CAPE COD NATIONAL SEASHORE
Your walk in Cape Cod National Seashore opens up endless possibilities to enjoy the vast resources and activities across 44,000 acres from Fort Hill in Eastham to Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown; from the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Cod Bay.
WHEN IS THE NATIONAL SEASHORE OPEN?
You can enjoy the trails and other outdoor experiences virtually any time of the day; parking lots are open from 6 am to midnight daily.
The SALT POND VISITOR CENTER is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), year-round, with extended hours during the summer months. Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at 50 Nauset Road, at the corner of Nauset Road and Route 6 in Eastham, and can be reached at (508) 255-3421.
Salt Pond Visitor Center is Cape Cod National Seashore’s main visitor facility, with frequent orientation movies, a well-stocked bookstore, a comprehensive museum, and restroom facilities. The indoor theatre routinely offers five short films daily on a rotating schedule.
Offering breathtaking views of Nauset Marsh and the Atlantic beyond, this visitor center is also convenient to the popular 1.5 mile Nauset Marsh Trail and the Buttonbush Trail, a .25 mile multi-sensory trail that featuring a guide rope and text panels printed in large lettering and Braille, and the Nauset Bicycle Trail.
In the visitor center lobby, a large topographic map illustrates Cape Cod’s glacial history, its position in the Gulf of Maine, and the natural forces that continue to shape it. The museum in the visitor center emphasizes the cultural themes represented on Cape Cod. A new section interprets Wampanoag culture and history through artifacts, photographs and art, a partial wetu (home), and oral histories; this exhibit focuses on native peoples’ uses of natural materials for food and shelter. Other themes covered in the museum include whaling, lifesaving and lighthouses, maritime industries, agricultural life, and everyday life.
The PROVINCE LANDS VISITOR CENTER is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily, Memorial Day weekend into October. It is located at 171 Race Point Road, off Route 6, at the northern end of Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown, and can be reached at (508) 487-1256.
The observation deck at this Visitor Center provides a 360-degree view of the Province Lands dunes, the Outer Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. From this location you can see Race Point Ranger Station, Race Point Beach, the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station and the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. If you’re lucky, you may also be able to spot whales off shore. Exhibits about local plants and animals and the Pilgrim’s landing in Provincetown are featured.
HEADQUARTERS is an administrative facility open daily, except weekends and holidays, 8 am to 4:30 pm. It is located at 99 Marconi Site Road in Wellfleet, and can be reached at (508) 771-2144.
The Headquarters lobby houses the exhibits related to Guglielmo Marconi and his wireless telecommunication station.
WHAT ABOUT THE BEACHES?
Season sticker for Cape Cod National Seashore – $60
Daily vehicle – $20
Daily motorcycles – $10
Daily pedestrians, bicyclists – $3
The park’s six swimming beaches are lifeguarded from late June through the last week of August.
Beach entrance fees are collected from late June through early September when lifeguards are on duty, and on weekends/holidays from Memorial Day to the end of September.
There is no entrance fee for active duty military and their dependents with proper ID, nor for any children under the age of 16. The “America the Beautiful” National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass series, valid at over 2,000 federal recreation sites, includes a lifetime Senior Pass which may be purchased for $10 by U.S. citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older. The series also includes an Access Pass, which is available for free to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities, and an $80 annual pass for individuals.
Cape Cod National Seashore, and some neighboring towns, require that pets be leashed at all times. Pets are allowed on National Seashore beaches, provided that they are walked outside of the lifeguarded area and areas that are marked “Closed – Bird Use Area”. Pets are not, however, allowed on any ranger-guided programs nor any of the self-guided nature trails. Some additional restrictions apply; ask at seashore visitor centers or ranger stations about restrictions that apply or visit http:// www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/pets.htm