While Scusset Beach State Reservation may not actually be “on” the Cape, it’s still a Cape Cod destination worth checking out. Located on the north shore at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal, Scusset Beach offers brilliant views of Cape Cod Bay and passing ships, a pleasant sandy beach, and clear, cool water.
With nearly a half-mile of sandy beach and dunes on Cape Cod Bay, Scusset Beach has plenty of room for sunbathing, playing in the sand and enjoying the view. The soft sand is easy on your feet and while there are some rocky areas, they are easy to avoid. Many of the planks on the boardwalk leading down to the beach at the main entrance are inscribed with dedications. While Scusset Beach is a popular beach with many visitors, it doesn’t seem like it because of the space, accessibility, and abundance of things to do.
Scusset Beach’s relatively calm water is ideal for swimming, though it can be on the cool side. A slow drop off, minimal waves and seasonal lifeguards make it ideal for kids, and the strikingly clear
water lets you easily spot the resident crabs, starfish, clams and sand dollars. A large sand bar appears at low tide that’s also fun to explore. Or you can walk out on the beautiful rock jetty and feel like you’re standing in the middle of the ocean while taking in the view and watching the boats pass by. In the still, clear water, you can find more star fish and rock crabs and may even see a few seals hanging out.
For anglers, Scusset Beach State Reservation offers a fishing pier and over a mile of canal access from the service road. The pier has its own parking lot, restrooms, and a picnic area. There are even grills so you can enjoy your fresh catch right there beside the canal. At dusk, surf casting is also allowed in spots along the beach.
Scusset Beach is near the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway, and the paved service road along canal is used for bicycling, walking, jogging, and skating. A hiking trail leads up to Sagamore Hill and offers bird and wildlife watching opportunities along the way. Once a meeting ground for native tribes and later used for World War II lookouts, Sagamore Hill has fantastic views of Cape Cod Bay and the entrance to the canal with a variety of boats, ships and barges passing through.
Scusset Beach State Reservation and the adjacent Shawme-Crowell State Forest are also popular for camping. The state reservation’s 98 RV sites are available year-round, though off-season camping is limited to weekends and facilities are closed. A handful of tent-only campsites are available in the summer months. The campsites have picnic
tables and there is a shared fire pit for everyone to enjoy.
Scusset Beach State Reservation is open from dawn to dusk with plenty of reasonably priced parking, well maintained bathroom facilities, and a snack bar. Managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the park has an ADA-compliant boardwalk, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, and beach wheelchairs are available. In the summer, there are also interpretive nature programs and fun children’s activities like treasure hunts, games, and park rangers teaching visitors about the marine life and local history.
At Scusset Beach, you get Cape Cod views, sand, nature and history without the crowd levels found at most beaches on the Cape, especially in the mid-summer months. Its proximity to Cape Cod and historic Plymouth along with its sandy beach, scenic picnic areas and opportunities to explore all add up to a truly fabulous experience.