Although the waters of Long Pond are off-limits, because it’s a source of public drinking water, the town forest that surrounds the pond has plenty to offer. Long Pond has a network of several miles of trails that make up the southern section of the Falmouth Moraine Trail. These trails aren’t just a draw for hiking and walking, but also for mountain biking, birdwatching, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
The town forest’s main attraction is a 3.5-mile loop trail around Long Pond, with many more trail offshoots and smaller loops to explore. The best place to begin your walk is Goodwill Park, which has several parking areas and trail access points. You can also start from one of several trailheads on Brick Kiln Road, Route 28, or Gifford Street. All of these will lead you to the pond’s loop trail. (Download trail map)
The loop trail offers some challenging hills to scale and breathtaking views of Long Pond stretching out below. The best water views can be found from hilltops around the pond’s steep northern end, especially in the fall and winter when the dense trees along the trail lose their leaves. If you’re an experienced hiker, give yourself about two hours to circumnavigate the pond.
Want to extend your hike beyond the loop trail? Meander down one of the town forest’s many side trails to discover deep woods, wetlands, seasonal vernal pools, and smaller kettle ponds. These side trails aren’t always well marked, so keep a map handy! We recommend visiting the Cathedral Pines, a stand of majestic white pines just north of Long Pond.
For a day-long adventure, continue north from the town forest along the Falmouth Moraine Trail. Stretching north-south for nine miles, the Moraine Trail exposes the Cape’s fascinating geologic history. The next section of the Moraine Trail picks up on the north side of Brick Kiln Road at Collins Woodlot.
Habitats & Wildlife
A deep spring-fed kettle hole, Long Pond was gouged out by retreating glaciers during the last Ice Age. The land around the pond shows its glacial origins: Steep, rocky hills border the pond’s northern half, while smoother, gentler hills ring the southern half. It’s part of the larger Falmouth glacial moraine, whose rock-studded peaks and valleys stretch north from here to the Cape Cod Canal.
The protected town forest that surrounds Long Pond contains a diverse array of trees, forming an oasis for local wildlife. Frogs and salamanders lay their eggs in vernal pools in spring, while snakes like the black racer bask in the sunlight on warm rocks.
These dense woods are also a haven for birds and the birders who seek them out. In the fall and winter, look for migratory birds like buffleheads, mergansers, and common goldeneye resting on the pond’s waters. Herons, ospreys, hawks, and songbirds of all sorts can be seen here year-round. In the spring and summer, you may spot monarch caterpillars and butterflies feeding on the leaves and flowers of native milkweed plants.