One weekend in Wellfleet—a Cape Cod photo essay
One of Wellfleet’s hidden treats is the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail. Located near the site of the former Marconi station (and north of Marconi Beach), the trail loops for about one mile through woodlands and swamp, where cedars grow in peaceful seclusion. The boardwalk through the swamp is sturdy and well maintained. In the morning, the sun’s rays streaming through the tree canopy create a nice setting for a nature stroll.
In South Wellfleet, Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers several miles of trails to explore. Stop in the nature center to browse exhibits on local wildlife and pick up a bird-sighting checklist that lists 200 species that frequent the area, from the Eastern Bluebird to the Prairie Warbler. On the trails, which overlook marsh, meadow and bay, we met Attila and Joan Kariko of Worcester, their daughter-in-law Nicole, and granddaughters Hadley and Sadie. “It’s beautiful,” Hadley says of the sanctuary. “There’s a lot of nature, grasses . . . lots of places to explore.” For Sadie, seeing the fish in the nature center aquarium was cool, particularly the lumpfish.
Depending on your perspective, The Cape Cod Rail trail begins or ends in Wellfleet. On a warm summer morning the trail was packed with walkers, cyclists and a few on rollerblades. Following the route of the former Old Colony Railroad, the trail stretches all the way to Dennis, a distance of 24-1/2 scenic miles. At its northern terminus, the trail ends in a perfect spot if you’re hungry—it’s just a short walk to PB Boulangerie & Bistro on Lecount Hollow Road.
Inside the cafe, we enjoyed the enchanting aroma of bread baking, and met general manager William Maitrepienne. “Wellfleet is a lovely town,” he says. “It reminds me of the small village where I grew up in France.” A native of Fleurieu in Lyon, Maitrepienne describes PB’s as a place where locals and visitors come for coffee and a chat. The bistro bakes baguettes, batards and many other types of bread as well as sweet treats like almond croissants. Ninety percent of the menu is prepared with locally sourced ingredients, but the butter, that’s imported from France. So are the chefs. “To make bread,” Maitrepienne says, “it’s a real science. It’s not just mixing water and flour together.”
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