Cape Cod in the winter time is not the time of year that most people plan their trip to Cape Cod. However, if you are a fan of winter weather, there are plenty of Cape Cod winter activities to keep you occupied during this slower time of year. There are activities such as sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating to choose from during the winter months, so there is plenty to do during this chilly time of year on Cape Cod. Nickerson State Park is a great place to go snowshoeing, as it has many trails to explore through the woods, overlooking the beautiful crystal clear ponds throughout the park. For a change of pace, take your snow boots to the Oyster Pond parking lot located just off the rotary downtown Chatham. Walk up to the rotary, the beginning of downtown Chatham and take in the beautiful charm of this quaint little town during the winter months.
Sledding is a favorite of the Cape Cod winter activities for residents and visitors alike, both young and old. Fortunately, there are many places to enjoy this favorite past time around the Cape. With the number of golf courses around Cape Cod, they provide the perfect hills for some exciting sledding. Bass River Golf Course located off of Bank Street in South Yarmouth and the Dennis Highlands Golf Course are both very popular with locals. The Cape Cod Vocational Tech in Harwich has some great hills on the campus, as does the Chatham Middle School and Chatham Community Center. So bundle up, grab your sled and enjoy one of our favorite Cape Cod winter activities!
Snowshoeing / Winter Walk
Whether there is only a dusting or 1-2 inches, snowshoeing or going for a nice winter walk in your snow boots is one of our favorite Cape Cod outdoor winter activities. For a nice paved trail to enjoy a walk in the winter time, check out the Cape Cod Rail Trail. With over 22 mile paved path through Cape Cod’s natural landscape is the perfect place to take a walk in your snowshoes or snow boots (if the snow is just a dusting). Fort Hill, which is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore is another beautiful spot in the winter as it travels through a wide open area overlooking the water and into the woods on an unpaved path. Thompson’s Field is a nice flat space to go snowshoeing if you are looking for an easier path than Nickerson State Park, which has significantly more hills and a harder terrain to navigate.
Cross Country Skiing
Another one of our favorite Cape Cod winter activities is cross country skiing. When there are a couple of inches of snow on the ground, it is the perfect time to break out the cross country skis. If you see that a couple of inches of snow are predicted for Cape Cod, plan to get an early start. Due to the usual mild winters on the Cape, snow does not last for very long so plan your trip earlier in the day before the afternoon sun starts to melt the snow. For a hill filled and more challenging terrain, Nickerson State Park is the perfect cross country ski destination, especially around the scenic Ruth Pond. For a flatter terrain, Thompson’s Field located in the town of Harwich is the perfect fit since it is a bit easier to navigate. Thompson Field is very popular for dog owners to take their four legged friends for a nice hike, so be aware that there might be more dogs on this trail. While Nickerson State Park can be popular for dog owners as well, Thompson Field is a well known dog walking spot on the Cape. It is perfect for the novice cross country skier or someone who is looking for a light easy trail on a beautiful snowy day.
Ice skating is popular in the winter time, but it is best if you partake in this activity indoors instead of outdoors. There are 3 local ice skating rinks on Cape Cod to choose from that offer ice skating to the public.The Charles Moore Arena is located in the town of Orleans off of Route 6A. In the town of Dennis, there is ice skating at the Tony Kent Arena. Hyannis Community Center has an ice skating rink that is also open to the public for free. However, if you want to participate in this Cape Cod winter activity outdoors, a cranberry bog is safer than a freshwater pond. This is because the freshwater ponds are fed by underground springs. Although the ice might look solid on the surface, the underground springs that cause movement below the surface make the ice weak in certain spots that would not be obvious to the naked eye. Remember, if you do decide to go ice skating on one of the many cranberry bogs scattered around the Cape, bundle up! You will be ice skating on a wide open space, with very little to break up the wind. This creates a very cold and challenging experience. Bundle up and make sure you limit the amount of time you spend on the ice.
Cape Cod Winter Activities
Cape Cod is a popular summer destination for many people because there is so much to do it can be difficult to decide which activities to participate in at a given time. In the winter time, many shops close up and it is too cold to enjoy all the Cape has to offer in the summer time. However, there are plenty of Cape Cod winter activities for residents of all ages and capabilities to enjoy if you know where to look. Go for a leisurely stroll down Main Street in Chatham on a cool winter afternoon while snowflakes dance in the air. If you’re looking to enjoy one of the more challenging Cape Cod winter activities, take your cross country skis to Nickerson State Park in Brewster to take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy a hill filled terrain on your skis. Make sure to also check out our Top 5 Cape Cod Kid Activities for Winter Season blog.