All Blog Entries by Mark Washburn

There are currently 242 blog entries published by Mark Washburn.


sunset in truro ma at high head beach - cape cod national seashore

With plenty to see and experience, the summer season is the ideal time of year to enjoy the Cape Cod National Seashore. It’s the place of beaches, woods and ponds, with all of it stretching along Cape Cod’s eastern shore.

In fact, the Cape Cod National Seashore exists within the towns of Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. With that in mind, it’s no surprise then that the Cape Cod National Seashore includes around a half-dozen beaches.

This includes Herring Cove Beach and Race Point Beach in Provincetown, Head of the Meadow in Truro, Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, plus both Nauset Light Beach and Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. Despite some current limitations due to nesting piper plovers and some limited off-roading options, there’s

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white crest beach - wellfleet ma

A favorite spot for surfers on Cape Cod, White Crest Beach is Wellfleet could soon offer up more parking to locals and visitors. Plans call for expanding the parking lot at the beach by hundreds of spaces, but it may not be as many as previously thought.

Right now the lot has room for around 200 vehicle spaces, but future plans could make additional room for a total of 460 cars to park in the area. Originally, planners set out to make a lot for up to 600 parking spaces, but its been reported that engineers weren’t able to add that many spaces to their plan.

Some had also previously suggested making space for 1,000 vehicles, initiating concerns about how that could lead to increased traffic in the area, and mean a drain on the efforts of local police

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pleasant bay real estate

Several Cape Cod communities are banding together to help protect Pleasant Bay now, and for years to come. The towns of Chatham, Brewster, Orleans and Harwich all share its watershed.

Just recently they joined together, gaining issuance of the first Watershed Permit ever in the state. While it may seem that everything came together in recent weeks, it’s actually been a work in progress for a couple of decades.

That’s when the four towns first adopted a Pleasant Bay Resource Management Plan, and began implementing it via the Pleasant Bay Alliance. The new permit, however, specifically outlines all of the measurable steps the towns plan to take together and individually, all aimed at addressing threats to the health of the Bay.

With it, the towns are

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harwich port

Family-friendly entertainment is on tap all summer long with live music strolls in both Chatham and in Harwich Port. While the tradition has been a long-standing one in Harwich, the fun just spread to Chatham this summer season.

Dubbed Mondays on Main, the new Chatham addition brings musicians, bands and other types of live entertainment to Main Street. The Monday evening event stretches for eight weeks this summer, from locations including the Chatham Wine Bar to the rotary, and features a variety of themed nights designed to especially appeal to families.

Entertainers are stationed in courtyards, on lawns and on patios just off the main sidewalk to encourage visitors to enjoy the entire area. The idea is to give people a fun and unique way to

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henry beeston - outermost house - cape cod

Said to be highly influential in the formation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, author Henry Beston is most simply an Outermost legend. After spending time at college and abroad, the Quincy native returned to Cape Cod for a writing assignment, but left an even greater impact on the literary world and the Cape Cod region in the years to come.

Tasked with researching several area Coast Guard stations for a magazine, Beston eventually moved on to his next assignment: renting an Eastham cottage and drawing up plans for a tiny Coast Guard Beach home of his own. Originally designated as a private writing retreat, Beston’s tiny “Fo’castle” served as home base for an entire year.

It also served as his inspiration in coming up with the American classic “The

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bike path

Exploring Cape Cod doesn’t necessarily always mean out on the water. While boating is, of course, a popular pastime, it’s not the only way to see all that the region has to offer.

Chatham, in particular, is a great location to view on two wheels. With that in mind, there are plenty of bike trails in Chatham to take on, most notably the Chatham branch of the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Often used by bicyclists, the trail winds through a generally wooded area of Chatham, often crossing over existing roads.

To help ensure the safety of cyclists, especially at these points, Chatham town officials are now pushing for millions of dollars in improvements to fund a bicycle master plan for the community. This involves everything from possibly installing new signs to

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crowes pasture - dennis ma

Photo: Maura Monahan

One of the last remaining exposed tidal flats in Massachusetts will stay open to off-roaders, at least for now. Selectmen in Dennis recently voted to withdraw the town’s application to update its beach management plan for Crowes Pasture Beach.

That’s significant because the off-road beach faced the possibility of being closed off to all off-road vehicles. While that’s been allowed at Crowes Pasture for decades, some suggest state regulators began calling the practice into question only after the town took action, proposing to make an update to its long-standing management plan.

Citing concerns over things like pollution and erosion, state regulators proposed banning all recreational vehicles from driving out on the Crowes Pasture

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Now marking a half-century of service to the Cape Cod region, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod is officially marking its golden anniversary. The APCC just turned 50 years old, celebrating five decades of preservation, protection and enhancement of Cape Cod’s most important natural resources.

Under the leadership of a newly appointed executive director, the association works to help protect area wetlands, surface water and groundwater, plus preserve open space in the region. In addition, members work to help with new growth in the region, while at the same time discouraging harmful development, with a true focus on the environment.

The APCC does so by promoting conservation efforts and green energy, plus by keeping a close eye on any climate or energy

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Chatham Light - Chatham MA

Volunteers are gearing up for another summer season highlighting the bright history of Chatham Light. The historic lighthouse often hosts tours during the summer season, offering up the opportunity to get a close-up view of this early 19th century landmark.

The Cape’s second lighthouse, Chatham Light was first constructed in the early 1800s, easily distinguished by its two fixed white lights. Originally consisting of two wooden towers and a keeper house, the lighthouse was no match for Mother Nature, though.

Soon replaced by sturdier, brick towers, it wasn’t the end of the story for Chatham Light. Fast forward a few more decades and erosion began seriously threatening the lighthouse, leading area leaders to make plans to construct two new cast-iron

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coast guard beach eastham

It’s a longstanding favorite of Cape Cod locals and visitors alike, and is seems word is definitely spreading when it comes to the enjoyment of Coast Guard Beach. Dr Beach, a renowned guru when it comes to identifying the best beaches in America, once again just ranked Coast Guard Beach on his list of the top ten.

Coast Guard Beach comes in at number five for 2018, the only beach in the region to make it on the list. This year’s ranking brought the beach up one spot, topping last year’s number six ranking on the list of America’s top 10 beaches.

Around 50 different things are taken into consideration when coming up with the list, including sand and water quality plus beach management and safety records. In particular, it’s noted that Coast Guard Beach

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