The end (to date) of the 25-mile (and growing) Cape Cod Rail Trail (tel. 508/896-3491; www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/ccrt.htm), Wellfleet is also among its more desirable destinations: A country road off the bike path leads right to LeCount Hollow Beach. Located near the bike-path terminus, South Wellfleet General Store (tel. 508/349-2335) can see to your snacking needs. Next door, Little Capistrano Bike Shop (tel. 508/349-2363; www.littlecapistranobikeshop.com) rents bikes for $26 per day.
Jack's Boat Rental, on Gull Pond, off Gull Pond Road, about a half-mile south of the Truro border (tel. 508/349-7553; www.jacksboatrental.com), rents out canoes, kayaks, sailboards, and Sunfish, as well as sea cycles and surf bikes. Renting a kayak or canoe at Gull Pond for an hour and a half costs about $50. If you'd like to rent a boat for a few days, you'll need to go to the Jack's Boat Rental location on Route 6 in Wellfleet (next to the Cumberland Farms). There a kayak rents for $50 for a single, $65 for a tandem for 24 hours. Sunfish sailboats are $200 for 3 days. Rentals come with a roof rack if you need it. There are many wonderful places to canoe in Wellfleet -- for example, a trip across the harbor from Wellfleet's Town Pier to Great Island.
For information about other excellent naturalist-guided tours, inquire about trips sponsored by the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (tel. 508/896-3867; www.ccmnh.org) and the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (tel. 508/349-2615).
The Chequessett Yacht & Country Club, at 680 Chequessett Neck Rd., in Wellfleet (tel. 508/349-0198; www.cycc.net), rents a variety of boats ($55 for 3 hr. for a 14-ft. sailboat, for example) with a $160 10-day membership fee. Call for rates. For experienced sailors, Wellfleet Marine Corp., 25 Holbrook Ave., Wellfleet (tel. 508/349-6417; www.wellfleetmarine.com), rents 14- and 19-foot sailboats in season. The cost is $50 to $60 for the first hour, $20 to $23 for each additional hour, or $175 for the day. They also rent 15- and 16-foot motorboats for $60 to $80 for the first hour and $37 for each additional hour, plus a 20% fuel surcharge on all rentals.
For a license to fish at Long Pond, Great Pond, or Gull Pond (all stocked with trout and full of native perch, pickerel, and sunfish), visit Town Hall, at 300 Main St. (tel. 508/349-0301). Massachusetts residents pay $14 for a 3-day pass or $29 for a season pass; nonresidents pay $25 for a 3-day pass or $39 for a season pass. Surf-casting, which now requires a $10 license, is permitted at the town beaches. Shellfishing licenses -- Wellfleet's oysters are world-famous -- can be obtained from the Shellfish Department, 35 Kendrick Ave. (tel. 508/349-0325). Shellfish licenses are $50 per season for residents, $75 per season for nonresidents. Also heading out from here, in season, is the 60-foot party fishing boat Naviator (tel. 508/349-6003; www.naviator.com), which charges $45 for adults, $40 for seniors, and $35 for children for a 4-hour trip, gear and bait provided. Charter boats include the Erin-H (tel. 508/349-9663; www.virtualcapecod.com/erinh), charging about $600 for 5 hours for up to six people.
Hugging a pretty cove, the Chequessett Yacht & Country Club, at 680 Chequessett Neck Rd. (tel. 508/349-3704; www.cycc.net), has one of the loveliest 9-hole courses on the Cape; nonmembers need to reserve at least 3 days ahead. Greens fees are $33 for 9 holes, $48 for 18 holes; prices are lower in the afternoon.
Nature & Wildlife Areas
You'll find 6 miles of very scenic trails lined with lupines and bayberries -- Goose Pond, Silver Spring, and Bay View -- within the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in South Wellfleet. Right in town, the short, picturesque boardwalk known as Uncle Tim's Bridge, off East Commercial Street, crosses Duck Creek to access a tiny island crisscrossed by paths. The Cape Cod National Seashore maintains two spectacular self-guided trails. The 1.25-mile Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, off the parking area for the Marconi Wireless Station, shelters a rare stand of the lightweight species of cedars prized by Native Americans as wood for canoes; red maples are slowly crowding out the cedars, but meanwhile, the tea-tinted, moss-choked swamp is a magical place, refreshingly cool even at the height of summer. A boardwalk will see you over the muck (these peat bogs are 7 ft. deep in places), but the return trip does entail a calf-testing half-mile trek through deep sand. Consider it a warm-up for magnificent Great Island, jutting 4 miles into the bay (off the western end of Chequessett Neck Rd.) to cup Wellfleet Harbor. Before attaching itself to the mainland in 1831, Great Island harbored a busy whaling post; a 1970 dig turned up the foundations of an early-18th-century tavern. These days the "island" is a mostly uninhabited refuge for those strong enough to go the distance. Just be sure to cover up, wear sturdy shoes, bring water, and venture to Jeremy Point -- the very tip -- only if you're sure the tide is going out.
A spiffy, eco-friendly visitor center serves as both introduction and gateway to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, off Route 6, a couple hundred yards north of the Eastham border, in South Wellfleet (tel. 508/349-2615; fax 508/349-2632; www.wellfleetbay.org), a 1,000-acre refuge maintained by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Passive solar heat and composting toilets are just a few of the waste-cutting elements incorporated into the building, which nestles in its wooded site like well-camouflaged wildlife. You'll see plenty of the latter -- especially lyrical red-winged blackbirds and circling osprey -- as you follow 5 miles of looping trails through pine forests, salt marsh, and moors. To hone your observation skills, avail yourself of the naturalist-guided tours offered during the day and sometimes at night; you'll see and learn much more. Also inquire about special workshops for children (some, like the Japanese "fish-printing" session, are ingenious), and about canoeing and birding trips. A listing of all Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary events, with dates and times, is posted in the main building.
Trail use is free for Massachusetts Audubon Society members; the trail fee for nonmembers is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children. Trails are open July through August from 8am to 8pm, and September through June from 8am to dusk. The visitor center is open Memorial Day to Columbus Day daily from 8:30am to 5pm; during the off season, it's closed Monday.
Note: It's worth joining the Massachusetts Audubon Society just for the chance -- afforded only to members -- to camp out here.
Public courts are located at Mayo Beach, on Kendrick Avenue, near the harbor; for details and exact fees, contact the Wellfleet Recreation Department (tel. 508/349-0314). Also for a fee, book one of the five clay courts at the Chequessett Yacht & Country Club, at 680 Chequessett Neck Rd. (tel. 508/349-3704; www.cycc.net), or one of the eight at Oliver's Clay Courts, at 2183 Rte. 6, about 1 mile south of town (tel. 508/349-3330; www.oliversredclaytennis.com). Oliver's, which is notable for being shady, charges singles $24 an hour for the court, and doubles $26 an hour. At Chequessett a half-hour of singles play costs $24.
Surfing is restricted to White Crest Beach, and sailboarding to Burton Baker Beach, at Indian Neck, during certain tide conditions; ask for a copy of the regulations at the Beach Sticker Booth on the Town Pier.
Eric Gustafson (tel. 508/349-1429; www.funseekers.org) offers windsurfing and surfing instruction ($120 for 2 hr.) and, for the most adventurous, kite-boarding lessons ($250 for 3 hr.). He also teaches stand-up paddleboarding ($60 per hour) in the ocean and estuaries of Wellfleet. Stand-up paddleboarding, which comes from an ancient Hawaiian form of transport and uses a surfboard and paddle, is gaining popularity in the United States as a full-body workout.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.