"Sunny beach, Cape Cod National Seashore, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Cape Cod

National Seashore - Massachusetts

The Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS) on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, includes ponds, woods and beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. The CCNS includes nearly 40 miles (64 km) of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. Notable sites encompassed by the CCNS include Marconi Station (site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission), the Highlands Center for the Arts (formerly the North Truro Air Force Station), the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District (a 1,950-acre historic district containing dune shacks and the dune environment), and the glacial erratic known as Doane Rock.



Official Visitor Map of Cape Cod National Seashore (NS) in Massachusetts. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Cape Cod - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Cape Cod National Seashore (NS) in Massachusetts. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/caco/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Cod_National_Seashore The Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS) on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, includes ponds, woods and beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. The CCNS includes nearly 40 miles (64 km) of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. Notable sites encompassed by the CCNS include Marconi Station (site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission), the Highlands Center for the Arts (formerly the North Truro Air Force Station), the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District (a 1,950-acre historic district containing dune shacks and the dune environment), and the glacial erratic known as Doane Rock. The great Outer Beach described by Thoreau in the 1800s is protected within the national seashore. Forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod's past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today's visitors. The national seashore is located in eastern Massachusetts on Cape Cod and is accessed via Route 6. The park is 20 miles east of Hyannis, MA. Province Lands Visitor Center Open May 1-October 31 annually. Let us help you plan a fabulous seashore visit! Exhibits, our award-winning orientation film, Standing Bold, and dramatic views of dunes and ocean await. Walking and biking trails are nearby, and whales may be observed swimming offshore. Ask about our Junior Ranger Program and ranger-guided activities. Want swag? The America's National Parks store is open during visitor center hours. The observation decks at the visitor center is open year-round. The visitor center is approximately 47 miles east of Hyannis, MA, on Race Point Road off Route 6. Salt Pond Visitor Center Open year-round. Let us help you plan the perfect seashore day! Visit the park museum to learn about the many layers of human history here, watch our award-winning orientation film, Standing Bold, and take in the expansive view of Salt Pond, Nauset Marsh, and the Atlantic. Walking and biking trails start nearby. Ask about the Junior Ranger Program and ranger-guided activities. Want swag? The America's National Parks store operated by Eastern National is open daily. The visitor center is approximately 25 miles east of Hyannis, MA on Route 6. Camping There are no campgrounds at Cape Cod National Seashore and camping is not allowed in the park or on the beaches. However, there are many private campgrounds located in adjacent towns. State park campgrounds are located in Brewster and Wellfleet. map of mora campground Campsite with picnic table and fire ring. Rialto Beach with sea stacks and drift wood on beach colorful sunset at rialto beach large river lined with big trees Wave crashing at rialto beach Sunrise Waves A curling wave breaks against the backdrop of a pink sunrise. Visiting the beach to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean is a beautiful experience. Sand Ripples Low tide exposes rippled ridges of sand and water. You will never walk the same beach twice on Cape Cod; daily low and high tides expose and then cover the sand. Exploring the Park by Water A red kayak floats on a pond facing a forest colored with red and orange leaves. Exploring the park by water offers a different perspective. Birds and Beach A flock of birds flies along a beach with waves in the background. The national seashore is known for its species diversity, including threatened and endangered shorebirds. Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail Boardwalk trail runs through a swamp surrounded by green ferns and tall trees. This popular trail takes visitors through the rare habitat of an Atlantic White Cedar swamp. Sunrise Over the Atlantic A brilliant sun rises over the ocean reflecting light on the water's surface. Cape Cod provides the opportunity to watch the sun rise out of the Atlantic Ocean and set into Cape Cod Bay. Shark Awareness Before heading into the ocean, review some safety information to further minimize the chances of a shark encounter. Shark and fish in the blue ocean waters Partnerships add a Charge to your Travel Plans The National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, BMW of North America, the U.S. Department of Energy, concessioners, and gateway communities have collaborated to provide new technologies for travel options to and around national parks. As part of this public-private partnership, BMW of North America, working through the National Park Foundation, donated and arranged for the installation of 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in and around national parks. Designing the Parks at Cape Cod National Seashore Cape Cod National Seashore hosted the 2017 class of interns and volunteers with the NPS Designing the Parks program. Throughout five days of hands-on learning, the diverse cultural landscapes of the seashore served as a practical classroom for the aspiring cultural resource stewards. Designing the Parks participants assess trees for a cultural landscape field inventory. Cape Cod National Seashore Volunteers Rehab Accessibility Features on Buttonbush Trail for National Public Lands Day 2018 Cape Cod National Seashore visitors and neighbors who have low or no vision will have a higher quality experience when walking the Buttonbush Trail, thanks to a recent National Public Lands Day project. A group of people stand in front of a sign reading, Bat Projects in Parks: Cape Cod National Seashore Fall migration and more on the Northern Long-eared bat in Cape Cod National Seashore. Scenic view of Cape Cod National Seashore National Park Service Visitor and Resource Protection Staff Focuses on Week of Leadership Staff from all levels of the National Park Service in law enforcement, United States Park Police, as well as fire and aviation spent a week learning leadership lessons from one another as well as from a diverse group of leaders during the last week of September 2019. A group of women and men on a rocky outcrop in high desert. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] old coast guard station Designing the Parks: Learning in Action The Designing the Parks program is not your typical internship. Each year since 2013, this program at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation has introduced a cohort of college students and recent graduates to NPS design and planning professions through projects related to cultural landscape stewardship. In the internships, made possible by partner organizations, participants focus on an in-depth project that directly engages with a national park unit. A group of young people stand on forest trail and listen to two maintenance employees Cape Symphony Wows Capacity Audience at Cape Cod National Seashore Founders’ Day Event For the fourth consecutive summer, Cape Symphony brought world-class music to the shores of Salt Pond at Cape Cod National Seashore in August 2019. The collaborative partnership between the symphony and the national seashore is a legacy of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial, exploring intersections where culture, nature, music, art, beauty, and inspiration meet. The War Reaches Home: Attack on Cape Cod On July 21, 1918, New Englanders found themselves with World War I on their doorsteps in the form of a German U-boat attack off Cape Cod, at the town of Orleans. During the attack, some of the shells fired from the submarine landed on Nauset Beach, making this the first attack on the US mainland since the War of 1812 and the only attack on US soil during World War I. US Coast Guard men stand by an open garage door. Cape Cod National Seashore Wraps Up a Summer of Healthy Parks, Healthy People Cape Cod National Seashore engages the local community for another successful year of healthy living. 5K participants pose for a group photo. Cape Cod Lifesavers The lifesaver's motto was, "You have to go, but you don't have to come back." Likewise, their work earned them the title, "Guardians of the Ocean Graveyard" while they were stationed on Cape Cod between 1872 and 1915. Protecting Coastal Treasures from Future Floods Protecting coastal treasures like lighthouses, forts, and statues requires an understanding of the precise location of these resources. New elevation markers will help the National Park Service continue to protect coastal parks threatened by flooding and sea level rise. Two men use tools to install elevation markers in sandy soil. Developing a Skilled Fire Management Workforce AmeriCorps Cape Cod and Cape Cod NS partnered to help meet wildfire management goals of the seashore and Barnstable County. AmeriCorps placed 6 members (“FireCorps”) at the seashore in September 2012. After training, they are helping throughout the park on prescribed burns, pile burns, and forest thinning. When not serving the seashore, the FireCorps serves throughout Barnstable County on fuel reduction and fire risk assessment. Bat Population Monitoring at Cape Cod National Seashore Biologists use a