Pets at Cape Cod National Seashore

A woman walks two dogs down a boardwalk over a sandy area.
Enjoying the seashore with your best friends!

NPS Photo.

Pets are great companions for enjoying the out-of-doors. At numerous locations in Cape Cod National Seashore, people and their pets can experience the remote beauty and tranquility of this fragile place. Where they are allowed, pets must be on a 6' leash at all times, and important restrictions apply. Clean up and pack out all pet waste.

Current status regarding pet allowances and closures at Cape Cod National Seashore-managed beaches; references to north/south and right/left assume you are facing the water. Be aware that conditions can change quickly depending on the status of nesting birds, and be observant for and adhere to signage regarding closures.Closures are in effect 24/7.

Nauset Light Beach, Eastham, walk north (to the left) of the access point. The south area (to the right) of the access point is open for 1/2 mile.
Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, walk south (to the right) of the stairs. Pets may not be taken north (to the left) of the stairs.
Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, south (left of the bathhouse) for 1/4 mile. Pets may not be taken north (to the right) of the bathhouse.

Coast Guard Beach, Eastham
Hatches Harbor spit, Provincetown
Jeremy Point, Wellfleet, from the end of the Great Island Trail to Jeremy Point spit
Race Point Beach
Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, north (the left) of the stairs to LeCount Hollow Beach
Head of the Meadow, Truro
⛔ Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, north (to the right) of the bathhouse, including the beach and the north parking lot area

Other areas where leashed pets are permitted:

  • All fire roads within Cape Cod National Seashore (depicted on topographic maps available at park and local bookstores);
  • Head of the Meadow Bicycle Trail year round and Province Lands and Nauset bike trails, November 1-April 30;
  • Freshwater ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore (beaches and water), October 16-May 14;
  • Cape Cod National Seashore ocean beaches except as follows:
    • During the summer, pets are not permitted on lifeguard-protected beaches. However, leashed pets are permitted to pass through lifeguard protected areas in order to reach areas where they may otherwise be allowed. If there are shorebird closures on or beyond lifeguard-protected beaches, pets are not allowed to walk through.
    • During shorebird nesting, staging, and migrating periods, pets are not permitted in posted locations. Passing through these areas is prohibited 24/7.
Where pets are not permitted:
  • Designated nature trails at any time; check signs and at visitor centers for Great Island exceptions;
  • Nauset and Province Lands bike trails, May 1-October 31;
  • Fresh water ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore (beaches and water), May 15-October 15;
  • Areas where certain shorebirds nest, especially the piping plover, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Birds may abandon nests when they perceive threats or are disturbed. These areas are posted seasonally when prohibition is in effect;
  • On lifeguard-protected beaches during the summer months. You may walk your leashed pet through these areas to enjoy walks on stretches of beach;
  • West and Sunset horse trails in the Province Lands;
  • Cape Cod National Seashore trams, except working service animals.
  • Pets must be leash-controlled to prevent them from disturbing people and other pets, from harassing wildlife, and for their own safety.
  • Pick up your pet's fecal matter, remove it, and dispose of it properly.
  • Protection rangers enforce National Park Service pet regulations for the benefit of visitors and the seashore's unique environment. Failure to leash your pet or being in an area closed to pets may result in a fine.
  • Town pet regulations apply to town-managed beaches and town property within the national seashore boundary.
Image of a sign on the beach advising no pets
Be observant for signs indicating temporary pet closures to protect shorebirds.

Last updated: July 7, 2020

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99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667


(508) 255-3421

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