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All of Cape Cod is essentially a pile of glacial leftovers, known as glacial till, and consists primarily of sand, clay and small stones. Boulders of all sizes dot the landscape. Doane Rock was left behind by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age between 12,000 and 18,000 years ago. This giant boulder reaches 18 feet above the ground, and may go as far as 12 feet underground. The total length of the boulder is 45 feet. The east face of the boulder is well worn by glacial actions as well as countless climbers, and the scramble to the top is both quick and fairly easy.
Doane Rock is named for one of the original settlers of Eastham, Deacon John Doane. His former homestead is nearby, clearly marked by signs along one of the many hiking paths leading from the rock to Coast Guard Beach and the visitors center.
Know Before You Go
Located along the main road between the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center and Coast Guard Beach, the rock is easily visited from a nearby accessible parking area. Picnic tables are available nearby, and several trails leading towards the beaches and the visitor's center pass nearby. The former Doane Homestead is also nearby; nothing but a sign and the outline of the old foundation remain.