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Roland C. Nickerson State Park

by Shawn Davis


    My next park experience came by the way of Roland C. Nickerson State Park, located on Cape Cod in the town of Brewster. This park is known for being family friendly and popular amongst both locals and seasonal visitors. In the two days I was there, I met families from Montreal and Quebec that make the long trip every year to the park. I also met visitors that live in town and make a retreat to the park to relax and “get away”. Nickerson State Park has a unique setting in which classic woodland camping and freshwater recreation is available to visitors as well as an ocean experience. I believe this is the reason for which many of the visitors come here. There is a variety of activities and experiences to be had while enjoying the park and its local surroundings.

    Within the park are six crystal clear ponds that are all accessible to campers. Each of the ponds has walking paths that follow their perimeter, making the shorelines accessible. These unique trails were great in finding my own section of the pond to enjoy. Each of the ponds offers great opportunities for fishing, kayaking and sailing as well. Sailboats, kayaks and paddleboards are conveniently available for rental on Cliff Pond. There are beaches available for a more conventional family setting, but you can also find more private swimming areas with little effort.


    I don’t think I saw a single campsite without a set of bikes, which seemed to be the main form of transportation while camping and exploring everything Nickerson State Park had to offer.Accessibility to the entire park is by paved roads and biking paths. These are great and safe for families with children or anyone looking for easy movement throughout the park. The Cape Cod Rail Trail which is a 22 mile paved biking path stretching along the Cape, is also within close proximity to the park. I also met a mountain biking club that meets frequently to use the various fire roads and unpaved trails for a challenge. There is also ocean access with parking less than a mile from the entrance to the park where you can spend the day or just catch the sunset.

    Some of the camping opportunities include recreational vehicle tie-ins, tent campsites and yurt camping which is great for families that are looking for a new experience. The yurts will keep you dry in any weather and reservations are available with the staff. There are also great comfort amenities which include hot showers and bathrooms that are very well maintained. The park staff also has educational interpretive programs that can inform visitors or their surroundings and local wildlife viewing opportunities. There are also local restaurants, entertainment and shopping available right up the street from the park. This allows for the option to stay secluded or spend time exploring everything that Cape Cod has to offer.

    Virtually any experience you’re looking for can be found in and around Nickerson State Park. Although planning events and activities ahead of time is always a good procedure, it can often take away from your experience. My travel advice is to get yourself to your desired location and just go with the flow. Your memories will be more vivid and hold more value if they occur unplanned and spontaneously. Let your surroundings influence your experience and just make the most of the moment!


Published: 08/28/2012


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