Provincetown’s Herring Cove Once Called New Beach

The New Beach, Provincetown Postcard 1940s

The New Beach, Provincetown Postcard 1940s

Today this beach is known as “Herring Cove”,  but during the mid 20th century it was called “New Beach”.  The name came from the new Masachussets state highway constructed in the 1920’s, which provided easy access to the beach at the tip of Cape Cod. With hundreds of parking spaces, two bathhouses, and a snack bar— by the 1950s New Beach was a popular tourist attraction to visitors who wanted to enjoy a swim, regardless of the tide schedule.

In 1962 the National Park Service took over ownership and management of this popular beach and renamed it Herring Cove– the original name of the shoreline popular with fisherman. Beach grass was planted to try and slow erosion, but it’s been a losing battle.   Wave action, rising seas, and shifting sands have created havoc with the parking area of this beach long popular with nature lovers and nudists who have enjoyed the solitude afforded by the expansive dune landscape. Certainly the characters in Remaining in Provincetown frequent Herring Cove Beach a beautiful spot for watching the sunset.  It might even be a spot to hide a murder weapon or to bid a last good-bye.  Haven’t read the mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook?  Autographed copies are available at The Provincetown Bookshop or buy a copy in trade paperback or as an ebook online.  Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

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Provincetown and Truro Cape Cod Nude Beaches

Long Nook

Going to the beach on Cape Cod offers so many choices.  There are the National Seashore beaches and the various town beaches, but without a beach sticker your options are limited. If you can make your way out to Long Point, at the very end of Provincetown, either by boat or by walking across the breakwater there is a beautiful unspoiled secluded beach and the opportunity to shed your clothes if the area is not tightly patrolled.Beach two

In previous blog posts I’ve talked about the clothing optional sections of Herring Cove /New Beach. The other place to visit is beautiful Long Nook in Truro. If you walk down the beach to the right, you’ll start to notice it has become clothing optional. During the summer season, you will need a beach sticker from Truro which you can buy if you are renting property for the week or month. Otherwise you could try bicycling there… Perhaps readers may have some other suggestions. Now when you do get to the beach of your choice, what book did you bring to read? I’m hoping you brought a copy of Remaining in Provincetown, the new mystery novel that everyone is talking about with all those almost familiar characters. Like us on Facebook. Currently on sale at the Provincetown Bookshop and online at a variety of sites in trade paperback and as an ebook. What’s your favorite beach?Beaches

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Remaining in Provincetown  By S.N.Cook.  Truro Works. 306 pages  $12.95 Trade Paperback

Remaining in Provincetown
By S.N.Cook.
Truro Works. 306 pages
$12.95 Trade Paperback

Bicycling Provincetown trails to discover true Cape Cod

Provncetown Bicycle trails near Race Point Beach Cape Cod.

Provncetown Bicycle trails near Race Point Beach Cape Cod.

Built in the 1960’s the bicycle trails on National Park Service lands take you across the sand dunes to the Beech Forest, Province Lands Visitor Center, Race Point Beach Parking lot and Herring Cove Beach Parking lot. The loop trail is almost five and half miles in length. On your drive along the steep winding trails you will see beautiful vistas of sand dunes as well the native vegetation which includes wild roses and beach plums along with the grasses that have been intentionally planted to help retard the shifting sands that cause dunes to shift and change shape each season.  If you are lucky, in the off-season you may encounter a fox. In summer there are small toads around Bennett Pond.

Don’t have a bicycle? You can rent one in Provincetown for a few hours or a day, to explore the trails. Bring a towel, bathing suit, and plenty of water as well as a picnic, if you’d like to enjoy a daylong adventure.

People of all ages enjoy using the bike trails.  The Carreiro children, in the recently released novel Remaining in Provincetown, can’t wait to get a hold of their bicycles so they can go riding on the trails, even if it is early spring—way too early for swimming. Want to gain a better insight as to what it’s like to live in Provincetown because you are planning a visit? Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook makes a great beach read, or start reading it now in anticipation of your vacation.  Now available at local bookstores, online and at Amazon.com. Like us on facebook.  Show the big publishers you can make your own decisions on what to read. Join the conversation.

