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Spend the Weekend Camping on Cape Cod

When you buy a home on the Cape, you'll have all the outdoor activities you could ever want at your fingertips.

If you want to go for a swim, the ocean and countless kettle ponds are right there.

Fancy some fishing? The options are endless.

Just want to lounge on the beach? There's sand everywhere.

Hiking and biking trails are abundant, and there are sports options up and down Cape Cod, as well.

And if you want to make an entire weekend of your time in the outdoors, there are quite a few places to camp on the Cape. Here's a look at some of the most popular.

Nickerson State Park

When Cape Cod residents decide to go camping, one of the first places they consider is Nickerson State Park.

There are some excellent reasons for this venue's popularity, as it has seven different camping areas with a total of over 400 spaces, all of which are surrounded by trees and close to at least one of the park's eight freshwater ponds.

When camping with the kids, you'll be happy to know that there are swimming areas at Cliff Pond and Flax Pond, in addition to boating, fishing, biking, and hiking opportunities. There's also a playground, a basketball court, and a store, so your weekend at Nickerson State Park is sure to be full of endless activity.

Bourne Scenic Park

Bourne Scenic Park is another massive camping area that sits off the Cape on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal. The facility is just over the Bourne Bridge and popular because of its outstanding Canal views and easy accessibility.

The campground has been around since 1951 and has nearly 440 sites available, in addition to some cabins and lodges.

As for the amenities, the campground provides easy access to the path that runs beside the Cape Cod Canal, making it pretty straightforward to do some fishing, biking, hiking, or rollerblading. There's also a game room featuring video games and movies, an on-site store, a playground, and a swimming pool.

Although you won't exactly be roughing it when spending a couple of nights at Bourne Scenic Park, it provides a full-service camping experience that you're sure to love.

Adventure Bound Camping Resorts

Over on the Cape Cod National Seashore, Adventure Bound has a couple of different campgrounds a few minutes from each other.

The North Truro Camping Area has nearly 300 sites, in addition to a horseshoe pit, a playground, and a dog park. 

Horton's Camping Area is smaller but also has a playground and a store. 

You can walk to the beach from either location, and Horton's even has a direct path to the Highland Links Golf Course.

North of Highland Camping Area

Just north of Adventure Bound is the North of Highland Camping Area. This facility is popular because it's just a short walk from Head of the Meadow Beach. It also offers access to a paved bike trail that travels through the woods and ends near Pilgrim Lake.

The campground has 237 sites scattered throughout its 59 acres of pine forests, so you'll have plenty of privacy when staying there. On-site facilities include a recreation hall with foosball and pool tables, a store, laundry facilities, a playground, and an adults-only quiet lounge.

Washburn Island

The most rustic camping experience on Cape Cod is probably found on Washburn Island in the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This location is one of the largest undeveloped coastal areas on the Cape and features a barrier beach, pine and oak forests, and access to a coastal salt pond.

You can only get to the island by boat, so you'll have to pack everything you need for your time there on your vessel. From there, you can beach your boat or anchor off the shore and wade to the bank.

The campground only has ten sites, one of which is a group site with space for up to 25 people. You'll need a reservation to camp there, and it's recommended that you book early because it tends to fill up in the summer.

Beach Camping

For another rustic camping experience, you might consider setting up on one of the Cape's beaches. There are strict rules for beach camping, but these facilities provide perhaps the most relaxing place to stay on Cape Cod.

Sandy Neck Beach Park has multiple camping options, depending on the equipment you have.

For starters, if you own a self-contained camping vehicle with both a gray water and septic tank, you can purchase an ORV pass and spend the night on the beach. No trailers or tents are allowed.

However, if you don't have an RV, you can camp in the primitive tenting area at Sandy Neck Beach. You'll have to hike 3.3 miles from the parking lot with your gear to camp there, but it's worth it for the secluded nature of the sites.

More beach camping is available at Race Point Beach. Much like Sandy Neck, you'll need a self-contained vehicle to stay on the sand, and no trailers or tents are permitted.

Camping on the beach takes a bit of planning, but it's well worth the effort because the payoff is amazing.

Camping on Cape Cod

After buying your home on Cape Cod, you'll probably spend a lot of time getting to know the area. And what better way to learn about the Cape than spending a few nights in one of its beautiful campgrounds?

These sites offer some of the country's best camping, and they'll all be mere minutes from your house once you relocate to this area.

Published April 16, 2021 in Get to Know Cape Cod, Exploring Our Area