Remember 100 years ago when Will and I visited Cape Cod and I shared about our adventure to the Race Point Lighthouse? I wanted to expand on that adventure and help anyone that is planning a trip to this lovely corner of the world.
There was something about the pleasant soft blue/gray hue of the Cape Cod National Seashore that utterly mesmerized me! That’s the beauty of travel, isn’t it? I’m sure you’ll love your time exploring the Race Point Lighthouse!
Getting to the Race Point Lighthouse
Reaching this remote lighthouse requires a 4-mile (roundtrip) hike. But don’t worry, it’s relatively flat and follows the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Be prepared for soft sand and grassy fields — nothing too crazy though. This is an easy hike for all skill levels. It took us 45 minutes to reach the lighthouse (sand, I tell ya) and 45 minutes to return.
Make sure to account for 2 hours of hiking time, roundtrip.
Worth it? 100% — not even a question!
We parked at the Hatches Harbor Trail parking lot. Parking is free but spaces fill up quickly, at which point folks park along the road. After parking your car, strap on your backpack and hit the trail.
The trail is very easy to follow because there’s no confusing turn-off points. The trail starts in a shrubby area and quickly leads to a sandy beach. You’ll follow the beach until you hit a marsh, at which point you’ll naturally walk along a rocky man-built road.
At this point I encourage you to soak in the beauty around you. We saw so many interesting birds in this area! We stopped every five minutes at the sight of flocking herons!
Eventually the trail will lead directly to Race Point Beach — a stunning, hilly beachside with shrubs and soft sand. You’ll need to climb over a moderate sand dune (again, nothing too crazy) and soon you’ll soon see the coveted lighthouse!
Head in the direction and explore to your heart’s content, you’ve earned it!
Sun exposure: The trail is completely exposed, there’s no shady portions to take shelter from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a sun hat and bring extra water.
Mosquitos: The worst, right? Hatches Harbor Trail passes through a marsh, need I say more? Mosquitos in this area are so bad that the National Park Service took it upon themselves to reduce the population.
We hiked the trail in the dead of fall and didn’t have any trouble with mosquitos, but if you’re coming during the summer months you’ll want to be prepared.
Race Point Lighthouse History
Originally constructed in 1816, Race Point Lighthouse graced the scene at the third lighthouse in Cape Cod. In 1876, the Race Point Lighthouse underwent major renovations. The original stone tower was replaced with a 45′ cast iron, brick-lined tower.
What’s more, the original Keeper’s home was demolished and a new one built. Electricity was added in 1957 and the lighthouse was officially automated in 1972 (forgoing the need for a light keeper).
Where is Race Point Lighthouse?
Race Point Lighthouse is located within the Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Can I stay at the lighthouse?
Believe it or not, but the public can reserve a stay at the Keeper’s House and the Whistle House. The two restored houses are maintained by the Cape Cod Chapter of the America Lighthouse Foundation (non-profit). If you’d like to reserve, simply call 1-855-722-3959.
Race Point Lighthouse, Race Point Lighthouse,
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide!
Until next time,