Best of Provincetown: Land and Lake with Art’s Dune Tours

Rob Costa of Art’s Dune Tours is committed to introducing visitors and locals to the natural beauty of Provincetown. Rob was literally born and raised in his father’s business, Art’s Dune Tours. Art Costa started the business in 1945 after returning from World War II, where he was awarded a Purple Heart and an Oak Leaf Cluster for his service. Rob took over the business after his father’s health declined and added new tours to the popular attraction.

The Land and Lake Tour combines the traditional dune tour with time spent kayaking on Pilgrim Lake. Rob took me out on the tour for what would be my first kayaking adventure. His calm and confident demeanor made me feel at ease. The instructors made it simple to learn and by the end they all said I’d done fantastically well.

Pilgrim Lake, previously known as East Harbor, has a fascinating history. It was once open to Cape Cod Bay. In 1868, it was diked to create a place for railroad tracks. East Harbor was officially renamed Pilgrim Lake in 1910 by the US Geologic Survey.

We accessed Pilgrim Lake from High Head Road and met at a clearing with entry to the lake. Staff from Art’s Dune Tour staged the kayaks and outfitted our group with life vests and water shoes. After a few initial instructions, we were pushing off into the shallow water.

The lake is located along Rt. 6 just south of Provincetown. However, once on the water, the road noise can’t be heard. The lake is serene and peaceful. We were the only people on the lake and within a few minutes we were relaxing and enjoying our time on the water.

Rob gathered us into an area on the water to tell us about the history of Pilgrim Lake and provide information about the habitat. We kayaked out to the dunes where earlier that day we’d enjoyed an extended ride. Seeing those same dunes from the water down below was a completely different experience. It gives you a unique perspective into the size and scale of the sand masses.

During the tour, your group will stop for a picnic by the lake. Lunch consists of delicious sandwiches of your choice, homemade cookies, and, of course, Cape Cod Potato Chips. Your guide will point various geological and ecological aspects of this intriguing “old harbor.”

You won’t regret going on the Land and Lake tour whether you’re an experienced kayaker or like me, it’s your first time. Booking is extremely easy. It can be done online through the Arts’s Dune Tour website or by phone. Make sure you bring water shoes or old sneakers, sunglasses and sunscreen. Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting a little wet. Tell them CapeCod.com sent you and YOU’LL BE DUNE-ING GOOD!

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