About Barnstable Great Marsh

Egret © Bob Slott
© Bob Slott

Barnstable Great Marsh is an integral part of the ecologically significant 3,800-acre Sandy Neck salt marsh and barrier beach system. Along with the expansive salt marsh views, the sanctuary features two open ponds, shady oak woodlands, and numerous wildlife.

Three species of owls commonly inhabit the sanctuary in winter, and five species of turtles nest here in summer.


2444 West Main Street (Rte 6A), Barnstable, MA 
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Trails: Open daily, dawn to dusk


Free, donations appreciated 

→ For your safety and to avoid conflicts with wildlife, please follow our sanctuary guidelines during your visit.



Trail Mileage

1.5 miles
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Sanctuary Highlights

  • Coastal overlook for spectacular views of the Barnstable Harbor and Sandy Neck Barrier Beach.
  • Home to numerous ground-nesting birds including Northern Harrier, American Woodcock, Saltmarsh Sparrow, and Willet.
  • Please exercise caution at unsignalized railroad crossing.

Property Regulations 

All of the land at our wildlife sanctuaries is protected. By conserving these open spaces, Mass Audubon, along with our members and partners, is able to fulfill its mission of protecting the nature of Massachusetts.  

  • No dog walking or horseback riding; please leave all animals and pets at home (service animals welcome) 
  • No walking off trail  
  • No collecting or picking natural items.  
  • No bike riding or operating motorized vehicles; day passes are available for powered mobility devices   
  • No running, swimming, or camping 
  • No operating drones or other remote-controlled vehicles   
  • No fishing, hunting, trapping, or releasing of animals   
  • No feeding wildlife   
  • No Smoking