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Cape Cod National Seashore facts for kids

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Cape Cod National Seashore
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
A circular logo depicting a sand dune topped with beach grass next to the ocean, with a white sea bird flying overhead.
Official logo
Cape Cod National Seashore.png
Location Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Nearest city Barnstable, Massachusetts
Area 43,607.14 acres (176.4718 km2)
Established August 7, 1961
Visitors 4,083,505 (in 2020)
Governing body National Park Service
Website Cape Cod National Seashore

The Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS), created on August 7, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, encompasses 43,607 acres (68.1 sq mi; 176.5 km2) on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. It includes ponds, woods and beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. The CCNS includes nearly 40 miles (64 km) of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. It is administered by the National Park Service.

Places of interest

Notable sites encompassed by the CCNS include Marconi Station, site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission, and the Highlands Center for the Arts, formerly the North Truro Air Force Station. Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District is a 1,950-acre historic district containing dune shacks and the dune environment. The glacial erratic known as Doane Rock is also located in the park.

A former United States Coast Guard station on the ocean in Truro is now operated as a 42-bed youth hostel by Hostelling International USA.

There are several paved bike trails:

  • Nauset Bike Trail - Eastham
  • Head of the Meadow Trail - Truro
  • Province Lands Trails - Provincetown

Restoration efforts

As part of the NPS Centennial Initiative, the Herring River estuary will be restored to its natural state through removal of dikes and drains that date back to 1909.


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