Places to Explore on Cape Cod & the Islands

Not sure where to start exploring? Try visiting one of our wildlife sanctuaries on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, or Nantucket. At three sanctuaries with nature centers, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable staff members and volunteers will be happy to help you make the most of your visit!

Nature Centers & Trails

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Edgartown
Trails: 4 miles

Miles of trails through woodlands, meadows, ponds, salt marsh, and along the shorelines of Martha's Vineyard, which allow for exploration, discovery, and quiet contemplation. Details >

Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary

Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Barnstable
Trails: 2.5 miles

Sandy beaches, butterfly-filled meadows, woodland trails, farm animals, and gentle, varied trails lead to Barnstable Harbor flanked by the dunes of Sandy Neck Barrier Beach. Details >

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

View of the marsh at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary © Lauren Fenn
© Lauren Fenn
 
 

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Wellfleet
Trails: 5 miles

Find peace and unmatched beauty on the hillsides and shoreline overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. Extensive trails bring you to a panoramic salt marsh, sandy barrier beach, and pine woodlands. Details >

Just Trails

Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary

Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Falmouth
Trails: 1.5 miles

Known for its 1,000 holly trees of 65 varieties, Ashumet Holly also features an eight-acre coastal plain pond, considered a globally rare natural community attracting over 30 species of dragonflies and rare pondshore wildflowers. Details >

Barnstable Great Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Egret © Bob Slott
© Bob Slott

Barnstable Great Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Barnstable
Trails: 1.5 miles

This sanctuary is part of the ecologically significant 3,800-acre Sandy Neck salt marsh and barrier beach system. Find expansive salt marsh views, two open ponds, shady oak woodlands, and numerous wildlife. Details >

Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary

Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Nantucket
Trails: 3 miles

Discover two of Massachusetts’ rarest habitats—coastal heathland and sandplain grassland; Sesachacha Pond is a magnet for birds, with 300 species recorded here. Details >

Skunknett River Wildlife Sanctuary

Skunknett River Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Barnstable
Trails: 1 mile

Walk the tree-lined trails to witness nature reclaiming former mill sites, explore a fragrant atlantic white cedar swamp, and look in the waterways for American eel. Details >

No Trails

Sampsons Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Sampsons Island © Ellen Jedry
© Ellen Jedry
 
 

Sampsons Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Barnstable
Trails: none

Piping plovers, least terns, and common terns nest on the island, earning it an Important Bird Area designation. Access to the island is limited to protect nesting areas. Details >