Most beaches become dog-free zones in the summer months, making Cape Cod dogs some of the few creatures living amongst us that cannot wait for October to roll around so that they may, once again, experience the simple pleasures of fetching a stick in the ocean without restriction or impunity. Because our usual walking spots are now the breeding grounds for piping plovers and (extremely noisy) least terns, as well as the playground of families from all over the country, my dog and I have taken to the woods, but, alas, the mosquitoes and ticks have simultaneously taken to feasting on our flesh. And there’s nothing like a pesky mosquito fanatically buzzing around your head to make you ache for the strong ocean breeze that is, as of now, strictly off-limits to my dog and me. But, while I was canoeing around Pleasant Bay in Orleans a couple weeks ago, I spotted something that excited me more than any of the other wonders I encountered that day; I saw four dogs (with three humans in tow), off leash, swimming in the ocean and running on the beach. Any dog owner will understand that a sight such as this is something worth investigating. I quickly found out that this puppy Valhalla is Kent’s Point, a 24 acre conservation land in Orleans, and, after my faithful companion and I visited, I am happy to declare it the best place for dogs on Cape Cod.
Kent’s Point begins at the end of a little, unpaved road named Frost Fish Lane, which can be found off of Monument Road in Orleans. It has a good sized parking lot, a sweet trail map, and a handy bag dispenser for picking up after your dog. Surrounded by Frost Fish Cove, The River, and Little Pleasant Bay, Kent’s Point is bordered on three sides by beautiful views and access to two (somewhat mucky, hence dog-friendly) beaches, making it a safe, car-free place to let your pup run around off-leash. Now it is clear from the sign above that off-leash dogs are prohibited, but from a strictly empirical standpoint, all the dogs I encountered along my walk were happily untethered, so I let my dog run free, but I caution anyone following my renegade behavior.
The trails vary from wide dirt roads, to smaller pine-needle covered trails. There are plenty of benches that have spectacular views and there are numerous ways to get down to the cordgrass covered beaches. The conservation area is well-maintained and easy to walk. Though I saw very few people, I did run into several very nice dog owners who seconded my opinion that this was a great place to bring your dogs. My dog got to run around with new friends, take several dips, sniff to her heart’s content, and have a truly excellent time.
The one mystery of the walk was my discovery of a small seaweed covered fort built close to the tip of Kent’s Point. It was a ramshackle structure made out of tree branches fastened together with rope and draped in dried seaweed. If the Blair Witch had an evil sorceress sister on Cape Cod, this would surely be where she slept and cast her menacing spells.
I have no idea who made this slightly terrifying little fort, but who ever did left behind a sign.
So, now afraid of sea witches, and after another dip in the water, we headed back to the car. I have rarely seen my dog fall in love with a place so quickly. When my dog dreams, I know she will be dreaming of Kent’s Point. Oh, and I had a good time too.