Close to Home Hiking
If your looking to take a hike near Cape Cod, Myles Standish State Forest is one of my favorite places. It offers miles and miles of trails. They run through the thick 26 square mile forest, around it's ponds, and down wide-open roads. It's a refreshing respite from the busy world! Additionally, it's terrific for biking, camping, swimming, and kayaking. In addition, there is no cost to use most of the forest. Just remember, it's a big place. Therefore, for safety's sake, check in at the Ranger's Station.
The forest has very easy hikes. But, it also offers challenging hikes. Take a quick stroll around Little Pond or traverse up "Killer" hill to get the juices flowing. I have been taking my kids there for decades. We've biked, hiked, camped, and overall enjoyed visiting there. One of our favorite activities was Hide & Seek. The children loved to scatter as far as they could in about 30 seconds. Then, they hid behind one of the large trees while our dog and I would wait. And, when the counting finished, I would send our Black Labrador Breifne to seek them out. Warning, I do not recommend this for all! Breifne was trained extensively to always seek out our children wherever they were. She never failed us.
Cross The Canal
Another cool spot is Four Ponds Conservation Area. It's located on Barlow’s Landing Road in Bourne just a few miles after crossing the Cape Cod Canal. Yes, it’s a short hike of 2 miles. But, there are small off-shoot trails that dead end and are definitely worth exploring. Additionally, off one is a magical little spot. It's off to the right and the water rises 1-8 inches. There, within this roughly 20 by 15 area, are fallen trees all in a row spaced less then a foot apart. Crossing each to each log without touching the water is a work-out in itself. And, for my family, it's a game they could have played for hours! There are some very steep hills threaded with ancient roots to dodge. Or, if you prefer less of a workout, there are options for meandering down to the ponds area.
It’s a quiet, safe, and interesting area teaming with wildlife. Furthermore, hiking boots are not actually necessary, just a good pair of sturdy sneakers. Beware, there is a good chance you'll hit some water if you veer off the trails at all!