The best beach running on the Cape tends to be on the Bay side. While the ocean side is more rugged and scenic, the beaches there tend to be sloped, and firm sand for running is not predictable. The Bay side is marked by long, flat stretches of beach with big tides, revealing tide pools and mud flats at low tide. When the tide is out, it can be 1/2 mile just to run from the beach to the water!
There are miles of Bay side beaches on the Cape, but one of my favorites is in the Brewster area, near Nickerson State Park and Skaket Beach. One can do about 5 miles, one way, between Breakwater Beach to the north, past Rock Harbor, all the way to Boat Meadow Landing in the south. In good conditions, this is beach running heaven. Two caution points: the running is VERY DEPENDENT on the tides. Near Skaket Beach and Rock Harbor, there are breaks where the water fills in and you can get caught (or have to swim across the break). The beach is not nearly as runnable at high tide. So study your tide charts carefully. Also, when it’s windy on the Bay side, the sand can “ripple”, which can make it a bit challenging or unpleasant to run, especially in bare feet.
Other Good Bayside beaches for running:
- Corporation Beach, Dennis. Nearby: Chapin Beach, Mayflower Beach
- Sandy Neck Beach, Barnstable. Six mile long barrier beach
- Boardwalk Beach, Sandwich
- Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown
- 5 miles, one-way from Breakwater Beach to Boat Meadow Landing
- Generally flat
- Anywhere along the beach
- Permit only in season, in sections. Public Parking at Skaket Beach