If your family includes a beloved four-legged member, we can help you find dog friendly beaches on Cape Cod. While Cape Cod beaches are a hub of recreational activities all year round, offering beautiful shoreline views for everyone and their families, they are also home to protected areas for many endangered and threatened bird species. To protect these birds, many beaches have had to restrict or ban dogs on the beach.
Dog Friendly Beaches on Cape Cod :
1. Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable
Sandy Beach is the only beach in Barnstable that allows dogs year-round.
Other Barnstable Beaches permit dogs from September 16 through May 14 if they’re leashed or obey voice commands.
2. Beaches in Brewster
Beaches in Brewster only allow dogs from October 2-April 30. They must be on a leash at all times.
3. Beaches in Orleans
Orleans beaches (like Nauset beach) state that pets can be brought to the beach from September 7 till March 31.
On Nauset Beach South, dogs have to be on a 30 feet-long leash at all times from April 1 to Labor Day. They can be off the leash throughout the rest of the year.
4. Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore allows owners to bring dogs to all its six beaches throughout the year. However, there are some restricted areas to be steered clear of.
These include all nature trails, rare birds’ nesting areas, lifeguard-protected beaches, the West and Sunset horse trails in the Province Lands, and trams that run on the National Seashore.
National Seashore allows visitors to bring dogs to freshwater ponds only from October 16-May 14. They’re permitted on the Province Lands bike trail from November 1-April 30.
You can bring your dog to the Meadow bicycle trail all year round.
They need to be on a leash that’s at least 6 feet long throughout their stay on the beach.
5. Beaches in Chatham
Chatham beaches place restrictions on visitors from bringing their dogs during the months of April-September 15. However, they are allowed the rest of the year.
6. Beaches in Dennis
Dennis beaches allow dogs yearly except for the Friday that falls in the week of Memorial Day up till September 6.
Dogs shouldn’t be brought during nesting season as a precautionary measure for the rare birds on Cape Cod’s shores.
7. Beaches in Eastham
Eastham beaches let owners bring their dogs from September 7-June 14. They must be leashed at all times. Remember, town pet regulations apply wherever you may take your dog.
8. Beaches in Falmouth
Falmouth allows dogs from September 31-April 30. Knob Beach in Falmouth is one of these stunning beaches that offer a breathtaking view of Buzzards Bay and the shoreline. Your dog would love it!
9. Beaches in Harwich
At Harwich, dogs can be taken to the beach and can swim in its waters from September 6 and before May 31.
The Red River Beach parking lot is also open for you to walk your dog.
Its timings are sunrise to 9 a.m. during regular days and from 4:30 p.m. till sunset on the weekend of Memorial Day till September 6.
10. Beaches in Provincetown
Since some of Provincetown beaches (Race Point, Herring Cove) are part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, the same rules apply.
Since Cape Cod has many endangered birds on its shores, its areas are sometimes closed off. You can check with the Town of Sandwich website for updates.
Apart from that, they are allowed on beaches from September 16 to May 14 and must be leashed at all times.
You can bring your dog to Truro beaches from September 7 till the third Friday in June. Timings for pets from the third Saturday of June till September 6 are 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. daily.
What other things can you do with dogs on Cape Cod?
And in case you’ve missed that time of year when you can take them to the beach, we’ve made a list of other recreational activities for dogs at Cape Cod! There are many recreational activities for dogs, like dog parks, hiking trails, and conservation areas, that are open year-round.
1. Dog Parks
Cape Cod offers many dog parks like the Yarmouth Dog Park, Falmouth Dog Park, and Barnstable Dog Park, where you can take your pet for a fun day in the Sun!
The Fresh Pond Dog Park is another example. This Park has two fenced-in areas that are safely enclosed with double gates.
It also provides a walking trail through the woods and lovely, sparkling sand for your dog to play around on!
Parks like The Pilgrim Bark Park in Provincetown not only provide a 6-foot-tall fence but separate enclosures for dogs of different weights.
2. Hiking Trails
Hiking Trails like the Cape Cod Rail Trail in Brewster is a beautiful stretch of land to walk your dog.
The trail leads through several towns on the cape. Tracks in Barnstable that are dog friendly include bridge creek, Crocker neck, Hathaway Pond, and long pond trail.
Nickerson State Park in Brewster has some of the most picturesque hiking trails and ponds for your dog to splash around in.
The Morris Island trail in Chatham offers a ¾ mile walk that gives you a splendid view of the beaches, marshes, and tidal flats of the Cape Cod shoreline.
3. Conservation Areas
Areas like Brewster offer conservation areas aside from the beach that are open for dogs year-round.
The Indian Lands Conservation Area in Brewster provides a beautiful view of the river and marshes.
The Bells Neck Conservation Lands provide trails that run along the Herring River, making for a breathtaking view of its still waters while you walk your dog.
Other areas are the Cottontail Acres in Eastham, which have trailed that flow through wildflower meadows, Long Pond Conservation Area in Falmouth, and Kent’s Point Conservation Area in Orleans.
All in all, dog friendly beaches on Cape Cod are available, with only some restrictions that are imposed for the safety of other people and the threatened bird species. But if these are closed during nesting periods, there are also many other dog friendly parks and activities on the Cape.