Sandy Neck

Barnstable, Massachusetts

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Sandy Neck is a classic Massachusetts coastal barrier, similar in structure to Nauset Beach and Great Island in Orleans and Wellfleet, respectively, and Crane Beach in Ipswich on Boston’s North Shore. Each protects an inland marsh/estuary system; the collection of tidal creeks and cordgrass that sprawls between the backside of Sandy Neck and the mainland is nourished by Barnstable Harbor, an inlet of Cape Cod Bay and Scorton Creek, which extends from the upper bay. As the weather warms, this fish-rich environment draws migrating osprey, whose nest poles can be easily seen from the Marsh Trail, the main hiking route leading from the Sandy Hook gatehouse.

Sandy Neck Professional Review and Guide

"Sandy Neck is a classic Massachusetts coastal barrier, similar in structure to Nauset Beach and Great Island in Orleans and Wellfleet, respectively, and Crane Beach in Ipswich on Boston’s North Shore.

Each protects an inland marsh/estuary system; the collection of tidal creeks and cordgrass that sprawls between the backside of Sandy Neck and the mainland is nourished by Barnstable Harbor, an inlet of Cape Cod Bay and Scorton Creek, which extends from the upper bay. As the weather warms, this fish-rich environment draws migrating osprey, whose nest poles can be easily seen from the Marsh Trail, the main hiking route leading from the Sandy Hook gatehouse."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Barnstable
Distance: 6
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Best Spring through Fall
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Sandy Neck

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May 2018