You'll find plenty of great activities when living in Chatham, Massachusetts, as this oceanfront community has a charming and historic downtown, beach access, a fantastic dining scene, and one of the Cape's top fish markets.
This town with about 6,000 year-round residents also has an active sports scene. The Chatham Anglers play their home games at Veterans Field, and many locals take advantage of the Chatham Community Center and the Chatham Tennis Center as much as possible.
West Chatham is also home to an often-forgotten athletic facility called Volunteer Park, a hidden venue featuring soccer fields and baseball diamonds for kids' games.
While this park doesn't get the same attention as many other venues in town, your children are sure to visit once you buy a home in Chatham, MA, because so many leagues hold their games there.
Here's some information on visiting Chatham's Volunteer Park.
Diamonds, Fields, and Playground
The main reasons to visit Volunteer Park are the baseball diamonds and soccer fields. Overall, there are two baseball areas and three soccer fields, providing plenty of space for both sports to use the park.
Keep in mind that the fields overlap, so you won't see soccer and baseball games going on simultaneously.
You'll also be happy to learn that there's a playground at the park, providing some activity for young children while their older siblings play a sport.
The sports fields at Volunteer Park get a lot of use in the spring and are sure to become part of your life if you relocate to Chatham with children.
Chatham Skate Park
Another great reason to check out Volunteer Park is the skate park, a relatively new facility near the venue's parking lot.
This skate park features a series of ramps, rails, jumps, and a half-pipe for skateboarders and rollerbladers, providing hours of entertainment for older kids. The park doesn't often get overcrowded, and its open nature and nearby benches make it easy for parents to keep an eye on their children.
Remember that you aren't permitted to ride bikes on the skate park, and helmets are mandatory for all participants.
As you arrive at Volunteer Park, you'll quickly see that it's surrounded by a thick forest and seems like it's in the middle of nowhere. In actuality, the park is only about a block from Main Street, but the trees provide an excellent place to take a little hike without having to worry about getting lost.
There's an entire trail system as you walk east through the woods, and it eventually connects to a more extensive network in the Training Field Triangle Conservation Area if you hike far enough.
This comprehensive trail network through the conservation area visits Schoolhouse Pond, Ryders Pond, and Goose Pond, so you can actually make an entire day of your time in the woods.
Watch for mountain bikers as you wander the forests because some of these paths are popular with local riders, and they tend to ride quite fast.
Old Colony Rail Trail
Volunteer Park has access to the Old Colony Rail Trail, a popular paved path that meets with the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Harwich and extends east to downtown Chatham.
As a result, you can use Volunteer Park as your starting point when exploring Cape Cod on your bike or cycle to the facility from most Chatham sections without having to deal with traffic.
The Old Colony Rail Trail eventually intersects with Barcliff Avenue, which you can take to the Chatham Pier Fish Market, which is one the best places to stop for lunch on Cape Cod.
There's a surprisingly robust parking area at Volunteer Park, as its dirt lot has two sides and room for hundreds of vehicles. Parking is rarely an issue here, even if multiple games are going on at once.
You can park there when using the Old Colony Rail Trail, as well, making it easy to explore the Cape before heading home in the evening.
Living in Chatham, MA
Chatham is an excellent choice when buying a home on Cape Cod because it's full of wonderful activities and only minutes from Harwich and Orleans. Chatham's downtown area is highly walkable and close to beaches, parks, historic venues, marinas, and anything else you could possibly want to do on the Cape, as well.
And, of course, Chatham has plenty of sports facilities for the kids, so you'll never find yourself wondering how to keep them occupied after moving to this gem of a community on the Lower Cape.