The Knob in Falmouth is a landmark familiar to locals but largely unknown to Cape Cod’s many visitors. It’s a delightful seaside hike suitable for all skill levels that takes under an hour. This easy Falmouth walking trail winds through a woodland area, ending at a viewing platform with panoramic ocean views.
The Knob is one of many attractions in Falmouth you might enjoy. Read on to decide whether a visit to this hidden gem in Cape Cod belongs on your itinerary.
Editor’s Note: We updated this post in June 2022 to keep the content fresh!
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CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to visit The Knob in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
- What is The Knob, Falmouth?
- What Hiking Level is The Knob?
- How Long Does the Knob Trail Take?
- When is the Best Time to Visit the Knob?
- Driving Direction to Falmouth MA
- How to Get to The Knob in Falmouth
- How Much Does it Cost to Visit The Knob?
- Exploring the Trail to The Knob
- The Return Trail
- Tips for Visiting The Knob
- Final Thoughts on The Knob, Falmouth
- Frequently Asked Questions about The Knob
- Next Step
What is The Knob, Falmouth?
What’s known by locals as “The Knob” in Cape Cod is a hilly outcropping at the end of a wooded path which extends out from the Falmouth coastline.
If you didn’t know it was there, you probably wouldn’t stumble across it.
But it may be one of Falmouth’s best-kept secrets.
- It’s a lovely nature walk, yet not too long or strenuous
- The Knob is maintained by the Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries, Inc
- Sandy beaches flank both sides of the trail
- You’ll see extraordinary views of Quissett Harbor and Buzzards Bay along the trail
How Difficult is the Knob to Hike?
The Knob is an easy trail just under a mile long.
It’s suitable for all ability levels, even if you’re not much of a hiker but enjoy a coastal nature walk.
It’s family friendly too.
However, it’s worth noting there are a few areas with stairs and thick roots. That could present a challenge for strollers and wheelchairs.
How Long Does The Trail Take?
The whole trail from beginning to the end of The Knob and back takes under an hour.
You might want to allow longer if you decide to stay a while at the lookout, go swimming, or have a picnic.
Best Time to Visit the Knob
I visited The Knob on Columbus Day weekend during the pandemic.
At that time, it was more crowded than I would have liked since everyone was heading outdoors. Half a dozen people lingered at the lookout platform, and others were coming and going along the trail.
Now, it’s a perfect excursion.
The parking lot was full when I arrived, although I lucked out with a spot as someone was just leaving.
The good news is that The Knob is open year round.
I imagine it might be a bit cold, even treacherous during a New England winter, and perhaps more crowded in summer.
That means the best time of year to visit the Knob would be during the pleasant weather in the Cape Cod off season: ideally spring and autumn.
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Driving Directions to Falmouth MA
Falmouth is located in Cape Cod in an area known as the Upper Cape. It’s about 80 miles southwest of Boston.
By car, the best way to get to Falmouth is to cross the Bourne Bridge and take Route 28S until you arrive in Falmouth.
Alternatives to Driving to Falmouth MA
While driving is the most common and convenient way to get to the Cape, you have other options.
For instance, you could fly into the airport in Hyannis (50 miles from Falmouth).
Or, take the bus or train lines that run directly into Falmouth.
Of course, you could always arrive by boat, too.
The Knob Falmouth – Directions
The Falmouth landscape features a series of inlets with miles of coastline and a variety of beaches.
Some beaches in Falmouth are narrow, some are rocky. Most Falmouth MA beaches facing Buzzards Bay are warm.
You’ll find The Knob on Quissett Harbor Road in Woods Hole, jutting out into Buzzards Bay.
Wood’s Hole is the same area of Falmouth where you’d catch the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
As Quissett Harbor Road narrows, you’ll see picturesque dinghies moored within the small marina. Vibrant boats reflect in the gentle waves, while others with polished wood trim take repose.
You’ll want to park here, opposite the bay, wherever you can.
Parking in Woods Hole in general can be tricky. Parking at The Knob Woods Hole is trickier.
With under a dozen parking spots, you might want to plan your visit to The Knob early in the day, if possible.
Even better, go on a weekday or during the off season.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit The Knob?
The walk to the knob in the woods is free!
There is no fee to access the path. During the pandemic, it was guarded by someone who reminds you to kindly wear your mask for areas where you can’t safely social distance.
