Cape Cod National Seashore Urge Caution as Waters Cool

WELLFLEET – The winter off-season for Cape Cod can be cold, quiet and punctuated by infrastructure repairs and upgrades.

However, Cape Cod National Seashore representatives said there’s still plenty to do outdoors on Cape before the next spring rolls around.

Seashore Deputy Superintendent Leslie Reynolds said that for one, with the winter also comes an easing of restrictions on trails.

“Lots of people love beachcombing this time of year. We don’t have any shorebird restrictions right now on the beaches, so people are free to walk their dogs or just take some nice walks and look for seashells or what have you,” said Reynolds. 

Though beaches are accessible, Reynolds warned that lifeguards do leave on Labor Day, and the beach itself tends to shrink in the winter. Between cold water and narrow places to walk, Reynolds advised a level of caution when recreating. 

“Not only are our lifeguards not on duty, water is really cold, the waves can be really strong and there’s not much beach to walk on at certain times of the day and tide cycle, so people want to be really cognizant. You never want to turn your back on the ocean at any time, especially in the winter time when the water is so much closer to the shore,” said Reynolds. 

For surfers, she added that people should always stay in groups in case of any emergencies. 

She also added that while shark populations tend to decrease over the colder months, beachgoers should always be mindful and stay away from seals or other sea creatures that can attract sharks. 

The shark warning signs and Stop-the-Bleed kits are still out on the beaches as well, but Reynolds said they will bring those supplies indoors later in the season as stronger storms approach and threaten to sweep the equipment into the ocean.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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