variety of research techniques to study bats at Cape Cod National Seashore. With its diverse habitats, from dunes to interior forests, the seashore supports a number of regionally rare bat species. An eastern red bat being held by a biologist. Restoring Wildlife Habitat at Cape Cod National Seashore Cape Cod National Seashore implemented a prescribed burn in the Marconi Wildlife Management Area in April 2014. The fire reduced fuels, restored ecosystem health, and promoted native habitats. Heathland communities are among the highest priorities for conservation in the Northeast because they support unique plants and animals. These communities are rapidly disappearing due to development and forest succession facilitated in part by fire suppression. Studying Shifting Shorelines at Northeast Coastal Parks Coastal national parks have long been a living laboratory for shoreline scientists to study how storms and other processes like erosion and littoral drift affect the coast and the structures perched along the water. Learn more about the science of shifting shorelines. View of beach and dunes. Mapping Underwater Habitats With so much diversity and value in underwater habitats, it’s no wonder the National Park Service undertook a multi-park effort to map the relatively uncharted shallow waters in and around coastal national parks in the Northeast. Learn more and see what lies beneath. A woman leans over the edge of a boat with a submerged habitat mapping tool. Studying Salt Marsh Change A marsh resiliency model was developed to help managers protect salt marshes at coastal parks in the Northeast. Jamaica Bay at sunset. Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Species Spotlight: Eelgrass Under the surface of coastal waters of the Northeast lies submerged cities of eelgrass that provide a home and protection for a diverse community of wildlife. Distribution and abundance of this aquatic plant is monitored in selected areas of NCBN parks due to its vulnerability to degraded environmental conditions such as pollution and rising water temperature. Blades of eelgrass soak up the sun under the surface of the water. 2006 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Recipients of the 2006 NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Symphony at the Seashore Shines Light on America and National Parks On a perfect summer evening, under a rising near-full moon, approximately 2000 guests gathered at the edge of Salt Pond for an extraordinary concert featuring the Cape Symphony performing Broadway hits, heart-stirring patriotic tunes, and scores from Hollywood blockbusters filmed in national parks. This is the third year the national seashore has hosted the symphony. This year's event featured members of the United States Air Force Band. Partnership Training Builds Community Wildland Fire Preparedness In spring 2012, Cape Cod National Seashore partnered with the local volunteer fire department in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, AmeriCorps, an Explorer Scout group, and the Town of Barnstable Conservation Division to offer basic wildland firefighter S-130/S-190 training. A prescribed burn field exercise provided training opportunities and fuel reduction near private homes. The Wreck of the Whydah In the evening of April 26, 1717, Captain Sam Bellamy's and his ship the Whdyah went down with all hands off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The wreck of the former slave ship turned pirate ship has spawned legend after legend of its Captain and onboard treasure. US Life-Saving Service The United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS), the predecessor to the United States Coast Guard, formed in 1878. The story of the USLSS dates to almost 100 years before the service became an official agency, to the noble efforts of the Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a group of affluent individuals seeking to prevent needless deaths from shipwrecks. A black and white photo of seven men wearing uniforms and standing in front of a boat house. 2015 Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award A visit to the Grand Canyon after college and Leslie Reynolds was hooked. Little did she know her love of national parks would take her on an incredible journey of public service and adventures in parks across the country. As the current chief ranger at Cape Cod National Seashore, Reynolds continues to inspire the new generation of park rangers and lead through example. Leslie Yount Sounding Seafloor Habitats: Researchers use sonar to map the underwater resources of four National Parks Researchers, including Monique LaFrance, take part in a landmark mission in four coastal National Parks to map thousands of acres of underwater habitats that have never been surveyed. Together, the four habitat-mapping teams will create maps to help coastal parks in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland better prepare for damaging storms and sea level rise. researcher with equipment aboard a research vessel National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment the National Park Service has developed a number of special programs. This includes online content, exhibits, and special events. