Cape Cod Canal

Quick Facts

Cape Cod Canal

Massachusetts

(508) 833-9678

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The gateway to Cape Cod, with many nearby shops, tourist attractions and recreation facilities. State and town-managed campgrounds are located at various points next to the Canal. The area is popular for bicycling and fishing. The Cape Cod Canal is located within the coastal eco-region of the state of Massachusetts. The waterway bisects the town of Bourne, with the eastern end in Sandwich. The property includes 982 acres of project land situated along the 7.4 mile land cut. The Canal's project land also includes areas at Stony Point and Mashnee Dikes and Wings Neck. Much of the Canal consists of a narrow (generally less than 500 foot wide) strip of land. The Canal property includes many plant and animal species more commonly found more to the south. These species survive this far north courtesy of a marine climate that moderates the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

Map of Cape Cod Canal

Latitude, Longitude: 41.776049, -70.543728

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Activities

  • Boating

    If adequately powered, recreational vessels may transit the Canal. Sailing in the Canal is prohibited; sailboats must use auxiliary power during Canal passage. All boaters should familiarize themselves with the Canal's changing currents prior to attempting Canal transit. In a restricted channel such as the Cape Cod Canal, smaller vessels should stay to the right and give way to the larger commercial vessel traffic.

    The East Boat Basin located on the south side of the Canal in Sandwich has slips for recreational and commercial vessels. The area is leased by the Corps of Engineers to the Town of Sandwich. On a fee basis, boaters may utilize the marina's slips or boat ramp. On the west end of the Canal the Buttermilk Bay channel provides boaters access to the Taylor Point Marina, which is owned by the Town of Bourne.

  • Bicycling

    Service roads which parallel both sides of the Canal are available for bicycling, jogging and walking. Each service road is approximately seven miles long. Parking areas, comfort stations and picnic areas are provided at various access points along both sides of the Canal. Benches are placed along the service roads for visitors enjoyment.

  • Camping

    Trailer and tent camping areas are provided on Canal lands at two locations, on the north side of the Canal. Under a long term lease agreement with the Corps of Engineers, Bourne Scenic Park is operated by the Bourne Recreation Authority. The park offers facilities for both tent and recreational vehicle camping. Another long term lease has been issued by the Corps of Engineers to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for operation of Scusset Beach State Reservation. Located on the east end of the Canal, Scusset Beach State Reservation has camp sites for recreation vehicles.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted from the Canal banks in all areas except Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the Canal Administration area in Buzzards Bay. Caution is advised as the rip rap slopes can be slippery. Access point for handicap fishing is available at the Sandwich bulkhead area and the Scusset Beach fishing pier. Salt water fishing and lobstering are subject to State regulations and licensing.

  • Hiking

    The Bournedale Hills Trail extends 1.4 miles along the north side of the Canal from Bourne Scenic Park to the Herring Run. The trail includes a .8 mile self guided loop which interprets the Canal's historic and natural features.

    Within Scusset Beach State Reservation the .7 mile trail to Sagamore Hill provides access to an area that was once a Native American Indian meeting ground and later the site of a World War II Coastal Fortification. The top of Sagamore Hill commands a view of the Canal's east entrance and Cape Cod Bay.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is permitted in some designated areas.

  • Picnicking

    The Canal provides a unique, close-up view of ocean going ships and tugs underway as they utilize the canal route between Cape Cod Bay and Buzzards Bay. Cruise lines, cargo ships and jumbo car carriers can be seen from the Canal banks. From the simple lines of a working harbor tug to the sleek look of a luxury yacht, the Canal provides a continuous parade of vessels to observe and enjoy

  • RVing

    Trailer and tent camping areas are provided on Canal lands at two locations, on the north side of the Canal. Under a long term lease agreement with the Corps of Engineers, Bourne Scenic Park is operated by the Bourne Recreation Authority. The park offers facilities for both tent and recreational vehicle camping. Another long term lease has been issued by the Corps of Engineers to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for operation of Scusset Beach State Reservation. Located on the east end of the Canal, Scusset Beach State Reservation has camp sites for recreation vehicles.

  • Water Sports

    Because of the swift current, swimming and scuba diving are prohibited in the Canal. A swimming beach on Cape Cod Bay is available at Scusset Beach State Reservation.

  • Winter Sports

    Please visit the website for more information.

Seasonality/Weather

The visitor center is open seasonally from May to October and offers free programs on a variety of subjects.

Directions

Driving

Take I-195 from Providence, RI or MA 3 from Boston. The visitor center is located on the Cape-side of the Canal at 60 Ed Moffitt Drive in Sandwich, MA near the Sandwich Marina and the US Coast Guard Station.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(508) 833-9678

Links