Great Island (more accurately a peninsula), offers the closest thing to a Robinson Crusoe experience you’ll find on Cape Cod in mid summer. Kayaking or small motor boat is the ideal way to get there, but since it's not really an island anymore, you can also access a trailhead easily by car. Stroll down the short hill from the parking lot and follow the trail, continuing around the marsh the entire distance. This small strip of sand is called The Gut, the other side being Great Island. Just before reaching the easternmost tip of the island, where people often fish for stripers and blues, you'll see another sign directing you over the dunes south through the woods. Stroll along the beach on the side of the island bordered by the waters of Wellfleet Harbor; or walk along Cape Cod Bay on the opposite shore. Learn something about the history of “olde Cape Cod” by visiting the site of the former Great Island tavern, an original tavern that served seagoing whalers back in the late 1600’s to early 1700’s. Don'’t plan on stopping for a drink however; there is only a small plaque there now. Continue down the trail to a marsh where sand dunes tower on your right and Wellfleet Harbor can be seen to your left. A few minutes later, you'll reach another marsh and a sand spit known as Jeremy Flats. At low tide, you can walk out to the tip, called Jeremy Point. You rarely see another person on this desolate strip of pristine white sand, just large shells, terns, seagulls and the occasional harbor seal. The hike is about 7 miles roundtrip from the parking lot to Jeremy Point and back. Great Island is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and is one of Cape Cod’s best secrets!

How to get there: Turn left off Route 6 to Wellfleet Town Center. Turn left onto Commercial Street. At town pier, turn right onto Kendrick Road, then left onto Chequesset Neck Road to the Great Island parking lot, 3-1/2 miles from traffic light on Route 6. Driving hint: Water view will generally be on your left.

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