Sandy Neck Nature Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Barnstable, Massachusetts that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Hiked out to the tenting are (fee required) in a rain storm on September 13, 2015. It is approx 3.7 miles along the beach side to the tenting area. It is a beautiful hike along the ocean but you walk in sand the entire time. The tenting area is protected from the wind with wild cranberries and beach plums in the area. The next day, in beautiful weather, we hiked along the marsh trail which is mostly flat but also sandy. My legs from the knees down got a geed work out. On a nice day it is a beautiful hike if you can handle hiking on the sand.
Hiked out to the tenting campsite along the back trail. Very buggy, with difficult terrain to move quickly through. Expect to spend twice as much time along the dunes as you would along the water's edge. It seems more like an ATV trail than a hiking trail.
This hike is mostly flat but sandy. The trail can be hiked out and back or as a loop onto the beach. You can loop can make a 1.6 mile loop that will take about 1 hour at a strong pace or 2 hours at a leisurely pace. If you have not hiked here before I recommend trying the short loop for your first hike. The view of the marsh estuary system and sand dunes is amazing. Here's a link to a trail guide.http://town.barnstable.ma.us/SandyNeckPark/FileUploads/sandynecktrails.pdf
If you do not have a Sandwich or Barnstable beach sticker and it is summer beach hours I would call the ranger gatehouse to ask about nature trail parking or you may have to pay a fee for beach lot parking. The water is ALWAYS cold here, be forewarned if your plan to swim as you hike the beach back to the parking area!
Nice open trail but too much loose beach sand for us to really enjoy on a warm day.