 1000 Chequessett Neck Road; GPS 41.92820° N, 70.06226° W
Directions: Exit Route 6 on Main Street; follow to the end of the commercial district; Left on Holbrook Ave; Right on Chequessett Neck Rd.; follow 1.9 miles.
The Wellfleet Conservation Trust is planning its 14th annual guided walk to take place the morning of 11 September. The walk will be in the area bounded by Gross Hill Road, Ocean View Drive, and Long Pond Road. It will be almost exclusively on dirt roads and paths, about 2.4 miles in length with some moderate hills. We will have short discussions/lectures at points of interest. The walk is FREE to participants and expected to take about 2.5 hours. Walkers who have not received a Covid vaccination are asked to wear masks since social distancing will not always be possible.
This year, walkers are asked to register in order to participate. Parking will be at a premium so we encourage carpooling when possible.
If you wish to attend, please register by sending an email to
Make the Subject: Registering for WCT Annual Walk
In the Body list: First and Last Name
Once you have registered, you will receive an email with details on time, parking, and a more detailed description of the walk.
Plans have not yet been finalized, but WCT intends to offer the Annual Guided Walk in September. The target date is Saturday, September 11, and the route will follow dirt roads and trails from Long Pond to Spectacle Pond and back. It should be about a two mile walk. Timing and parking logistics need more planning, so you will need to follow our website and Facebook page for more details as they become available.
Our newest WCT conservation area, now dubbed Herring River Overlook (HRO), offers woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and incredible views of the Herring River estuary.
As the Herring River restoration project proceeds, these views will become even better. They’ll provide a tutorial on the restoration of the historic salt marsh, with its diverse flora and fauna.
Trustees and friends held a small work party on June 1 to complete the parking area for a trail through the HRO property, clear the trail, and add steps where needed. Fortunately, it was a sunny day with mild temperatures. The photos here give you some idea of the work involved and also what the finished trail will be.
A new video for the Drummer Cove conservation area has just been released. Thanks go especially to Mary Doucette, advised by Mike Fisher.
The Drummer Cove area is remarkably varied for its 11+ acres. It is also unusual for offering a 1+ mile trail with easy access.
Length & Extent of Trail: 1.1 miles; 11.3 acres plus easements
Area description: The Drummer Cove Conservation Area includes salt marsh, tidal flats, coastal bank and oak pine forest on its upland. The entire area is within the recharge area to Drummer Cove and as such falls into the Wellfleet Harbor Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The land is in State designated Priority Habitat for rare species. The four benches provide great views of the Cove.
Location: The trail head is at 170 Pond Ave in South Wellfleet. 41.91415, -70.00165
Directions: Exit Route 6 heading west for approximately 0.5 miles on Paine Hollow Road to the first stop sign. Turn left on Pleasant Point Road for approximately 0.25 miles. Turn left on to Pond Ave for 0.3 miles, the last part being a dirt road to a parking area at the trail head.
An analysis of the use of our WCT website shows that many visitors to the site are interested in exploring the conservation areas and trails. That’s especially the case in July and August.
Responding to that need, Mary Doucette, our Americorps worker, has produced a terrific video for the Fox Island and Pilgrim Spring area.
It’s now posted in our video showcase, which will eventually contain additonal WCT videos (currently just this one).
The Friends of Herring River (with special thanks to Patti Elliott) have organized the first annual Virtual Herring River 5K race for May 1 – 31, 2021. It’s to celebrate the planned restoration of the river.
The race is run virtually, with times to be reported on the honor system.
The race can be done in stages. At 5k (3.1 miles) you could race each of the 31 days of May for 0.1 miles (about 200 steps). Walking is one option.
Visitors and residents of Wellfleet enjoy the enticing walking trails in conservation areas established by the Wellfleet Conservation Trust. We have many people to thank for making these possible.
One of the most notable of these areas was developed in 2010. The Town, the State Fish and Game Department, and WCT created a 181-acre conservation area. It included Fox Island March, Pilgrim Spring Woodlands, and Whale Bone Point. Mark Robinson said at the time:
[It is] the largest publicly-accessible conservation area outside of the National Seashore on the Lower Cape…. Almost two miles of public trails have been established, viewing benches installed and parking defined. More importantly, the recurring partnership between the town and WCT on land deal has enabled us to work closely on other open space projects throughout Wellfleet.Mark H. Robinson, WCT Newsletter, Fall 2010
Mark’s complete article in that newsletter describes the complicated process to acquire such a beautiful property. It includes a map of the area and the trails, as well as several photos.
WCT’s newest trustee is Barry Turnbull, Ph.D. Barry grew up in Wellfleet and graduated from Nauset Regional High school in the early 1970’s. He worked summers at the Yum Yum Tree and the Wellfleet Recreation and Beach programs. Barry met his wife Dawn Hill in Wellfleet, and they split their time between Wellfleet and Needham, Mass. for about thirty years. Barry was a Biostatistician for Squibb, Parexel and Alkermes before forming a clinical trials consulting company with others from Boston University. Their company was later bought by a larger healthcare firm in 2005. Since then, Barry has consulted with pharmaceutical and biotech firms and volunteered his statistical services to the Dana Farber Cancer Center plus serving on numerous data monitoring committees for local biotech companies.
Barry, Dawn and their four children spent their summers in Wellfleet with their kids working at the Chequessett Club, Wellfleet Recreation Program, Moby Dick’s and the Catch of the Day. Dawn and Barry returned to Wellfleet full time in 2015 and have since volunteered at the Wellfleet Library and the 246 Plus Mustard Seed Kitchens. They also started a family scholarship for Wellfleet residents graduating from Nauset High.
Barry can be frequently found riding around town on his old Triumph or golfing at Chequessett. He and Dawn are also often in Wellfleet Harbor on their boat with family and friends.
“I am very excited to now be a part of the Wellfleet Conservation Trust. The amount of unbuilt space outside of the National Seashore that currently exists in Wellfleet is dramatically less than when I was growing up here. Setting aside land for conservation and recreation is of great importance to the people of the town and key to the town’s overall sustainability. Of course, this must be balanced against the need of land for affordable housing and the requirement for shore lands useable for water recreation and shellfishing,” Barry said.
He continued, “Moving forward I hope to help the WCT with further land acquisition and assisting in fund raising needed to best carry out our mission. Maintaining existing trails in WCT properties is always needed and I look forward to doing that as well.”
The Trust welcomes you, Barry!