Sandy Neck Preserve

Why You Should Visit
Characterized by sand dunes and coastal thicket, this six-mile barrier beach protects some of the best dune and swale communities in the Northeast. The beach provides important nesting and feeding habitat for migrating shorebirds and the federally threatened piping plover. Diamondback terrapin turtles also nest and feed in the dunes and saltmarsh.

Sandy Neck Road, West Barnstable, Massachusetts

12 acres

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Sandy Neck is one of the most intact and largest best beach and dune systems in the region.

What the Conservancy Has Done
The Nature Conservancy has assisted in the protection of six additional tracts in the larger Sandy Neck/Great Marsh system that are now held by other entities. The Conservancy also successfully initiated and managed invasive species at the site from 2001-2009 and contributed to the creation of a nature trail.

What to See:
Dune plants and saltmarsh plants and depending on what season you visit Piping Plovers, migrating shorebirds and neotropical migrant songbirds. Due to the difficulty of access to Conservancy property, we recommend you visit the town of Barnstable’s beach and marked trails including a nature trail that begins at the property’s gatehouse. Visitors are instructed to stay on the beach, dune or marsh trails, as access to dunes is not permitted. Information and policies related to Sandy Neck Beach Park can be found here. Note: you must pay for parking during the summer.

If you have any questions while planning your outing, please contact our Boston office at (617) 532-8300.


From Boston:

  • Take Route 93S to Route 3. 
  • Follow Route 3 to Sagamore Bridge and then take Route 6 to Exit 5. 
  • Turn left onto Route 149N (approximately 1 mile). 
  • Take a left onto Route 6A (approximately 4 miles).
  • Look for Sandy Neck Road on the right, just before the Sandy Neck Motel. Turn right and drive to the end of the street to the parking lot.

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