I found that comforting.
You’ll find the path is directly to the left of the entrance to the Quisset Yacht Club.
Exploring The Trail: The Knob
At the start of the trail, the path hugs the marina. Then, it splits off in two directions, ultimately making a loop.
You’ll want to stay to the right if you want to take the main path.
To the left is the lesser-traveled path, which you can take on the return.
You’ll ascend a few stairs cut into the earth as you follow along the wooded path.
Along the way, look for the typical Cape Cod plants and tree varieties which flank the path, including:
- Scrub Pine
- Rugosa Fose
- Wild Asters
- Poison Ivy
You’ll also want to keep your eyes and ears open for birds and other wildlife along the way.
It’s a pleasant, meandering walk with plenty of space at most times to step aside for on-coming hikers. If you’re not sure what poison ivy looks like, you’ll want to stay firmly on the path.
For the most part, the path is shaded and cool.
In fact, it’s quite picturesque.
Every so many hundred yards, the brush clears and you’ll glimpse the deep blue Atlantic Ocean.
You will as also see the actual “knob” in the distance.
The Knob, and the path toward it beyond the mainland, is shored up by a berm of large rocks.
When I visited, the sound of the sea was a gentle throb. I imagine during a Nor’easter, the spray might come as far as the path!
You’ll find a few paths that descend to a long strip of beach below, where we heard children squealing with delight at the incoming waves.
Further along, a couple sat in camp chairs perched the bank overlooking the bay. Perhaps they would picnic there until sunset.
As you continue along the well-worn route toward the knob, the path narrows. You will then cross the passageway that connects the mainland to the Knob.
It really is a lovely vista on approach, perhaps more so than the arrival itself.
Next, you’ll find a set of stairs that gently meander up the small hill.
Finally, at the top, you’ll find yourself in a small clearing with beautiful panoramic ocean views.
The viewing platform is paved, and you’ll find a few benches where you might sit awhile and take in the views.
To the right, you’ll see the path you just completed with a view to Buzzards Bay.
To the left, you’ll view the road along Quissett Harbor and the Marina.
And, there appear to be miles and miles of ocean straight ahead in Buzzards Bay.
Depending on your timing, this might be a delightful spot to enjoy a picnic lunch or late morning snack.
The Return Trail
Once you’ve fully appreciated the panoramic scene, you’re ready for the return trip.
You can return exactly the same way you arrived.
Or, for a change of scenery, you can take the less-traveled path, as we did.
That means you want to bear right at the mainland.
Note that the first trail to the right will take you on a short walk down to the water. Unless you want to take a swim and enjoy some beach time, continue a little further along to the next path on the right.
This will lead you back to the beginning of the trail.
This route is far less traveled. We didn’t cross paths with anyone on this leg of the trail. In the time of social distancing, that was a relief.
You’ll find this route to be more wooded and shady, too.
Enjoy a few split-rail fences with nice overlooks. You’ll also see signs that ask you to remain on the trail because of erosion concerns.
I could see the impulse to descend to the beaches below, but you can just as easily reach the sand from the marina.
While this was more of a winding and secluded path, it was not as though you’d feel at risk of getting lost. Just stay to the right whenever the path splits.
The paths to the left will simply lead you back to the main path, anyway.
At last, you’ll find yourself back where you began the hike.
You’ll be feeling refreshed by the walk in nature, the beautiful water scenes, and the ocean air.
7 Tips for Visiting The Knob – Falmouth
I thoroughly enjoyed our outing to The Knob.
It was one a cautious adventure after many months of social isolation during the pandemic.
That said, here are a few things I would have done differently.
1. Avoid Peak Times
While I think the off-season (non-summer) is a great time to visit The Knob, I would have visited on a weekday, perhaps even an odd hour of the day.
Not only does that make it more likely that you will find a parking space, but there will likely be fewer people on the trail.
2. Choose the Road Less Traveled
Instead of taking the main path, I would have taken the less-traveled leg of the path to and from The Knob.
This helps reduce contact with others, even though everyone was wearing masks and stepped aside (or we stepped aside).
Plus, you’ll have the feeling of being more immersed in nature.
3. Bring Water (and optionally, a picnic)
Any time you’re hiking, you’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated.
