Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob)
Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob)

Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob)

Free admission
Falmouth, Massachusetts, 02543

The basics

Covering just 12 acres (5 hectares) of land, Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob) is nonetheless a beloved way to experience nature in Cape Cod. Its nearly mile-long (1.4-kilometer) loop trail leads to sandy Crescent Beach, The Knob Lookout, oyster-strewn Fisherman’s Beach, and a lookout where hawks can often be spotted in nearby trees. Shallow water at the smaller Little Sandy Beach is ideal for families with children, who can find shells, periwinkles, hermit crabs, and horseshoe crabs at low tide.

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Things to know before you go

  • Beware the poison ivy: Stands of the three-leafed plant are plentiful here and cause uncomfortable rashes.

  • Water can get deep quickly, even at Little Sandy Beach, which is a family favorite. Keep a close eye on swimmers, as there are no lifesaving services here.

  • Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed at all times.

  • There are no toilets or other facilities on-site—the closest services are in Woods Hole or the gas stations lining Route 28.

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How to get there

The Cornelia Carey Sanctuary is located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and is accessible via a small parking area at the end of Quissett Harbor Road. At busier times, the limited parking can be a problem. To avoid that hassle, consider coming by bicycle; the Shining Sea Bikeway is 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) away via Oyster Pond Road, and a designated bike route on Quissett Ave leads to downtown Woods Hole.

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When to get there

The sanctuary is open daily during daylight hours. If you’re concerned about parking on-site, try to visit on a weekday morning. Not only are you more likely to find a spot, you’ll also enjoy quieter trails and beaches as you explore the compact nature preserve.

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Best places to walk near Falmouth and Woods Hole

Nature trails abound in the Falmouth area. If you’re looking for a longer walk, consider nearby Beebe Woods, whose 383 acres (155 hectares) include miles of paths through forest and hollows. The smaller Two Ponds Conservation Area has a partially wheelchair-accessible 1.4-mile (2.3-kilometer) loop trail and boardwalk into an Atlantic white cedar swamp. Linking wetlands, forests, and meadows, the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) Coonamessett Greenway Heritage Trail includes a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) section that’s accessible to wheelchairs.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob) ?
Attractions near Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob) :