Pets at Cape Cod National Seashore

A person walks on the beach at sunrise with a leashed dog
Pets are welcome in many areas of the national seashore. Look for signs and please adhere to closures.

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. Learn more about our B.A.R.K. Ranger program here!

Beach areas open to pets as of 7/18/2021

Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, to the north (to the left) of beach access
Nauset Light Beach, Eastham, to the north and south
Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, to the south (to the right) of the stairs
Great Island, Wellfleet, to the north (to the right) of the beach access point for approximately 1/2 mile.
Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, to the south of the bathhouse complex (to the left as you are facing the water) for approximately 1/8 mile.

If you don't find the beach that you're looking for on this list, don't forget to check out each Town's beach website.


Current pet closures for shorebird nesting and migration as of 7/12/2021

Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, closed to pets to the south (to the right) of the beach access point until 10/15.
Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, closed to pets to the north (to the left) of the beach access point.
Great Island, Wellfleet, closed to pets about 1/2 mile north of access point and closed to the south from the first beach access point. No pets allowed beyond first beach access point on backside of the dunes into the marsh or Great Island Trail. Jeremy Point remains closed to pets until 10/15.
Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro, entire beach closed to pets.
Race Point Beach, Provincetown, entire beach closed to pets.
Herring Cove marsh and spit, Provincetown, until 10/15
Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, closed 1/8 mile south (to the left as you are facing the water) of bathhouse, and along the entire beach north of the bathhouse (to the right as you are facing the water)
Hatches Harbor spit, Provincetown, until 10/15


Where leashed pets are permitted parkwide:

  • All fire roads within Cape Cod National Seashore;
  • 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 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. Walking pets in these areas is prohibited 24/7.
Image of a sign on the beach advising no pets
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.

Last updated: July 30, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667


To speak to a park ranger, call 508-255-3421 for visitor information.

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