Permits & Reservations

1960s station wagon sits at beach entrance.
1960s station wagon sits at beach entrance.

Harpers Ferry Center

Some activities at Cape Cod National Seashore may require permits or reservations. These include, but are not limited to: special events such as weddings, filming or photography, and off-road vehicle driving.

Beach Campfire Permits

A limited number of campfire permits per day, per national seashore-managed beach, may be reserved up to three days in advance in person or by phone. For fires at Coast Guard, Nauset Light, and Marconi beaches, reserve a permit at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham. For fires at Head of the Meadow, Race Point, and Herring Cove beaches, reserve at Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown. Fire permits for ORV permit-holders are issued by the Oversand Station.

Permits are free and available beginning at 9 am each day. Those reserving in person are given preference over people reserving by phone. Permits are available until they are all reserved. Demand usually exceeds the number of permits available, and lines form early.

Due to shorebird nesting, beach fire permits are NOT available at Head of the Meadow Beach.


  • Permits are issued at the time of reservation.
  • Permits are issued to an adult who will be at the fire. When making a reservation, a vehicle license plate number, local address and contact number, and number of people attending the fire are required.
  • Fires may be cancelled and permits nullified in the event of high wind, extreme high tide, or other factors.
  • Fires must be built on the open beach in designated areas. Fires may not exceed 3 feet.
  • Portable fire pits of all kinds are prohibited on seashore beaches.
  • Portable charcoal and gas-fueled stoves/grills are allowed and do not require a permit. Remove all charcoal from the beach and dispose of it in a fire-safe container. Portable grills must be used for cooking.
  • Fires must be extinguished no later than 11:30 pm.
  • Permittees must adhere to group size limits; obtaining multiple permits to increase group size is not allowed.
  • Fireworks, fire lanterns, and launching, landing, and operating drones on seashore lands are all prohibited.
  • Remove all trash, including food scraps, which attracts wildlife. Do not feed or approach wildlife.
  • Pets restrictions are in place from spring through fall in some areas to protect shorebirds. Restrictions are in place 24/7. Depending on the beach and current restrictions, pets may be prohibited in fire permit areas. Check at time of reservation and adhere to all posted signage at beaches.
  • For fires on town-managed beaches, check with the respective town.
Chart of fire permit days.

Special Use Permits

Cape Cod National Seashore is home to many beautiful landscapes and settings that are ideal venues for a variety of special activities such as events, wedding ceremonies, and film and photography projects. Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service determines that the activities involved will not impair park values and resources. Read more about special use permits and the necessary requirements.

Off Road Vehicle Oversand Permits

The Off Road Vehicle (ORV) corridor at Cape Cod National Seashore is comprised of miles of unspoiled beaches managed by the National Park Service to accommodate ORV enthusiasts and other beach goers. Read more about how to get an ORV permit.

Commercial Use Authorizations

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs), are a type of permit that fall under the authority of Section 418 of the National Park Service Concession Management Improvement Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C 5966 Public Law 105-391). The section authorizes the National Park Service to issue CUAs to individuals, corporations, and other entities to provide commercial services to park visitors in limited circumstances. Learn more.

Visiting researchers at Cape Cod National Seashore
Researchers from Flinders University, East Carolina University, and the University of Victoria in British Colombia, at a study site for their collaborative project investigating the dynamics of dune blowouts at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Photo/Megan Tyrrell

Research Permits

All Principal Investigators must obtain a research permit prior to conducting research within any national park. Investigators are encouraged to apply at least 90 days prior to their planned arrival at Cape Cod National Seashore.

For more information please visit the NPS Research Permit and Reporting System website, and read the FAQ section found on the Help page. Review the archive of Investigator's Annual Reports to learn more about research projects past and present.

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Last updated: January 31, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667


To contact NPS Law Enforcement or report an incident, please call the 24-hour dispatch: 617-242-5659. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

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