Nauset Bike Trail partial closure in effect
The Nauset Bike Trail between Salt Pond Visitor Center and Tomahawk Trail will be closed from October 30 to mid-December for rehabilitation. No bike or pedestrian access will be allowed during this time.
Access at seashore locations
The Nauset Marsh Trail bridge was destroyed in a storm last winter. For current conditions, check at the Salt Pond Visitor Center. More »
The Wellfleet Tavern Site - Great Island - Wellfleet
National Park Service photo
Historic period archaeological sites, mainly small farmsteads widely spaced and linearly arranged along small, east-west running valleys, exist throughout the outer Cape. The initial European settlement of the outer Cape occurred about 1644 when colonists from Plymouth relocated in Eastham. Historical research tells us that fishing, whaling, trading, and farming all were important for these new inhabitants of the outer Cape. One unique site that can be visited is the Wellfleet Tavern site (also known as Samuel Smith Tavern Site and Great Island Tavern site) on Great Island, part of the headland that now forms an outer boundary of Wellfleet Harbor. The site was excavated in 1969 and 1970 by archeologists Erik Ekholm and James Deetz. Analysis of the artifacts collected by Ekholm and Deetz indicate activity at the site between 1690 and 1740. The artifact types found at the site relate to its designation as a tavern, including high percentages of drinking vessels, pipe stems, and other kinds of glassware.
The park's Great Island Trail passes by the Wellfleet Tavern site. Interpretive displays describing and illustrating ancient and historic inhabitants and ways of life on Cape Cod can be found at the National Park Service Salt Pond Visitor Center, at the corner of Route 6 and Nauset Road, Eastham.
Francis P. McManamon, National Park Service
Did You Know?
The Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District Seashore was designated in 1989 as a special place in the dunes within Cape Cod National Seashore. Dune shack living emerged in the early 20th century and was based in cottages built by coastguardsmen stationed at nearby stations.