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  • Writer's picturelil pines


Mass Audubon offers tours out to Sandy Neck in Barnstable, Massachusetts which include kayaking out from the Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary and climbing Sandy Neck Lighthouse, built in 1857. The lighthouse is currently privately owned, but Mass Audubon maintains a relationship with the owners, allowing them to bring tour guests up the tower for some great views of Barnstable Harbor.

You'll meet briefly at the Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, where the tour guides will help you pick out the best kayak and paddles. Depending on the weather and condition of the harbor, the paddle out to Sandy Neck can take about twenty minutes, or longer.

You'll see the light across the harbor, and as you slowly approach, the guides will tell a little history about the bay, and discuss the changing landscape and eroding shoreline. Staying close in a group allows for navigating any rough waters and wakes, and keeps everyone's path safe from other boats.

Once on land at Sandy Neck Barrier Beach, you'll get a tour of the 2.5 miles of trails on the property and get some amazing glimpses of the lighthouse over the dunes. Our tour guides identified many of the birds we saw out on the point.

Next you'll climb the lighthouse steps all the way up to the lantern room. The Lighthouse was fully restored in 2007, exactly 150 years after it was first built, thanks to the efforts of The Sandy Neck Lighthouse Restoration Committee.

The views of the harbor, the tidal flats, and the sand dunes are stunning from the top of the light. Your tour guides will have great stories of the history and renovation of the light and it's keeper's house. Check the Mass Audubon site for their program catalog to find tours in the spring and summer.


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