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) announces the release of a story map that highlights some of these programs and provides information for the public to locate and participate. Opening slide of the 19th Amendment NPS Commemoration Story Map Series: Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Species Spotlight Learn more about species that call national parks within the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN) home! a peregrine falcon takes flight from the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore. Series: NPS Environmental Achievement Awards Since 2002, the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Environmental Achievement (EA) Awards to recognize staff and partners in the area of environmental preservation, protection and stewardship. A vehicle charges at an Electric Vehicle charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park Places of Katharine Lee Bates and “America the Beautiful” The opening lines of “America the Beautiful” first struck Katharine Lee Bates atop Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains. During the summer of 1893, she embarked on a journey across the United States. Originally written as a poem, many of the lines in Bates’ ode to the American landscape refer to geographical features she encountered during her travels. black and white portrait of Katharine Lee Bates Become a Cape Cod B.A.R.K. Ranger Learn more about Cape Cod's Bark Ranger Program! Dog sitting on beach with waves lapping in the background. Top 10 Tips for Visiting Cape Cod National Seashore Learn about the top 10 tips before visiting Cape Cod National Seashore this summer! Visitor stands on the beach facing the ocean. Series: Curiosity Kit: Katharine Lee Bates Curiosity Kits inspire exploration and learning of history through place. These multi-piece resources include articles that explore historic places and provide educational activities for life-long learners. This kit focuses on Katharine Lee Bates, author of what became the song “America the Beautiful.” Learn about some of the places associated with her life and work. You’ll also find activities and discussion questions for learners of all ages. Katharine Lee Bates Hazardous Fuel Reduction Treatments in the National Capital Area Protects Structures In 2021, wildland fire staff throughout Interior Region (IR) 1 and the National Capital Area continued safeguarding National Park Service (NPS)-owned structures by reducing brush and trees adjacent to them. These efforts adhere to the Wildland Fire Risk Assessment Project, a bureau-wide effort focused on creating and maintaining defensible space around NPS-owned infrastructure. Mastication of fuels surrounding the historic township of Walpack PA Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Estuary Landforms Estuaries are buffer zones between river (freshwater) and ocean (saltwater) environments that are affected by tidal oscillations. sunset over wetlands On a Squishin’ Mission: The Fight Against Spotted Lanternflies Spotted lanternflies are invasive pests that feed on a plant's sap. They threaten more than 100 species of ornamental trees, fruit-bearing trees, and vines. They first appeared in the United States in 2014 and have spread rapidly since then. Help report sightings of this invasive pest and control their spread by squishing them when you see them. A tan bug with black spots sits next to a black and red bug with white spots on a tree branch. Series: Beach and Coastal Landforms Our national parks contain diverse coastal landforms: high-energy rocky shorelines of Acadia National Park, quiet reef-lagoons within War in the Pacific National Historic Park, and the white sandy beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore. Coastal landforms are, or have been, affected to some degree by the direct or indirect effects of waves, tides, and currents, and may extend inland for many miles. aerial view of island and reef Beech Leaf Disease at Cape Cod National Seashore The Beech Forest is now being faced with a challenge: beech leaf disease. First recorded in Ohio in 2012, beech leaf disease arrived with a shroud of mystery about where it came from and how it spreads. It is known, however, that many species of beech can be infected, including American Beech which is found in the Beech Forest. Beech leaf disease was noticed in the Beech Forest of Cape Cod National Seashore in 2021. Green beech leaves with brown stripping between the veins hang on a branch. 