On Friday 11/04/22, “Low Beach Driving” will open. Low Beach Driving will be limited to a 6-hour low tide window during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset). The 6-hour window is specified as the time period beginning 3 hours before low tide and ending 3 hours after low tide. Low Beach Driving will be CLOSED after sunset regardless of the tide schedule. Driving low beach outside of this specified time will be in violation “operation of a motor vehicle on Nauset Beach in a closed area” and subject to a $200 fine and revocation of permit. Ignorance of the tide schedule will be no excuse. Click the following link for an accurate tide schedule.
“Low Beach Driving” refers to the operation of an OSV on the foreshore section (below mean high tide line) of the beach south of Trail 1 on Nauset Beach South. (See diagram below). It is not recommended that an operator engage in low beach driving unless the driver has extensive off-season beach driving experience and an advanced skill level. Presently the terrain on the foreshore is steep and technical and often the preferred path of least resistance is tight to the waterline. Please note when reviewing the diagram, that currently, the presence of an OSV Corridor above the high tide line is non-existent on a large percentage of the beach thus preventing the ability for a vehicle to retreat from the sea to higher, dry sand and impeding the ability for a recovery service to salvage the vehicle if necessary. In these areas, the high tide often reaches the Dune Toe where driving is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. Do not rely on the presence of symbolic fencing to delineate the Dune Toe in this scenario as it is often overwhelmed by large tides and challenging to maintain. Vehicles attempting to drive in the vicinity of the Dune Toe will be subject to permit revocation. If you have any doubts on whether you have enough experience to attempt to drive on the foreshore, please refrain. Excessive, unreasonable speed on the foreshore will not be tolerated as we share this zone with wildlife and pedestrians. Poor decisions may jeopardize the program. The Town will not be assisting in the recovery of disabled vehicles. The responsibility will be solely on the operator to contract a private tow service at their expense. That being said, even when conditions are conducive, coordinating a tow service for expedient recovery on the outer beach is no guarantee. Very few local companies have the equipment, specialized expertise, or the willingness to take on this task.
We still recommend that the back trail is the safest and best choice for the average user. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Town of Orleans Natural Resources Department.