5 Things to Know About the Cape’s National Seashore

There are plenty of things to appreciate about Cape Cod, but one of the most treasured is the National Seashore. While this part of the country has a rich history, it also has natural beauty.

Presidential support

It was President John F Kennedy who signed legislation establishing the Cape Cod National Seashore. While tourism has been a big draw for generations in the region, supporters say there was a real need for keeping coastal land available for public recreation. Of course, the Kennedy family has its own ties to Cape Cod, including a museum dedicated to JFK in Hyannis. 

Protected, but open 

Run by the National Park Service, the CCNS is protected, but also open to the public. While you have the ability to visit the seashore, you won’t see any new development. With a permit, you can sometimes use off-road vehicles or camp at the National Seashore. 

The shore & more

As the name implies, the National Seashore offers around 40-miles of ocean shoreline, but that’s not all. You’ll also find marshes, tidal flats, woods, ponds, and sand dunes across the 43,000+ acres that make up the National Seashore. You can utilize the hiking and biking trails, do some bird watching, or look for seals out in the water.

Across 6 towns

The National Seashore actually stretches across six Outer Cape towns. Around half of the Town of Wellfleet is in the CCNS and so is nearly three-quarters of the Town of Truro. The seashore stretches from Provincetown to Chatham, and also includes parts of Eastham and Orleans.

When to visit

That means there’s plenty to see and explore, no matter the time of year. Luckily, apart from major federal holidays, the beaches, trails, and parking areas of the CCNS are open nearly every day of the year from morning ‘til midnight. You can pay a visit to the Salt Pond Visitor Center or the Province Lands Visitor Center.

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