50 Nifty Finds #11: Carving a Place in NPS History Few employees have left as visible a mark on National Park Service (NPS) exhibits as John A. Segeren. His work has been enjoyed by generations of park visitors who never knew his name but appreciated his intricate wood carvings and playful animal figures displayed in parks throughout the system. A master woodcarver described by former President Lyndon B. Johnson as "a legacy to this country," Segeren carved out his own place in NPS history. Round wooden plaque with bison, globe, and waterfall Outside Science (inside parks): Ready, Set, Bloom! In this episode, learn more about harmful algal blooms at Cape Cod National Seashore. A researcher rides a speedboat Marine Debris Bites: Finding Artful Opportunities to Bring Awareness to Issues in the Marine Environment Marine debris pollutes natural areas across the globe, including the waters of Cape Cod National Seashore. To address the impacts of marine debris, we can remove and document what is there, spread awareness of the issues, and focus on prevention. With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Cape Cod National Seashore – in partnership with the Center for Coastal Studies and debris artist, Cindy Pease Roe – has installed a marine debris display at Herring Cove Bathhouse. A woman holds onto the front of a shark sculpture she created out of marine debris Uncovering Our Night Skies Surrounded by ocean, but still close to the bright cities of Boston and Providence, the sky above Cape Cod National Seashore does not escape the shining lights. Like the salt marshes, dunes, and beaches of Cape Cod National Seashore, the natural night sky is tied to the health of a greater healthy ecosystem. It is for this reason that National Park Service sites across the country are investing in lighting fixtures with less exposure. Image of the stars and night sky over Coast Guard Station in Eastham. Building Climate Resilience Warmer average temperatures lead to sea level rise, which when aggravated by an aggressive storm, can threaten the vitality of the pristine beaches, picturesque dunes, historic lighthouses, and woodland ecosystems home to the park. With resources and safety at stake, actions to enhance resilience and adaptation are necessary to ensure this sandbar stands the test of time. Model of Race Point Lighthouse under 2018 nor-easter conditions and flooding. Mexican Women’s National Park Service Exchange Program in Cape Cod National Seashore  Four young Mexican women traveled to Cape Cod National Park to present the case for saving a dying lake in their hometown. They consulted with park staff and stakeholders to gain insights and learn from a successful environmental restoration project and to develop strategies to clean-up their beloved lake. Four young Mexican women stand on a footbridge overlooking a salt marsh. National Park Service Request for Proposals (RFP) for Eight Historic Dune Shacks The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFPs) to lease eight historic properties within Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS). The eight historic dune shacks, located within the Peaked Hill Bars National Register of Historic District in Provincetown and Truro, are offered under a lease term of 10 years. Rolling hills of sand dunes and vegetation of the Peaked Hill Bars Historic District. My Park Story: Henry Curletti Meet Law Enforcement Park Ranger, Henry Curletti. A Law Enforcement Park Ranger with a cannon behind him. Lifeguard Recruitment - National Park Service Join the National Park Service and apply to be a lifeguard today! boats on the water Case Study: Cape Cod's Solar Arrays What does it take to mitigate climate change? At Cape Cod National Seashore, determined park planners have made three solar arrays come to life. Because of their efforts, the park is saving money, inspiring visitors, and making a difference in the fight against climate change. Solar panels on a roof at Cape Cod, with a technician standing over them The Southern Pine Beetle: The Tree Killer  With warming winters, a known pest from the southeastern United States is making its way north. The tree-killing southern pine beetle has spread through forests up the east coast, and in 2023, it was discovered within in the bounds of Cape Cod National Seashore. These insects must be carefully managed to ensure the safety of the pine barren habitats of the Cape. A southern pine beetle individual crawling on bark. Photo by Matt Bertone. The Return of the Horseshoe Crabs! When East Harbor was diked in 1868 to build the railroad to Provincetown, the marine life was killed off as the harbor became a freshwater lake with declining water quality. Now, with a 700-foot-long culvert connecting East Harbor to Cape Cod Bay, sea life has been making its way back into East Harbor with the tides—including an ancient arthropod important to the local economy and our Atlantic ecosystem. An intern holds up a horseshoe crab with a white tracker for the camera. Keeping Maples in the Red Maple Swamp The Red Maple Swamp in Eastham was ditched before the creation of Cape Cod National Seashore to address mosquito-related complaints. Standing water was greatly reduced, and a dense understory of plants began to grow. These impenetrable thickets now threaten the ability of new red maples to grow in the Red Maple Swamp. Top view of red maple seedlings sprouting through the dirt and twigs on the ground.

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