Monday, April 22, 2013

In Provincetown, Celebrate Earth Day With a Walk in Any Direction

A walk or ride through the dunes is a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day.
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a walk in any direction, from any part of PTown? From the East End you can stroll out into the dunes from the tiny parking area on Route 6, across from Snail Road, for one of the most amazing walks on the planet. You could also get out into the dunes by taking Art's Dune Tours, which began operating a week ago, taking folks on an hour-long narrated tour of the dunes and its forested patches, with a drive along the edge of Race Point Beach if conditions allow. Call them at 508 487-1950 to arrange a tour.
From anywhere along Commercial Street you'll easily find your way down to the beach along the edge of the harbor. Just look for a Town Landing or other public walkway to the beach, like the path alongside the Whalers Wharf, or the walkway through the building. Along Commercial Street you'll find at least 18 Town Landings and public walkways or footpaths at the foot of many of the side streets that meet Commercial Street. These little thoroughfares lead down to the edge of the water, and when the tide is right you can walk along the beach from any of these spots:.
•West End Breakwater (climb down to the beach or walk out to Wood End or Long Point)
•West End Parking Lot (Town Landing and stairway to this tiny neighborhood beach)
•West Vine Street (Town Landing at Captain Jack's Wharf)
•Franklin Street (Town Landing on the west edge of U.S. Coast Guard grounds)
•Good Templar Place (Town Landing next to Lorraine's, at Flyer's boatyard)
•Atlantic Avenue ( Town Landing west of the Boatslip)
•Court Street (Town Landing east of Bubala's)
•Whalers Wharf walkway through the building (the footpath on the east side of the building is accessible 24 hours)
•Ryder Street (beach access between the kite shop and Fishermen's [Cabral's] Wharf0
•Freeman Street ( Town Landing west of Lands End hardware store)
•Johnson Street (Town Landing at the back of the parking lot)
•Pearl Street (Town Landing)
•Between Law Street and Washington (Town Landing, next to Devon's)
•Old Flagship (new footpath next to 463 Commercial Street, now a private home)
•Howland Street (there's a narrow, almost hidden footpath along the east edge of the Ice House parking lot. Every few years it seems to vacillate between private and public access, so look for signs)
•Saint Mary of the Harbor Episcopal Church (the stairway over the seawall at the back of the parking lot)
•Between Atkins Lane and Hancock Street (Town Landing)
•Fanizzi's (stairway at the back of the parking lot)
•East of Snail Road (stairway across from Harbor Hotel, 698 Commercial Street)

At one end of Snail Road you can walk out into the dunes, and at the other end of the road you can walk along the beach and the harbor, and halfway between these two points is the old railroad bed, leading you off Snail Road for a walk in the woods. At Howland Street, opposite Harry Kemp Way, there's another trail out into a wooded area. There are nearly 8 miles of bike trails leading out through the Cape Cod National Seashore, perfect for walking as well, and many other trails leading to ponds, conservation areas, Hatch's Harbor and other beautiful destinations. Of course, you can walk at Herring Cove or Race Point beaches. Take the stroll on the boardwalk that leads to the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station at Race Point Beach and spend a little time watching for whales off the shoreline.
Get out for a walk somewhere and celebrate Earth Day, whether you are able to do it today or over the next week. And if you tuck a plastic bag into your pocket, you're ready to pick up any bits of trash or treasure you might find along the way.
Happy Earth Day!