View Full Version : Car Camping in Cape Cod

03-09-2008, 02:40 PM
Anybody ever do any car camping or know of good car camping/campground spots in the Cape Cod area?

03-09-2008, 02:49 PM
I've camped on the cape a few times and have preferred Nickerson State Park over the private campgrounds. Here's a link...http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/nick.htm. You can make reservations at reserveamerica.com.


03-09-2008, 06:12 PM
Nickerson State Park

Just make sure the area you want will be available due to the utility construction that is currently underway.

Shawme Crowell in Sandwich is also a very nice campground - also a DCR facility. It is very well maintained and is more family oriented. Other DCR facilities - Scusset Beach is just before the canal on the bay side. And Myles Standish is in Carver/Plymouth - not too far from the Cape. DCR also owns Hawksnest Pond in Harwich - not a staffed park but you may be able to do primitive camping there.

A little further away but right on the Ocean(and I mean right on) is Horseneck Beach in Westport.

Dave Bear
03-09-2008, 07:34 PM
I know you said car-camping but years ago we camped out on Waquoit Bay on Washburn Island and that was alot of fun. You would need to use a canoe or kayaks to get yourself and gear out to the island. It is a national estuarine research reserve and the island is a couple of miles long. You can find info at www.waquoitbayreserve.org/camp.htm. :)

03-28-2008, 03:22 AM
Got this via email:

I live on Cape Cod and have done some hiking here this winter. Currently we have no snow on the ground and really haven't all winter except for and occasional storm which would melt away within a couple of days. I would recommend the Great Island area in Wellfleet. My son and I hiked out that way two weeks ago. We had a nice day with temperatures in the 40's, clear skies and no wind. We were able to sit atop a 50 foot bluff and have lunch in the sun in just t-shirts.
While it is referred to as an island it isn't. Great Island is connected to the mainland by a sand dune barrier called The Gut. There is a parking lot at the top of Chequesset Neck road at the trail head. The hike can be any distance you like, we did about 6 miles. Once onto Great Island there are smaller trails and opportunities for great views of Wellfleet harbor and Cape Cod Bay. Another sand dune barrier will take you over to Great Beach Island or as it is sometimes referred to, Great Beach Hill. Here there are bluffs as high as 75 feet that overlook Wellfleet harbor. Both islands have plenty of pine forest for exploring.
Jeremy Point is at the end of the peninsula and is submerged. Still there is enough of the spit left that you can hike well out toward where the point was. We went at high tide and had no problems except for some water between Great Beach Island and Great Island on the return. That is easily avoided by returning on the beach on the bay side.
There are usually seals out that way to see, however, there were none the day we made the trip. We did come across a small pilot whale that had beached, probably days before. At one time in the 1600's and early 1700's there was a fishing village on Great Island, but no sign remains. There are usually trail maps available at the trail head, but a stop at the National Seashore Headquarters on Route 6 in Eastham on the way up might be a good idea, especially if you're not familiar with the terrain (and Wellfleet roads). There are also hiking possibilities in the same area on Griffin Island and around Duck Harbor.
Sandy Neck in Sandwich/Barnstable is also a nice hike this time of year, but here you have to watch the tide. At high tide the back trails will flood, but there is always the front beach. Sandy Neck is about 7 miles long with a small seasonal village (summer only) at the tip. The lighthouse out that way (I think) has been restored. Here you can hike whatever distance you like as there are trails that cross from the back to the front beach. At low tide the front beach is a nice trip as there are a number of tidal pools and the hard sand makes the walking easier.

Camping options are slim this time of year. Nickerson State Park in Brewster would be a good jumping off place for Wellfleet and the lower Cape. I think Horton's and the North Highland Camping Area in Truro are both closed for the season. They would be ideal if open. Shawme Crowell in Sandwich is close to Sandy Neck; however, you're in the shadow of the Canal Electric power plant.

A walk along the National Seashore this time of year, in the right weather, is always nice. Woods Hole scientists are out there right now examining the timber frame of a ship wreck that looks like it might be 18th century or earlier.

The plus to hiking the Cape right now (if you see it as a plus) is no snow. However, with the ocean temperature down around 38 degrees, we can still get snow. The nighttime temperatures have been in the 20's. Yesterday I washed my truck in sunny high 40's low 50 degree weather.

Look around online. Monomoy out by Chatham might offer some hiking possibilities as might Nauset Beach. The islands this time of year don't have much beyond beach walks. Also, Provincetown out around Long Point can be nice, you might see whales breach off the beach. I don't like the Provincelands area as it is all paved bike trails, unless you're riding of course. There are plenty of B&B's open all over the Cape that have off season rates.