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Red Maple Swamp and Fort Hill Walk
Gaining a boardwalk, follow a curvy course through the swamp with rest benches along the way. At a T-junction, turn left and continue to follow the boardwalk as it zigs, zags, and wanders across the kettle hole's bottom. On a hazy summer day, the light filtering through the maple leaves casts a magical, golden hue. Like the Cape's many ponds, this kettle hole was formed by a chunk of ice left behind by a glacier. Once steep-walled, erosion has lessened the angle of the surrounding hillsides.
Some of the old maples here have elaborately twisted trunks, making them perfect subjects for photographs. In places, the forest canopy thins, and the added sunlight stimulates a riot of vegetation, which forms impenetrable thickets just beside the boardwalk. Where the boardwalk forks left to Hemenway Road, go straight on a path that soon climbs via log steps to a paved path. Turn right, passing restrooms (seasonal) on your left, and climb to an overlook of Nauset Marsh, left. There are rest benches here, and the view extends across the marsh to the Atlantic Ocean. An old Coast Guard station, now an environmental education center, stands on a bluff to the northeast.