Nauset Marsh & Doane Memorial Trail:
It was a Saturday during the coronavirus social distancing and I just needed to get outside. I needed to be in nature. I live in Eastham so the Cape Cod National Seashore Salt Pond Visitor Center is a very quick drive and I hadn’t done this walk yet! I headed out solo.
When I arrived at the Salt Pond parking lot, a huge lot, there were no cars but I lingered for a few minutes and about five cars showed up with people heading out to the trails. From Salt Pond visitor center there is also a bike path that goes to Coast Guard Beach. The bike path and hiking trail run fairly parallel most of the way, except around Salt Pond area. The bike path cuts through the woods, and there are several areas where one can switch between the bike path and walking trail. Pedestrians are also allowed on the bike path. I walked back on the bike path, just for the experience.
This trail is an out and back trail, so you could really start at either Coast Guard Beach or Salt Pond Visitor Center. There are parking lots at both, which are always free and open in the off-season. In-season, you’ll likely be able to park at Salt Pond Visitor Center, but will need a National Seashore Pass or NPS Passport or an Eastham Town Beach Sticker for Coast Guard Beach. The parking lot at Coast Guard Beach is small, and in-season there is a larger parking lot off of Doane Road with a shuttle to Coast Guard Beach. You can also ride your bike or walk from the shuttle area, which is about 1 mile or longer depending on the route taken.
I like starting at Salt Pond Visitor Center. Nauset Marsh Trail starts at Salt Pond Visitor Center, down behind the outdoor stage. The trail starts out by walking along the edge of Salt Pond, following around the edge of Salt Pond Bay and then loops around back to the visitor center. When the Nauset Marsh Trail starts to head back to the visitor center, there is a fork where you can go right along the Doane Memorial Trail, which continues towards Coast Guard Beach. At this point, the trail is not quite along the edge of the bay but more through the woods.
The trail is very clear and obvious. There are signs that there is heavy poison ivy along the trail. At a couple of points the trail goes onto the bike trail then you can head back on the hiking trail. The trail continues to Doane Memorial, soon small signs point to Coast Guard Beach. As you follow the trail to Coast Guard Beach you walk along Nauset Marsh Bay and associated marshes. There is a beautiful bridge that heads over the marsh area that is for walkers and bikers. After the bridge you can continue on the bike path to the left or the walking path to the right—both lead to opposite sides of the Coast Guard Beach parking lot.
From Coast Guard Beach parking lot there is a great view of Nauset Bay and the beach and ocean. Coast Guard Beach is beautiful. I love it. Spend some time on the beach before you head back on the trail to Salt Pond Visitor Center. Heading back, walk along the same trail or the bike path.
My total experience was about 1 hour and 30 minutes, with spending about 15 minutes on the beach. The total distance was 4.3 miles. I think this trail is best in the morning or evening (just make sure you finish in the light or have a ride from Coast Guard Beach). I imagine that this trail is heavily trafficked in-season.
I love this trail. It’s easy and accessible with beautiful nature, options to cut the trip shorter if needed or wanted, and the experience of the incredible Coast Guard Beach!
Check the Logan Kinei Wellness & Nature Experience Events Calendar for Dates, Times, Locations and Sign-ups. I’ll be updating this calendar regularly so keep your eye on it. Also see the Events Calendar for info on Mobility and Breathwork Classes.
Logan Kinei Nature Experience | Nauset Marsh & Doane Memorial Trail: Salt Pond Visitor Center to Coast Guard Beach
Time for entire experience:
Approximately 3 hours
- You must be able to navigate:
- Inclines and declines – slopes and stairs
- Sand at the beach
The Salt Pond Visitor Center to Coast Guard Beach Experience is going to be a longer more robust experience —
- Meditative Walk/Hike in Nature to Coast Guard Beach – led by Shaun Logan
- Silent meditative walk in nature
- Breathwork – 20 minutes on Coast Guard Beach
- Silent Meditation on the beach – 5-10 minutes on Coast Guard Beach
- Mobility – 20 minutes on Coast Guard Beach
- Connection! with people & nature & yourself
- Walk/Hike in Nature Back to Salt Pond Visitor Center
- Open talking or silent, individual’s choice
Be prepared for:
- Sun Protection
- Potential Wild Life interaction
- Poison Ivy
- No Bathroom
- No Water (please bring your own water or purchase a Logan Kinei Water Bottle and we will bring it filled with fresh clean water)
- Inclines and declines – slopes
- Brisk walking
If you have questions about a particular trail or time of the year you are visiting and what I am offering, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org