Herring Cove
Nude Beach,

Provincetown Aerial View

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Provincetown (Ptown), Massachusetts' only active nude beach in the summer of 2001 was located in Herring Cove Beach.   Some women go topless in the lesbian section just southeast (left) of the beach's parking lot.  Full nudity is usually only found about 3/4 mile further down the beach at the end of the gay men section.  See the map below.  Although illegal, a tenuous truce with the National Park Service (NPS) generally ignores nudity there during the day.  Get some background information here.

Some ways to get to the nude section of Herring Cove Beach are discussed below.  Most people use the Moors - Herring Cove Beach Access Trail.

2002 Update - We went to Ptown after season in 2002, but the weather was great!  Only went to the beach once, Saturday, 14 September 2002.  Although there were more people than we expected in off season, there were few nude sunbathers, maybe 10% at most.  We were told that the previous day, in the afternoon about 15:00, the fed police had snuck through and issued $50 tickets to those they found nude.  We did not see the police during the time we were there from noon until 16:00.


Panoramic View
360 Panoramic View from the Nude Beach atop the Dune Ridge
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Bike & Hike

The Moors - Herring Cove Beach Access Trail connects from Rt 6A, Province Land Road, to the gay male part of Herring Cove Beach.  Continue southeast down the beach to the nude area.

There is no sign for the Trail on Rt 6A.  See the map above for the Trail's location.  Look for parked bikes. There is no automobile parking nearby but bikes can be locked to the fence along the road by the Trail entrance.  The Trail is slightly shorter than walking down the beach from the NPS, Herring Cove Beach parking lot and is more interesting.

There are no markers along the Trail but by noon on nice days there are many hikers to follow.  Despite appearances, it is hard to get lost.  Bear to the left as you approach the beach dune ridge.

The path is mostly clean sand with occasional gravel, pebbles or grass.   Most people walk barefooted.  Some use rubber booties designed for the purpose.  Others use whatever footwear they don't mind getting wet.  At low tide the Trail is above water but the sand is usually moist and will not burn your feet.   The dry sand on the beach and the dunes can be very hot.  At high tide the Trail is mostly under 6 to 12 inches of water and there is a waist deep, 100 foot wide section as you approach the beach dune ridge.  Walking through water is strenuous. 

Once you get to the dune ridge by the beach, you can either go over the dune and walk down the beach or continue down the marsh side of the dune ridge. 

The trek will take about 20 - 35 minutes depending on how far down the beach you go and your speed which is affected by the tide.

What to Bring

The length of the hike to the nude beach will cause you to want to carry the minimum.  Most people use backpacks.  Here are some suggestions -


  • Water - very important; don't forget it!
  • Sunblock
  • Towel and/or blanket
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellant with DEET
  • Footwear for water, although many people go barefooted.

Nice to have along:

  • Reading material
  • Lunch
  • Walkman
  • Cell phone
  • Watch
  • Binoculars
  • Umbrella

If you lock a bike or park a car:

  • Be sure to put your keys in a secure place so you do not loose them.
Park & Hike

You can park your vehicle in the NPS Herring Cove Beach parking lot and walk down to the nude beach.  The summer 2001 parking fee is $7 per day.  On nice weekends and holidays the lot fills up quickly.  When you enter the lot park as far to the left as possible and walk down the beach to the southeast for about a mile.

By Boat

There is no water taxi service to Herring Cove Beach but it would not be surprising the see it in the future.  Very few people come to the beach by boat.  The extreme tidal variations in Cape Cod Bay cause most boats to anchor just off shore or simply discharge passengers and leave.


There are virtually no amenities on this part of the beach.  Be sure to bring drinking water.  When walking around, it is advisable to keep swim trunks with you in case the federal police come through.  Consider keeping your folded Speedo hidden under your hat.  Click here to find out more about federal police practices at the nude beach.

Carry In - Carry Out.    Please Don't Litter.

  Click images to enlarge

Rt 6A at the entrance to the

Moor - Herring Cove Beach Access Trail.

Locking bikes to the fence.

Entering the Trail.

At high tide this part of the trail is
under 6 inches of water.

The one & only
Trail marker.

The beach dune ridge is in the distance.
Bare to the left.

Walking parallel to the beach
behind the beach dune ridge.

Incoming tide behind the beach dune ridge.
This area will be under 2 feet of water at high tide.

Herring Cove Beach on Cape Cod Bay.

High tide lake behind the beach dune ridge.

The lake is shallow and warmer than the bay.

More people wade into the lake than the bay.

Looking southeast down the beach.

Looking northwest up the beach.

Man on horseback riding up the beach.

A sand dune on the beach created at high tide.

Looking back from the bay at the beach.


UpDate:   21 January 2003
Created:  31 August 2001
Page by:  NudeLen at somanymen.com