Monthly Archives: January 2015

Driving on the beach in the Winter…Dune destruction

It is such a privilege to be driving on the beach at Sandy Neck at any time of the year!  So many of our patrons love to come to the beach after the hectic Summer season is past and enjoy a more peaceful and quiet time on the beach.  The changing of the seasons here at Sandy Neck is not to be missed and we love having folks come to explore and enjoy.


Sadly there is a trend that we have become aware of, and one that we must address.


 There are some that drive on to the beach that seem to have a lack of respect for the fragile environment that is Sandy Neck.  This is only a small percentage of the people who visit, but because of the damage they are doing, we may have to make some changes in time to protect the beach and the dunes.

A Sandy Neck Off Road Vehicle Permit is required year round!


We have rules in place and it is important that they be adhered to:


  1. NO walking in the dunes. The sand is fragile and the beach grass that grows there is important for erosion control. Each step you take in the dunes, you are impacting the life of that dune.  We have six miles of front beach for walking as well as the Great Marsh trail which safely takes you through the dunes. The trail comes back onto the front beach at Trail 1, Trail 2, Trail 4, Trail 5 and Trail 6. There would be no need to walk up the face of a dune from the front of the beach.
  2. Driving on the ORV corridor.  Each ORV Sticker holder is provided with a book or rules and regulations when purchasing a sticker.  In the regulations are specific instructions for driving on the beach.  NO driving on the tidal flats.  There is so much life that calls the tidal flat home and by driving on the flats, we destroy that life.  NO driving on the dunes.  Driving on the toe of the dune or higher creates erosion and causes the dunes to fall away exposing the roots of the dune grass and destroying the erosion protection.  YOU MUST air down your tires.  The minimum that is required is 18psi.  We are airing down the Sandy Neck vehicles to 15psi as the sand is soft and it makes it easier on the vehicle engine when driving.  By not airing down, several things occur. First the driver creates ruts in the sand that make driving much more difficult for everyone. Secondly, not airing down properly is dangerous as the driver may become stuck in the sand and as there are not as many people on the ORV corridor, it is not an ideal situation.


While enjoying your beach, should you see anyone that is driving in a dangerous manner, or in a manner that would be considered unhealthy for the beach, please call the Gatehouse and report it.  Even if the Gatehouse is not occupied, we check in often to get the messages off the answering machine. Gatehouse 508-362-8300


Please remember: This is YOUR beach and we ask that you all help protect it so that it can be enjoyed all year long by everyone!


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Cold Weather Safety Tips: A Few Things to Think About Before Going Outside

Here are a few cold weather safety tips to keep you safe and warm during outdoor recreation pursuits.


1.  No matter what activity you have planned, whether it is hiking, hunting, ice fishing, or bird watching, always tell someone where you are going and what you are doing.  Make sure someone knows where you are going so they know what time to expect you back.  It’s also a good idea to leave a note on your vehicle dashboard so Natural Resource Officers are aware of your approximate location and time of return.

2.  As always, be prepared with water and first aid kit to prevent a minor incident from becoming an emergency.  A few other additions to your backpack could include a flashlight, a map, and snacks. Ask for a Sandy Neck map at the gatehouse prior to your hike. 

3.  As with any activity outdoors, be realistic about your abilities, know what you are capable of accomplishing before heading out.  Walking in soft sand can be very taxing on the body and uses a lot more energy than walking on a hard surface.  Remember when you get to your destination you are only half way through your journey because you still have to make it back. 

4.  If driving off-road making sure to maintain safe speed and be aware of your surroundings.  High tides are extreme in the winter months and will often cause the beach to pinch off trapping you and your vehicle.  Exercise more caution during the winter months to avoid getting stuck on the beach and pay attention to the tide charts.

5.  Be prepared for anything.  Get updated weather information before you set off for a hike or drive and plan accordingly. Be ready for unexpected weather with extra clothing, gloves, and hats. If planning to be outside for a long period of time, bring extra layers to add as the temperature drops.  Sandy Neck hats and sweatshirts can be purchased at the Sandy Neck gatehouse.

6.  Hunters, hikers, and everyone else recreating outdoors should be wearing bright clothing to maintain visibility. Even during the winter there is a lot of activity in the great outdoors, always be aware and respectful of others using recreational areas. 

Contact the Sandy Neck Gatehouse with any concerns you have while recreating at Sandy Neck at 508-362-8300.