Off-Road Trails South of Nauset Parking Lot Set To Open Tomorrow

450910609ORLEANS – Plans call for the off-road vehicle trails south of the Nauset Beach parking lot to open up tomorrow, after being closed for nearly two months due to piping plover nests.

Orleans officials are hoping to open the trails at 8 am, unless the last remaining plover clutch hatches. If the nest hatches before Wednesday, town officials will have to delay the opening by 24 hours.

To allow access to the trails, the town will be implementing its new habitat conservation plan.

The plan, the first of its kind, allows limited, escorted travel through the Pochet overwash, as long as there are two or fewer broods of piping plover chicks in the area. The plan went into effect on July 15.

“I’m pleased that we’re able to get the plan in place. I’m extremely frustrated with how difficult it is for beach communities on Cape Cod to gain access to their beaches and I don’t care whether it’s a car, walking a dog, walking your kids, putting a boat on the beach. It’s becoming very, very difficult,” said Orleans Selectman John Hodgson, shortly after the trails were closed.

The length of piping plover related closures can’t be predicted as it depends on weather, storms and predators affecting whether eggs hatch or piping plovers chicks survive after they hatch.

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