Here's a tip that Cape Codders like to keep to themselves. Jackknife Cove on scenic Pleasant Bay in East Harwich has clean, gentle water, beautiful views and lots of activity to watch. And it's absolutely free, even in the high-season months of July and August. You heard that right. Access and parking are free.
Everything has a price of course, and the "cost of admission" to Jacknife Cove is a steep, pitted little road at a treacherous angle off fast moving Rt. 28 with limited visibility in all directions. Finding your opening in the traffic to make the turn might force you onto the little road so fast that you bottom out the car. Crunch, grind, ouch.
Even after you finesse the entrance, the bouncing doesn't end because the parking lot is not so much a lot, but hard-packed sandy-gravel with deep, water-filled potholes. SUVs have no problem with this lunar landscape but sedans get more grinding and scraping of the bottom.
Sounds appealing, doesn't it? Well, it's worth it. Once you are in place you are within feet of a blissful little stretch of sand, between the little sailboats of the Chatham Yacht Club and the kayaks and canoes turned upside down on the other side of the sandy stretch.
In front of you lie Pleasant Bay, filled with sailboats and small power boats, jet skiis and small craft powered by strong arms. Beyond lie the ever-improving Wequassett Resort and Cape Cod homes both large and small. You never run out of things to look at from your perch on the sand. In spite of this harbor location, water is crystal clean so little children can swim comfortably and safely.
Do you have a kayak or paddleboard of your own? Bring it over and launch from here. Some friends of mine take their stand-up paddleboards and cruise all the way to the open water at the opening of the bay.
If you go to Jackknife Cove, there are no conveniences. Bring some food and an empty bladder. It's also unmarked. From Rt. 28 look for the small opening opposite and south of Bay Rd. And to get you in the mood, I shot a brief video. Enjoy your "trip" to Jackknife Cove.
View my listing located just one mile from Jackkife Cove, 58 Williamsburg Ave., E. Harwich 02645