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When you think of Cape Cod, you have visions of the ocean and its shoreline. However, the Cape also boasts a cache of freshwater alternatives. These are called Kettle Ponds of Cape Cod. In fact Chatham, Wellfleet and Truro have about 25 of them just waiting to be explored. Many of them now operate as area swimming beaches and great fishing holes. A calm alternative to the rough Atlantic for kids. Some of them are so remote they offer visitors a tranquil place to escape the crowds and return to nature.
The history of Kettle Ponds of Cape Cod is quite remarkable. They were formed when glacier ice melted, resulting in huge deep holes that then filled up with fresh water. This happened more than 15,000 years ago, and the “kettles” are dotted all over the Lower Cape.
One of my favorite Kettle Ponds of Cape Cod is School House Pond in Chatham
Just off Sam Ryder Rd, which is crossed by the Cape Cod Rail trail. It is an easy bike ride from Cape Escape Vacation Rental.
It is a great stop off to have a fresh water rinse after a day at the beach. A great beach for kids as the water is calm and crystal clear.
A parking pass is needed during the summer months but you can park for free right on Sam Ryder Rd. But you did not hear it for me.
Goose is another local Chatham gem. Dog friendly it is a great one to stop off on the way home from the beach to rinse off.
Another of the most popular kettle ponds with families is called Long Pond in Wellfleet. As far as kettle ponds go, it’s fairly easy to get to Just off Route 6, and it does have some parking. It also includes a small beach and a shade-covered picnic area.
Other ponds popular with families include Gull Pond and Ryder Pond. The frogs often outnumber the visitors.
As for some of the out of reach Kettle Ponds of Cape Cod, Dyer Pond is near the top of the list. There’s no legal place to park anywhere near it, and it’s very much in the midst of the woods. One way to get there is by paddling in by boat. You can also snag a parking spot at Great Pond, if you’re lucky, and take about a 15-minute walk along the dirt trails. You might catch me late in the day getting some exercise in swimming across Duck Pond, one of the best hidden Wellfleet ponds.
To find out more about the Kettle Ponds of Cape Cod, try the Wellfleet Information Center. This is in South Wellfleet, just off Route 6. Have a local lead or a very detailed local map is helpful so that you don’t get lost. There are also some guided kayak tours that will take you to the ponds. www.CapeCodTravel.com/