SANDWICH — The East Sandwich Game Farm is a sweet 133-acre chunk of lovely woods, fields and epic marsh views. It's owned by the state and maintained by the good folks at the Thornton W. Burgess Society, who are perhaps best known for their connection to the awesome Green Briar Nature Center and amazing Jam Kitchen, also in Sandwich.
According to the Burgess website: "The Game Farm abuts Talbot’s Point Conservation Area and together, they offer over 245 acres of open space." So you get two great nature areas for the (free) price of one. And that meant a pretty good leg-stretcher of a hike.
My only bit of advice would be to plan this hike around the time of high tide, when the marshes are filled in with water. It just adds to the blue dreamscape of the entire experience, especially since almost every trail includes a bench with a marsh vista.
There's a big field in the middle of the place with a cool bat house, part of a recent state initiative to give bats a clean home that is free of the dreaded White-nose Syndrome, a deadly fungal disease.
At the end of the game farm trail. I passed over a footbridge. Now I was entering the Talbot's Point Conservation Area. You might want to think of hiking here as "on the fritz," because the beautiful 112-acre area was donated to the town of Sandwich in 1964 by Dr. Fritz Talbot.
One of the trails winds around an island-like upland that projects out into the huge marsh. This was my favorite part of the hike, kind of way out there and festooned with rhododendrons and cool trees. According to the town of Sandwich, "some of the state’s oldest pitch pines" are in residence there, and apparently they can live as long as 200 years.
But for humans, this hike is a super-pleasant way to spend a couple of hours in a lovely place on Cape Cod. Parking for the East Sandwich Game Farm is off Route 6A, next to Scorton Creek (517 Old King's Highway, Sandwich on mapping apps).
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Hiking Cape Cod: The East Sandwich Game Farm