West Harwich

The Bell's Neck Conservation Area off Depot Road comprises approximately 250 acres of  conservation land in West Harwich.  It includes marshland, tidal creeks, walking/hiking trails, a pond and a herring run.  Birding is excellent here.

Anyone who has never seen a herring run should take advantage of this treat.  Every Spring migrating river herring or "alewives" can be seen fighting their way upstream from Cape Cod Bay through a series of steep inclines, into a group of inland ponds to spawn.  And all along the river banks stand the screeching seagulls looking to swoop down for their chance to snatch a meal as the herring sweep by.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail which follows the route of the Old Colony Railroad, intersects the Bell's Neck Conservation Area and runs for 25 miles through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Chatham, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet.  It passes along cranberry bogs and salt marshes and one can get off for a swim at a pond, lake or beach.  There are unpaved shoulders for walkers, joggers and even horseback riders, as well as places for bike rentals en route.

If you'd like a little quiet time out of the sun, visit this quaint little gem, the Chase Library.  It's on Route 28 right next to Viera's and close by the sign that says: "Welcome to Harwich."  It's tiny and old-fashioned, but lovingly maintained.  Be sure to check its hours because it's only open a few days a week.

Another highlight is the nationally known Harwich Junior Theatre which has been a vibrant part of the Cape since 1951.  Begun as a seasonal undertaking, it has evolved into a year round endeavor which teaches all aspects of theatre production: playwriting, acting, directing, set and costume design, and prop making.  Both adults and children can join and   learn to stage plays and musicals which are highly-regarded Cape entertainment. These workshops have also become launching pads for careers in the theatrical field.

For more information contact the Harwich Chamber of Commerce (508) 432-1600 which can also help with cottages and other lodging.

V.E. Laporte

Harwich Historical Society