- Organized the group, established bylaws, officers, non profit status, and a web site.
- Held a series of pancake breakfasts as fund raisers
- Developed and started selling Scusset beach stickers as a fund raiser.
- Received a donation of numerous hand and power tools from an estate that are used by the park
- Took part in our first park serve day.
- Awarded our first DCR matching funds partnership grant to purchase the materials for a new boardwalk.
- Constructed a new, ADA compliant boardwalk from the jetty parking lot to the canal service road and held a dedication for same.
- Held a series of pancake breakfasts as well as continuing selling Scusset stickers as fund raisers.
- Took part in our second Park Serve Day
- Awarded our 2nd DCR partnership grant towards materials for a new campground path.
- Constructed a new ADA compliant pathway from the bath house to the beach parking lot in the campground to improve access.
- Established a friends group face book page.
- Held a fall pancake breakfast as well as continuing selling Scusset stickers as fund raisers.
- Held the first annual Scusset 5K walk/Run
- 3rd Park Serve Day
- Awarded 3rd DCR partnership grant for improvements to exterior of Beach bath houses.
- Purchased painting supplies and landscape materials as well as labor for landscaping at the Beach Bath houses.
- Provided a thank you party for Student Conservation Association workers who installed new lumber at safari field.
- Vice President Paul Loiselle chosen Volunteer or the year and Supervisor DeCosta as DCR friend of the year by the statewide friends group network.
- Organized first Friends Group Safari Campout.
- Held 2nd annual Scusset 5K walk and run
- 4th Park Serve Day
- Awarded 4th DCR partnership grant for Phase 1 of the Playground area
- Construction of Phase 1 of the playground
- Provided refreshments to DCR staff from several parks who help to build new boardwalk.
- Organized a dedication ceremony for the new boardwalk
- President Elise Smith and her husband Rick chosen as volunteers of the year by the statewide Friends Group network.
- Organized a series of Friends Group safari Campouts
- 3rd Annual Scusset 5K walk/run
- 5th Park Serve Day.
- Awarded 5th DCR partnership grant towards Phase 2 of Playground
- Held a Family Fun Day event in connection with the Cape Cod Canal’s 100th anniversary celebration.
- Provided labor and equipment for the installation of new rail fence in the playground, fire pit and work yard areas.
- Added baseball caps and post cards to fund raising merchandise.
- Help a spring fishing derby.
- Provided a Pizza party thank you to Cape Cod Voke students who built the new gatehouse
- A truck box for Ranger (donated by Paul & Linda Porazzo a member of the Friends)
- From the supervisor’s wish list the Friends of Scusset purchased:
- Lawn mower parts
- PA System,
- Chop Saw with blades and stand
- Two Sandwich Boards and additional lettering
- Three hand held Counters
- Lawn Roller
Due to the campground being under construction and closed for a new Electrical Systems, the Friends of Scusset missed doing two of their “Friends Fundraisers”. The campground section of the Reservation did not open until July. The Fish Pier and the beach areas were opened as scheduled.
The Friends purchased two benches for outside the office area which have been installed. These benches will be dedicated to the memory of “Norma Cotter” who did the “Friends” Web Page and Newsletter. She was also the DCR Employee who greeted you in the office. Norma will be missed by all.
The Friends also purchased a bench dedicated to the memory of “Tom McSweeney” an avid supporter of Scusset Beach. This bench will be installed at the beach at the end of the boardwalk. The bench was purchased with funds from donations made in Mr. McSweeney’s name to the Friends of Scusset Beach. Also requested by the family, another bench for the playground in memory of Mr. McSweeney’s and a Doggie Waste Station for the playground.
Due to the death of Friends member Paul Porazzo (husband of Treasurer, Linda) a fund was set up to purchase a bench or benches within the campground section of the park. These are ordered and will be placed within the campground this year and also funds available for “Doggie Waste Stations”.
The Friends also purchased for the Park Supervisor two Echo Weed Trimmers, a Welding Tank for use within the Reservation.
The Beach Building has been painted with the help of laborers from the prison, and work on the roof has been completed.
- Assist park staff with beautification and painting projects in the spring.
- Purchase much needed equipment for the park as requested by the supervisor as funds are available. Some of these items include a drill press, screw gun, power cut off miter saw, back leaf blower, power pole saw, letter boards, and vehicle PA system.
The Friends of Scusset Beach is a non profit organization that is organized to promote and conserve the natural, scenic and historic resources of Scusset Beach State Reservation. We are here to assist the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the operation of Scusset Beach Reservation; and to assist and work in cooperation with the Park Supervisor, Forest Supervisor and Army Corp. Engineers in general support and enrichment of Scusset Beach State Reservation.
