Nickerson State Park offers a unique experience in a setting that a visitor would usually expect to find in the mountains – yet here you are, in Cape Cod. Instead of sand dunes and marshes one would find on the Cape, crystal clear fresh water ponds and forests surround the area. These “kettle ponds” were formed when glaciers retreated from the Cape more than 10,000 years ago. Camping, hiking, swimming, and canoeing are the favorite activities here at Nickerson. The Park’s more than 400 campsites are set in pine and oak forests that edge down to the banks of eight crystal clear fresh water ponds. Paved bicycle trails, freshwater swimming, boating activities, and roomy campsites make Nickerson State Park one of the most popular campgrounds in Massachusetts.The gold standard for kettle pond recreation lies within Nickerson State Park’s borders. This supreme playground, one of the brightest jewels in the state’s park system, offers something for everyone within its nearly 2,000 acres. From mountain biking on wooded trails and paved paths (some along parts of the Cape Cod Rail Trail) and trout fishing in well-stocked ponds (such as Flax, Cliff, Little Cliff, and Higgins) to swimming from sandy beaches (Flax is the best) and boating with kayaks or small sailboats, Nickerson is rife with choices. Campers who make early reservations are luckiest of all (fees apply). Free day use.Yankee Magazine June 2006This 2000-acre former estate has something for everyone: walking, jogging, and biking trails; good fishing; boat launches and rentals of canoes, kayaks, Sunfish, seacycles, and sailboards in season ; sandy lakeside beaches; wooded picnic sites; and the second most popular campground in the state. Open year-round daily dawn to dusk; free; camping $12-$15 per site. Reserve 6 months in advance through website.Yankee Magazine April 2003
New England Traveler
Planning a New England day trip, weekend getaway, or longer adventure? Explore our curated New England travel directory, featuring picks from the editors of Yankee Magazine (the New England experts since 1935) for the best things to do in each state, plus where to shop, eat, and stay.