National Seashore Opens Footpath to Nauset Light Beach in Eastham

EASTHAM – A new path to Nauset Light Beach in Eastham has been opened.

In recent years, the wooden stairs to the National Seashore beach had been getting damaged or destroyed more frequently resulting in costly repairs and long periods of no public access.

The National Seashore’s Chief of Facility Maintenance Karst Hoogeboom said the new path will allow for access to the beach year-round.

“Whereas with the stairs, if they were damaged in a January nor’easter it would take us until May or June or sometimes right up until 4th of July before we were able to allow people to get back onto the beach there,” Hoogeboom said.

The beach has lost 46 feet of bluff to erosion between the 2012 and 2016.

The 635-foot path, which was constructed from just after New Year’s Day through mid-February, follows a natural contour south of the parking lot.

An engineering study and evaluation process two years ago determined the footpath was the best option moving forward.

“When [the damage] got to be every year we were unable to sustain the cost of replacing those stairs every year,” Hoogeboom said.

Hoogeboom said they were lucky that there was a low spot at the Beach which allowed the path to be a solution, which isn’t the case for other National Seashore beaches.

“Not all sites have the topography that would accommodate it,” he said.

The path was constructed by national seashore staff with help from Barnstable AmeriCorps Cape Cod, AmeriCorps Fire Corps and Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Hoogeboom said material costs were approximately $30,000 to $35,000.

Mobi-Mat will be installed at the end of the path to provide a firm walking surface onto the beach as the summer approaches.

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