12 of the Best Swimming Ponds on Cape Cod

Beautiful colors at Long Pond
Long Pond in Brewster

Ponds and Lakes on Cape Cod

While many think of the Cape for our pristine beaches, we also have over 1,000 ponds and lakes covering nearly 11,000 acres. Most of these are depressions in the land’s surface, created after the glaciers that formed Cape Cod 12,000 years ago retreated to the north. These highly valued freshwater resources require monitoring, management, and protection to keep them clean and healthy for generations to come. Our very own Brewster Ponds Coalition is doing great work to ensure that all of the ponds in Brewster are protected and make for safe swimming all summer long.

Harrison swimming at Nickerson
Harrison going for an afternoon swim in Nickerson

Freshwater swimming on Cape Cod

Summer time on Cape Cod is all about sunshine, swimming, reading a good book while gazing out at the water, the smell of Coppertone on your skin and letting your mind, body and spirit relax. While many of our guests decide on the traditional ocean beach experience, one of the best kept secrets is that we also have many fabulous fresh water beaches too. The water is crystal clear, the beaches are often uncrowded and the water is a bit warmer. Our ponds are also the perfect spot to kayak, paddle board or to bring a float and just relax on the water.

Swimming on Cliff Pond
Swimming on Cliff pond

12 of the BEST Fresh Water Ponds

Come stay with us and experience the best kept secret of relaxing and swimming in one of our pristine fresh water ponds. Shown below are what we believe are the the 12 best ponds on Cape cod along with a little information about each one:

1. Great Pond, Eastham– This pond actually has two access points, one from Wiley Park off of Herring Brook Road and the other off of Great Pond Road. Beach stickers are required to park at either beach, but Wiley Park has an attendant who sells passes.

Higgins pond in the fall
Higgins pond in the fall

2. Nickerson State Park, Brewster- Nickerson State Park has many kettle ponds across its sprawling acreage, with our favorite being Higgins Pond.  There is a daily entrance fee of $15.

Sailboat on Upper Mill Pond
Sailing on Upper Mill Pond

3. Upper Mill Pond, Brewster– With a landing off Run Hill Road (near the entrance to the Punkhorn Parklands), Upper Mill Pond can be a nice place to spend a day. A sticker is required to park.

4. Sheep Pond, Brewster– This lovely pond has a public landing off of Route 124 in Brewster, and it is great for swimming and fishing. Kayakers and canoeists can explore the great pond, and there are small landings along the way that are great for taking a quick dip. If you boat to the other side, there is even a floating dock. A sticker is required to park.

5. Seymour Pond, Brewster–  Seymour Pond has a public landing that is accessible by car, but it is also accessible by a trail in the Punkhorn Parklands. Parking is free there, so those who don’t want to spend the money on a beach sticker may consider stretching their legs a bit.

6. Long Pond, Brewster/Harwich- Popular for boating, as well as swimming, Long Pond has access in Brewster off of Crowell’s Bog Road (sticker required) and off of Long Pond Drive in Harwich (sticker required).

7. Scargo Lake, Dennis- This swimming spot is absolutely beautiful. Princess Beach is the primary swimming area. Princess Beach is located off of Scargo Hill Road (which is off of Old Bass River Road). To park, you need a sticker, although there is an attendant who collects the parking fee.

8. Goose Pond, Chatham- To get to Goose Pond, watch for the conservation land sign and the small dirt road off of Queen Anne Road in Chatham. The road is a bit rough, so be prepared. There is limited parking, but the parking area hardly ever feels full because of the general seclusion of this spot. This is a great spot to go for a swim and spend an afternoon.

9. Crystal Lake, Orleans- Another one of the great ponds in Orleans is Crystal Lake, located off of Monument Road. Although the beach is not too big, it is nice and there are shady areas. Right across the street is Kent’s Point, so this can be a nice stop after a walk. A beach sticker is required to park.

10. Sandy Pond, Yarmouth- Located at 482 Buck Island Road in Yarmouth, across from the Park Department, is the Sandy Pond Recreation Area. Not only is there swimming, but there is also a playground, tennis courts, a basketball court, and more. None of the ponds require a sticker in Yarmouth.

11. Snake Pond, Sandwich– To get to Snake Pond, follow Route 130 to Snake Pond Road. This pond is very nice for swimming in, as well as kayaking and canoeing. A beach sticker is required to park.

12. Flax Pond, Dennis- This pond has a parking area located off of Setucket Road in Dennis, right before the Yarmouth line. There is no sticker needed and the area is dog-friendly. There is even a rope swing! To get to the pond, you will need to walk (about 5 minutes) and there are trails around the pond, so you can go for a walk and cool off with a dip.

Guest swimming in our salt water pool
Salt water pool at the Freeman

Come Stay with us

Come stay with us and experience all of the different ways to stay cool- in our fabulous salt water pool at the inn, in one of our many bay and Atlantic beaches or in one of the Fresh Water Ponds mentioned in this blog. Cape Cod is a remarkable place to stay for your summer vacation. Check out our rooms page to book your stay with us today.

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