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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Best Swimming Hole on Cape Cod

Last summer, I wrote a story for The Boston Globe on my ten favorite swimming holes on Cape Cod and never received so much mail. Hate mail, that is, from locals who were irate that I would divulge their favorite pond. Considering there are more than 300 ponds on the Cape, almost one swimming hole per day of the year, I was shocked that locals had such a devout loyalty to one particular locale. There are more than a dozen freshwater swimming holes on the Cape that I would happily take a dip, with much warmer waters than the nearby ocean. In Wellfleet, three ponds are connected by narrow water passages cut through the land called sluiceways. These were supposedly created by Native Americans to catch herring during their seasonal run. Rent canoes at Jack’s Boat Rental on Gull Pond and continue onward into Higgins and serene Williams Pond. This is the place where Henry David Thoreau met a Wellfleet oysterman he would write about in his book, Cape Cod. It’s also where architect and furniture designer Marcel Breur built his house on the shores, camouflaged by the trees. One swim here and you’ll return often, much to the dismay of locals.

Directions: Take Route 6 into Wellfleet and turn right onto Gross Hill Road. A sharp left onto Gull Pond Road and Schoolhouse Hill Road will lead you to the parking lot.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/01/11 at 01:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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