In north truro you will find head of the meadow beach, the least crowded of all the national seashore beaches.
Here you will find smaller crowds, orv trail access (some years, anyway), as well as perfect sandbars and unspoiled dunes. The vibe at head of the meadow beach is very laid back, and you can expect to make friends with other dogs and their owners enjoying the sandbars.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip to head of the meadow beach:
the paths aren’t very steep but are lined with layers of poison ivy. and ticks. keep your dog on a tight leash and your children close by. take care to walk in the center of the trails.
be aware that you need to bring required safety equipment and watch a video about driving on sand dunes prior to getting your national seashore orv sticker, so plan ahead. you’ll need to bring your own air compressor to head of the meadow too – there isn’t a public air filling station here like there is at race point beach’s orv trails. or you can drive on soft tires to the gas station at the end of the road.
The ORV trails at head of the meadow beach haven’t been open much in the past few years, so call ahead before planning a vacation around this. Nearby Race Point Beach has orv trails that are typically open all season, it’s a much safer option.
Some visitors choose to walk out at the ORV trail at the far end of the parking lot adjacent to the walking trail. Beware – the sides of the ORV trail and even the area between the tire tracks are completely covered with poison ivy.
If an off-road vehicle comes upon you while you’re walking on the road, there’s nowhere for you to go but into this poison ivy field. Better bust out the Calamine lotion.
After Hurricane Irena sprayed salt over the trails at head of the meadow beach in 2011 this poison ivy turned red, illuminating the full extent of this aggressively spreading nuisance plant.
since the trails haven’t been open the past few years, this hasn’t been much of an issue recently.
If you walk along the shoreline at head of the meadow beach beyond the ORV beach area (to the left of the public beach if you’re looking at the ocean) for about half a mile and you will come to an area renowned for the number of seals that come here to enjoy their cape beach summer.
Swim near here at great risk, the likelihood of great white sharks increases where seals are most prevalent. So while seal island might be cute in theory, may not be the best thing going to reduce great white appearances. see tips to avoid getting bitten by sharks
folks who complain about contamination from dog poop on beaches never seem to mention the tons upon tons of seal feces that gets deposited each and every day just feet off of the cape’s beaches. Swim with your mouth closed.
Fishing at Head of the Meadow Beach
don’t even get us started about the difficulty in catching a fish while surfcasting from shore when thousands of seals are patrolling the shoreline and eating every striped bass they see. Sadly, the days of catching a striper or even a bluefish from shore are pretty much over at head of the meadow.
Dogs are allowed beyond the lifeguard protected sections of the beach. Dogs are required to remain leashed. Tickets are given to violators, so be aware.
The u.s. national park service has made access to the head of the meadow beach and the cape cod seashore beaches affordable to all visitors.
a one-day parking pass at head of the meadow beach is $15, but $45 will purchase a season-long pass for your vehicle. ORV vehicle passes are also available at the cape cod national seashore for head of the meadow’s orv trails.
If you are over 65 you are eligible for a lifetime national parks pass for $10 which grants access to you and all passengers in your car. There are also free weekends at the beginning and end of each season.
The money from sticker fees at head of the meadow beach is directed back to the national seashore beaches and and provide the bathrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, lifeguards and park rangers that keep the park safe, clean and enjoyable for the thousands of visitors who enjoy these unspoiled cape cod beaches each year.
coast guard road beach in north truro – nearby attractions
There are several dog-friendly campgrounds in north truro that provide walking access to both head of the meadow beach and coast guard road beach. these campgrounds are an inexpensive place to stay within earshot of the crashing waves of the atlantic ocean.
Another mile south and you reach the highland lighthouse, also known as cape cod light. this historic cape cod lighthouse has a great observation deck on the edge of tall cape cod sand dunes overlooking the atlantic ocean far below. The deck marks the location of highland lighthouse before it was moved to safety from the eroding dunes.
the highland lighthouse observation deck is the perfect place to get a picture with the lighthouse in the background. be aware that dogs aren’t allowed on the deck or the lighthouse tour.
golfers will enjoy the highland links golf course in north truro that sits in the shadow of highland lighthouse. highland links is a challenging scottish-style links course on the windy sand dune cliffs of the cape cod shoreline. the sides of the fairways are lined with natural shoreline growth and make it very difficult to find your ball, so make sure to keep the ball low if its windy and bring extra golf balls if you’re a lousy golfer.
nearby highland light sits the hulking shell of the old coast guard radar tower. The coast guard radar tower is part of the national seashore as well, and provides a glimpse of the cold war history of the united states and the role that cape cod played in it.
would you like to share pictures of your dog playing at head of the meadow or other pet-friendly cape cod national seashore beaches? please email us