Have you ever visited the Cape Cod National Seashore in the winter? Winter is a great time to explore the diverse and rugged Cape Cod National Seashore which spans 45,000 acres, running along the eastern shoreline for almost 40 miles. The preserve protects ponds, beaches, and woodlands in Provincetown, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. The history component of the land is undeniable because much of it encompasses where the Pilgrims traveled through after disembarking the Mayflower at Provincetown Harbor in 1620 and 1621.
History of Cape Cod National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore was created in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy would regularly spend the summer months at Hyannis Port on Cape Cod and had developed a strong affinity for the area. He wanted to preserve the area for generations to enjoy. Today, the National Park Service manages the preserve.
What to Wear at Cape Cod National Seashore in the Winter
The weather of Cape Cod National Seashore varies throughout the seasons. During the winter months, the temperature is typically much milder than in the inlet, but the air does feel damp due to the ocean and the wind chill factor. If you decide to visit the area during the winter, you’ll want to dress appropriately. Ideally, you should wear layers so you can peel if necessary. The temperature usually hovers between 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the mid-winter months but can sometimes dip below zero
Hours of Operation
You can visit the Cape Cod National Seashore year-round. Most tourists flock to the area from June to September when the visitor centers are open and there is a wide assortment of programs going on. However, some of the visitor facilities close from November to April so you’ll want to plan for the possible closures in the area when you decide to visit.
If you are planning to visit in the winter months to avoid the crowds and enjoy the solitude of the area, then be sure to pay attention to any alerts or closures. Check out the ‘current park conditions’ page to stay current on what is open during the winter months such as facilities and bathrooms.
Walking with Pets at Cape Cod National Seashore
During the winter, all eleven walking trails are open, but pets are not permitted on almost all the trails. You can walk a leashed pet during the winter months on the Doane Trail in Eastham, the Pilgrim Springs Trail in Truro, and a small area of the Great Island Trail in Wellfleet. When walking your pet, always clean up.
The walking trails are not open to bikes but there are other areas where you can ride. You can even bike with your leashed pet year-round on the Head of the Meadow Bike Trial and from November 1 to April 30th on the Nauset and Provence Lands bike trails
2023 Winter Requirements
If you plan on taking a winter walk in Cape Cod National Seashore, then you’ll need to carry a mask. As of January 2023, Barnstable County is at high (red alert) for COVID-19 transmission according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Levels tool. Due to the increased danger, masks are required in all the builds at the National Seashore. The staff at the park stay current on the levels of transmission to determine when and where masks are required.
Should I Visit Cape Cod National Seashore in the Winter?
Do you crave peace and quiet while enjoying the remarkable coastline landscape? If so, then Cape Cod National Seashore in the winter is an ideal place to take a walk in the winter. You’ll avoid the tourists even if the weather is a little crisp. Simply plan with your winter apparel and consider that the days are shorter so your visit to the area will be cut short by the sinking sun.