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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Indulge in McGrath's Cape adventures

If exploring the most remote reaches of Cape Cod is your preference, you won’t want to miss the Harwich Conservation Trust’s “Winter Talks” event this Saturday at the Harwich Community Center.

Mark McGrath, an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, will present “Hiking Adventures on the Outer Cape” at 2 p.m. He’ll discuss the many opportunities for adventures on Outer Cape Cod.

McGrath, 77, is a Harwich resident. He retired to the Cape 15 years ago, and hits the trails frequently, either by himself or with local hiking clubs. McGrath and his wife, Patti, hiked the entire perimeter of Cape Cod over a three and half year period through a series of day trips from 2012 to 2015.

McGrath, one of the leaders for the Eastham Hiking Club, has journeyed to some of the Cape’s highest cliffs, camped on an island, hosted a full moon beach party in February, stayed in a dune shack and lighthouse, and walked the flats of Cape Cod Bay. On his perimeter hikes, if he came across an estuary, he’d swim across.

One of those crossings was at Pleasant Bay (see map above). After finding the sandbars on Google Earth and kayaking the bay about 20 times, he concluded that “it’s all about the tides, the currents, and how much swimming that you have to do.” A dry pack for his electronics, which doubles as a floatation device, helps.

According to McGrath, "The straight across distance of Pleasant Bay is 2 miles. The across-Pleasant Bay hiking route on the map is 2.5 miles. The total hike around and across Pleasant Bay is 12 miles."

McGrath has exhibited the extensive photograph collection of his adventures at the Cape Cod National Seashore.

A suggested donation of $5 is requested for the talk. Arrive early; these HCT events fill up fast.

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