Most folks don’t come to Fort Hill in Eastham looking for a fort — they seek birds, sweeping views of the ocean, some long steps, a boardwalk through a marsh, and a brooding forest of Red Maples that burst into flames in the autumn.
Not that there ever was a fort here: The hill, one of the highest points around, was used to watch for British ships during the Revolutionary War. It was farmed until the 1940s, with classic stone walls still marking the boundaries.
The 1.5-mile (round-trip) trail splits in two: One heads up Skiff Hill, with ocean views, historical markers, and a boulder used by American Indians to sharpen their knives and axes. The Nausets, part of the Wampanoag Nation, lived in the Nauset Marsh area starting perhaps 6,000 years ago. Today you can learn more about the Wampanoag people on Facebook.
The National Park Service has designed a GPS Quest for Fort Hill. Learn more about this historic area while exploring.