The Beach Times

Jackknife Cove: A Hidden Gem on the Lower Cape
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, February 10, 2020


Jackknife Cove

While the beaches on Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound, along with the Cape Cod National Seashore, get much of the attention on the Lower Cape, there are quieter places to spend your day that are just as enjoyable.

Jackknife Cove, for example, sits where Harwich and North Chatham meet, right on Pleasant Bay, and provides a serene, relaxing environment for locals and visitors alike.

If you want to spend a day with space to do your own thing, and without having to fight for a parking spot, Jackknife Cove is an excellent option on the Lower Cape.

How to Get There

Despite being a bit hidden, getting to Jackknife Cove is surprisingly easy.

The beach sits on Route 28, which you can take directly from downtown Chatham or Orleans. You can also take Route 39, exiting on Bay Road, from Harwich, or the Mid-Cape Highway from Brewster, taking Exit 11 and then turning onto Pleasant Bay Road.

Once you arrive at Jackknife Cove, a bonus is that you don't require a beach sticker because parking is free.

There's a small pull-out along Route 28 where you can leave your car, and it's only a short walk from there to the sand and water of Pleasant Bay. There's also a parking lot at Jackknife Beach, which you can reach by following a small road that is just south of the pull-out.

Getting to the parking lot involves driving down a hill, but it's smooth enough that even a small car can make it without any trouble.

About the Beach

There are a few things you should know about Jackknife Cove Beach before you head to its shores.

For starters, the beach is excellent for kids because it's sheltered from the ocean and has incredibly warm water. The cove is also very shallow, so your children can play without worry.

Keep in mind, however, that the beach doesn't have restrooms or lifeguards, so you're on your own as far as those amenities go. The sand isn't the nicest, either, as the beach doesn't receive the same level of care as others in the area.

You should also keep in mind that while parking is free, it isn't as extensive as other nearby beaches. In theory, you should be fine for parking, but you might want to get there early in the summer, just in case.

Once you have a parking spot, you can spread out and find a spot all to yourself because the beach is vast.

If you're unable to get to the beach early, consider coming after dinner to walk the beach as the sun sets for the day. Locals love this place in the evening because it's incredibly scenic and calm.

Kayaking, Sailing, and Windsurfing

As you arrive at Jackknife Cove, you'll see numerous boats secured in the water off its shores. That's because the cove is a popular place to anchor for the day, and there are even some mooring buoys available.

You can launch a small boat at Jackknife Cove, but remember that you'll have to carry it to the water from the parking lot. You'll see a variety of sailboats, canoes, and kayaks on the beach as you arrive, so get your boat in the water and enjoy the calm atmosphere.

Some rental companies will deliver a kayak to you on Jackknife Cove, which is perfect if you're unable to bring a boat with you to Cape Cod.

Bringing a Dog

A final noteworthy aspect of Jackknife Beach is that it's the only beach in Chatham that allows dogs during the summer. Dogs are limited to before 9:00 AM, and after 6:00 PM, so you'll have to consider the rules when taking your pet for a walk.

If you've brought your furry friend on your Cape Cod vacation, it's nice to know that you can let it run free on the beach during certain times of the day.

A Peaceful Day on the Lower Cape

The Lower Cape is an outstanding place to spend your vacation because it's full of magnificent scenery, fascinating historic sites, and some of the country's best beaches.

With so much to offer, it's no wonder that the area is so popular with visitors, particularly during the summer months.

Luckily, there are places like Jackknife Cove, where you can get away from the crowds while still enjoying the pleasant natural environment of the Lower Cape.



Beaches Chatham Dog Friendly Cape Cod Harwich Jackknife Cove Lower Cape

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