Remaining in Provincetown  By S.N.Cook.  Truro Works. 306 pages  $12.95 Trade Paperback

Remaining in Provincetown
By S.N.Cook.
Truro Works. 306 pages
$12.95 Trade Paperback

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Writing about the nature of Provincetown, Cape Cod

New state road

Once the dunes were covered with forests,” writes Mary Heaton Vorse (1874-1966) in her classic book about Provincetown entitled, Time and the Town, The early settlers cut them down and made their houses and vessels of them The old houses in Provincetown are made from timber cut here.”

Vorse first came to Provincetown in 1907 for a short vacation, ended up buying a house and staying on and off Cape Cod for the rest of her life.  She writes eloquently about many things including the sand dunes. “The dune walks. A great wind will lift them bodily.  A vast crater will appear where last year there was one. The wind piles up a mountain of sand and things may begin to grow upon its top. Then the mountain will be again leveled off. There is space here. There is an expanse that gives the illusion that the other side of the dunes is a great way off, as one feels in the West, looking over a great mesa.”  Time and the Town was published in 1942.

Provincetown has continued to attract and inspire writers.   What are the mysterious dynamics of the town? Intrigued to read more? Check out Remaining in Provincetown, the new mystery novel now available at Amazon.com in trade paperback or on kindle. Like the Remaining in Provincetown Facebook page and keep the conversation going.

Finback Whale watching in Provincetown Cape Cod

Finback Whale on Provincetown beach one of the largest ever taken.

Finback Whale on Provincetown beach one of the largest ever taken.

The Finback whale shown in this antique postcard which was mailed in 1918, at first glance looks as if it beached on the Provincetown shore. But on closer examination, and from reading the caption on the photograph, the sad truth is this whale was hunted and killed for its blubber oil.   Currently an endangered species, the Finback is the second largest animal in the world. (The Blue Whale is the largest) It has been described by naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews as “the greyhound of the sea”. Since the mid 1980’s whale watching has become a way for visitors to Cape Cod to observe these handsome mammals. Often sighted in the waters on the tip of Cape Cod are primarily Humpback Whales as well as a few Finback Whales.

This particular whale in the vintage postcard above was killed by Captain Joshua Nickerson while at the command of the steamer the A.B. Nickerson. It was one of the largest of the Finback species ever taken in Provincetown and measured 65 feet and 4 inches in length and weighed 136 tons.  According to the book Provincetown written by Herman Atwell Jennings, “in 1886 the steamer and a facility for processing whales was built at Herring Cove near the Race Point Lighthouse and in 1889 a wharf was extended from shore four hundred feet to enable the factory steamer to bring the whales and other fish alongside to be handled.” A number of the streets in Provincetown have the names of the early families that include Nickerson, Snow, and Dyer. Small towns have their secrets. Want to gain a more intimate sense of the town and its inhabitants?  You’ll want to read the new novel Remaining in Provincetown, now available at Amazon.com. Like us on Facebook and you may win a FREE copy.

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Is it New Beach or Nude Beach in Provincetown on Cape Cod?

Loading Fish at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown

Loading Fish at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown

Written on the back of this antique postcard it says Hell Town, New Beach.  Yes, long ago there was a  fishing settlement between Woods End and Race Point called “Hell Town”. It’s a pretty ironic name considering that Provincetown, located at the very end of Cape Cod, through the years became known as a wild party town where just about anything goes.  As for the term New Beach, it has not been used for decades to my knowledge. When I google the term “New Beach” what I get is “Nude Beach”.  Well yes, there has always been an unofficial and then official Nude Beach over at Herring Cove Beach.  If there is a secluded place, naturists will remove their clothes, it’s just natural. Just like it’s natural for folks who live in a beautiful place like Provincetown will want to enjoy spending as much time on the beach, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore and the sounds of the seagulls calling to one another flying  above and looking for some tasty dinner. Partaking in tasty food is something many of the characters in Remaining in Provincetown like to do, particularly Bruno the owner of a popular Bed and Breakfast. Want to learn more? Keep posted to learn more about the soon-to-be released novel everyone’s talking about.