If you plan on staying a while, you might even pack some tasty snacks and perhaps a blanket or some light camp chairs.
I had water for the walk, but could have definitely spent more time here, had I been better prepared.
4. Enjoy the Scenery
If you’re a photographer, be sure to bring your camera because this is such a unique setting.
It would also be an excellent place for some pleinair painting, if you can find a good space to set up an easel.
Or, just take the time to fully appreciate this beautiful scenery in Cape Cod.
6. Watch for Hiking Hazards
While I did not encounter any, you’ll want to be on the lookout for poison ivy, mosquitos, and ticks. After all, those are just common hazards of hiking in New England.
7. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Also, it goes without saying that you could wear hiking shoes or sneakers for a hike.
But really, this hike is so easy, any type of comfortable footwear would do.
Final Thoughts on The Knob Falmouth
The Knob is worth visiting while you’re in Falmouth and looking for a short day hike with lovely views.
It makes for a great addition to any 1-day itinerary for Falmouth.
You might also include activities in Falmouth like grabbing a picnic lunch at Pie in the Sky, shopping on Main Street, and eating out in Falmouth. (We recommend Anejo for dinner, but be prepared to wait for a seat.)
You’ll want to include The Knob in your “best things to do in Falmouth” bucket list.
And, if you plan to stay overnight in Falmouth, be sure to read our review of The Inn on the Sound, a boutique inn in Falmouth that overlooks Nantucket Sound. It’s among the best places to stay in Falmouth.
Frequently Asked Questions about The Knob Falmouth
Where is The Knob on the Cape?
You’ll find “The Knob” and the Salt Pond Area Bird Sanctuaries in Falmouth, MA, where Quisset Harbor meets Buzzards Bay. This slim Cape Cod peninsula with beaches and pine trees, along with the rocky outcropping at the end, helps to protect Quisset Harbor.
Can you swim at The Knob in Falmouth?
Yes! You can certainly swim at The Knob in Falmouth. You can also sit by the shore and explore the coast for shells and other interesting finds. The only things is, don’t walk down from the path to the beach. You’ll be adding to the erosion problems. Instead, access the beaches directly from the marina.
Are dogs allowed at The Knob in Falmouth?
Dogs are welcome at The Knob in Falmouth. However, you must keep them on a leash at all times and be sure to pick up after them.
Next Steps in Planning Your Trip to The Knob
If you are planning a trip to The Knob, you’ll also want to check out these other articles about vacationing in Cape Cod.
- The Best Towns of Cape Cod to Explore When You Visit
- 10 Awesome Breweries in Cape Cod You’ll Want to Visit
- Cape Cod Honeymoon | How to Pick the Best Honeymoon Hotel in Cape Cod
- 5 Elegant Bed and Breakfasts in Cape Cod For Couples
- Awesome Cape Cod Family Resort in Dennis | Fun for All
- Enjoy Chic Hospitality at The Parsonage Inn on Cape Cod
- An Off-Season Waterfront Weekend in Sandwich, Cape Cod
- What to Do in Martha’s Vineyard For a Day (or Two!)
Here are some great tips for packing and what to bring with you when you visit Cape Cod.
- The Best Things to Pack for Summer in New England [Printable Checklist]
- West Beach Vacation Capsule Wardrobe: 7 Packing Tips for the Coast
- 7 Most Useful Travel Accessories for a Road Trip or Weekend Away
- Best Way to Organize Car for Road Trip: 9 Easy Car Organizing Tips
-  Road Trip Food List | Bring these Delicious Snacks On Your Next Road Trip
- 41 Good Hiking Snacks & Hiking Lunch Ideas for Your Next Day Hike
And finally, you’ll find useful information about planning your summer vacation to Cape Cod, below.
- Getting Ready for Vacation: 5 Tips to Enjoy a Perfect Summer Getaway!
- 3 Important Tips You Should Know About Taking Your Dog on Vacation
- Traveling as a Couple: 5 Easy Tips to Maximize Your Trip Together
- Top Sailing Vacations for Couples | 3 Romantic Sea Adventures for Empty-Nesters
- 10 Vacation Photography Tips: How to Take Better Travel Photos
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Do you see yourself visiting The Knob in Falmouth when you visit next? Have you been there (or some place like it) before? Let us know about it in the comments below!
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