Date Of Visit: January 1, 2020
Location: 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, MA
Hours: Open daily dawn til dusk
Canal Distance 7 miles each way
Parking: There are roughly 100 parking spots at the beginning of the canal as well as a parking area near the end of the canal for another 50 vehicles at Scusset Beach State Reservation
Universally Accessible: Yes, the canal path is paved and accessible to all
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: scenic, wildlife,art, fishing, crabbing, boating, art
Summary: The 14 mile (7 miles each way) canal path is full of scenic views, abundant wildlife and even a little art
I wanted to start the new year off the right way. So what better way to celebrate 2020 than with a long hike along the Buzzards Bay side of the Cape Cod Canal? Little did I know this would be one of the few outings I would undertake for a while. There was so much potential and optimism for a happy and healthy new year. How little did we know just how things would change.
The first attraction you may notice, besides the bridge, at the canal is the Fisherman statue sculpted by David Lewis . The bronze statue is a tribute to long time Cape Cod fishing enthusiast and lure maker Stan Gibbs. Gibbs often fished along the canal.
One of the popular attractions at the canal is the railroad bridge which still operates to take trains across the canal.
The railroad is an engineering marvel that took years to complete. People worked tirelessly to make this bridge operational often times taking risks to make sure the job got done. And I still have dishes in the kitchen sink that need to be washed. So, I am in awe of their dedication.
I tried to get tot he canal as close to sunrise as possible (it was New Year’s Day after all). But, it’s definitely work the extra effort if you can get there in time for the sunrise or sunset. The views of the canal early in the morning are stunning.
The trail along the canal is 7 miles each way. So make sure to pack some comfortable walking or running shoes if you do try to make the trip in one visit.
It was an unusually warm January day when I set out on my hike. There wasn’t too much wildlife present except for the occasional bird.
There is also some art along the canal (about 2 miles into the trail). The art was made by the Americorps of Cape Cod in 2012. It was a surprising and welcome sight.
The birds in the water and air aren’t the only birds at the canal. These works of art were displayed along the trail. I couldn’t find any more information about who created these works of art. But they were much easier to photograph than the birds in the air and water.
Off the beaten path (specifically up a stairway along the side of the canal trail) there was this memorial to the submariners who are still on patrol.
Although the Canal is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts, since it was January 1st and not really typical fishing weather, I did not see anyone fishing during my visit. But, I did see this man pulling out an empty crab pot.
The highlight of the canal walk for my was the end. And that’s not because it meant the walk was over. I did still have to walk back after all. The views of Cape Cod Bay from the jetty are breathtaking. The only advice I would give is to be careful walking along the rocks of the jetty, especially if they are icy or wet from rain or a storm. But I could (and did) spend a while just staring out into the bay. The breeze can be pretty strong at the end of the jetty even during warmer days. So maybe bring a sweater if you do venture out there.
The jetty is located next to Scusset Beach. Parking is available for this beach. So you don’t have to walk all the way along the canal to get there. After walking so long along the canal path it was exciting to see a different landscape.
Since it was an unusually warmish day for January, and the beginning of a new year, I saw a lot of people visiting the canal. The day did start in thew 20s. But, this is New England and “warm” can be relative. So it was a “warm” day for January in New England (it eventually warmed up to the 30s and 40s).
One of the dogs I saw at the canal was Tushy (yeah like a “butt”). Tushy is a 5 year old mixed (mostly Shepherd mix) breed.
I also saw Lulu, a 3 year old English Bulldog.
The next time I go to the canal I want to travel like Lulu!
If you missed part I of my visit to the Cape Cod Canal, you can find it below: