It would be easy to spend a week on Cape Cod, as we have done, and miss Nickerson State Park entirely. Why not just return to the golden beaches of the National Seashore, or spend another warm afternoon exploring the kid-friendly tide pools of Cape Cod Bay? Because then you wouldn’t get to take a deeply relaxing swim in one of Nickerson’s eight crystal clear, Zen-like Kettle Ponds.
Where the ocean and the bay beaches of Cape Cod are constantly in a state of dramatic transition, the Kettle Ponds are soothing and still. They are perfect for a long swim, or a paddle with the kids on board.
The sand beach is small, but so were the crowds at Flax Pond on the perfect summer day when we visited. Stephanie and I will always love the beach best, but it is so nice to let the kids play near the water without having to worry about waves, or currents, or tides.
The entrance fee at Nickerson State Park was only five dollars for our entire family. It was the best five dollars I spent on the Cape. Period. Three ice creams at the camp store cost more than admission to this little slice of paradise.
We only had a small taste of what Nickerson offers. We had time to visit one pond and the super sweet playground. But we did take a drive around to check out some of the more than 400 campsites–many of which boasted water views. We both agreed that we would love to camp here one day. And we have already started plotting for our early retirement on the Cape. We figure we are just a few years away from that dream, right? Wrong.
So what is a Kettle Pond anyway? They are ponds “formed as glaciers retreated from the Cape over 10,000 years ago.” A Kettle Pond is also a place where a family can go to splash and swim, and refresh their collective soul. The water is that clean. That clear. That pure.