Blue sky with clouds with a stream and trees, mass audubon wellfleet bay wildlife sanctuary

The weather on the Cape is starting to get warmer. It’s perfect timing for visiting Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuariesMy family loves visiting these because it’s an activity we can all enjoy—grandparents, parents, and kids. Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one of my favorites. It’s scenic, easily walkable, and has inside exhibits (and restrooms).

Mass Audubon members are free; otherwise it’s $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $2 for children. The Wellfleet Bay location has both a lovely indoor building and five miles of outdoor trails.

Indoor Fun

There are many fish tanks in the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary building. You’re able to get very close to view the fish, which delighted my daughter when we last visited. My favorite tank is the puffer fish, but there are various other fish, sea snails, and sea snakes as well.puffer fish in a glass fish tank

There are also indoor exhibits on birds and other wildlife local to Cape Cod. The staff at the wildlife sanctuary are very friendly and helpful. If you are interested in a specific type of wildlife on Cape Cod, ask them. You may get tips on where to best find that particular animal or bird.

Inside of Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary wood paneled display about birds

The building’s power is generated by on-site solar power panels. On the day we visited, we were greeted by some wild turkeys relaxing by the solar panels.

Outdoor Fun

If you have kids with you, ask for a “passport to nature” at the admission desk. It’s basically a visual scavenger hunt of things you’ll find on the trails, such as acorns, leaves, and wildlife. 

When you start walking the trails, one of the first things you’ll see are some whale bones. My daughter was amazed to see real whale bones!

Whale bones at Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary being looked at by a toddler in a pink jacket and blue Stitch hoodie

Only 0.5 miles of the 5 miles of trails are “universally accessible.” However, our group had three generations from kid to grandparent, with one of us using a cane, and it was still easy to navigate. Part of the trails have a wooden boardwalk.

Both the pond and salt marsh have platforms with a few steps for better viewing. The trails also pass by a sandy barrier beach and pine woodlands.

Salt pond with blue cloudy sky

In my opinion, the views are just stunning and I could stay for hours. But my visit length is usually dictated by my child’s attention span.

toddler in a pink jacket and pink winter hat looks through a fence at a salt pond

Any time of year is fine to visit, but keep in mind, you’ll be by water, so bundle up if the weather calls for it.

Are you a fellow fan of Mass Audubon? Where do you like to walk in nature on Cape Cod?
Let us know in the comments.

Danielle Kempe
Danielle is a lifelong MA resident - and proud of her “wicked strong” accent. She grew up on the North Shore but now lives on the South Shore, splitting her time between Upper Cape Cod & Marshfield. Danielle has 2 children - Elise and Ethan. Elise was born in 2017 and as of 2023 she’s 5 years old. She is also Autistic. Ethan is a new baby born April of 2023. Her family of 4 (husband, David) loves visiting Mass Audubon sites across MA and is always up for a fun adventure. Danielle is neurodivergent and works as a nonprofit fundraising professional. You can find her shuttling her kids between activities, being silly, lost in a good book - and sneaking in writing when she gets a chance.


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