The group was organized in September 2009 and has undertaken several fund raising and work projects to help improve the reservation.
We presently have over 200 members of all ages and from as far away as Florida.
Our members come from many different walks and enjoy the Reservation in a variety of ways like camping, fishing, bike riding or going the beach for the day.
What we all have in common is that we enjoy Scusset Beach State Reservation and support the friend’s organization in a variety of ways as a means to improving the park.
President Elise Smith
Vice President Charlie Colson
Secretary/Website Leslie Lee Sennett
Treasurer Linda Robbins-Porazzo
Asst. Treasurer Edna Faria
Become a Member
(Applications also available at the park office)
The area that is now Scusset Beach State Reservation was very different from what it is today. Most of the area was salt marsh, with some upland and had Scusset Creek running through it down to Scusset harbor which was located where today there are numerous cottages on Phillips Road. Sagamore Hill was a favorite tribal meeting place of the local Wampanoag natives
In 1623 it is said that Captain Myles Standish from the Pilgrims met the Wampanoag leader Massasoit on top of Sagamore Hill. Standish explored the area and noted that there was less than a mile between the Scusset Creek and the Manamet River and was the first to suggest a canal in the area. In the late 1600 hundreds a home was built near the hill by a Mr. Edmund Freeman who died in 1682. After his death it is thought that the house was moved by his son Matthias. After the house was moved the area lay basically undisturbed throughout the 1700 hundreds.
From 1820 to 1842 a boat yard operated near where the beach is today. The ships built there were used for the sugar trade. After the demise of the boat yard the area again lay dormant except for the occasional attempt at farming on the upland area.
With the dawn of the 20th Century, things began to change very much in the Scusset Beach Area. The Ben Lomond Golf Club, a 9 hole course was built on the west Side of Sagamore hill running through the upland that is just outside of the main park gate. Golf cost $1.50 for nine holes and the clubhouse was located where the gate is today to enter the Sagamore Hill Trail.
In the 1904 the charter to build a Cape Cod Canal was taken over by the Boston, Cape Cod and New York Canal Company and most of the land fell under their control. By 1909 August Belmont began the construction of the Canal. (The story of the construction of the Cape Cod Canal is remarkable story that deserves its own telling) The area was alive with workmen and machinery as progress was made. The canal opened in July 1914 as a toll canal.
During WWI the canal and it’s adjacent area was taken over by the Federal Railroad Administration for war purposes but with the end of the war it was all turned back over to August Belmont and his company.
Due to finical problems Belmont sold the canal back to the Federal Government who placed it under the control of the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1928. In the 1930’s as part of President Roosevelt’s public works projects during the depression, the canal was widened to what we see today. Once again the Scusset area was alive with men and equipment as the project moved ahead.
December 7th 1941 brought the US into WWII. Before the end of December, Scusset was taken over by the Department of War and Battery C of the 241st coastal artillery battalion moved into the area to establish gun emplacements for the defense of the canal.
Soldiers were housed temporarily at the Hoxie School up the road until a camp could be built. At its peak, 250 men served on Sagamore Hill. The Artillery site was shut down in April 1945 as the war drew to a close. The war department turned the canal and land back over to the Corps of Engineers in November 1945.
Again the land fell mostly dormant, with some hunters and fishermen using the area. In the Mid 1950’s the US Army Corps of Engineers entered into a lease agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to operate a state beach on the location.
Work began under the Direction of the Massachusetts department of Public Works and in 1957 Scusset Beach State Reservation was opened and dedicated. The Fish pier and adjacent buildings and the beach parking lots and buildings were in place.
In the early 1970’s, the Department of Natural Resources (the predecessor to DCR) constructed the campground we know today.
Scusset continues to be operated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under a lease agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers and is an extremely popular campground and ocean beach
With over a half mile of some of the sandiest beach on Cape Cod and rolling dunes, Scusset’s day use beach, located on Cape Cod Bay, is a very popular destination in the summertime.
The beach is great for sun bathing, swimming, surf casting (in designated areas), walking to the stone jetty, metal detecting or ship watching. A new ADA compliant boardwalk allows easy access to the beach.
In season, late June through Labor Day, There are lifeguards on duty, a concession stand and restrooms with showers for the public. Beach wheel chairs are also available and it is suggested you call the office ahead of time to make reservations.
Due to the yearly arrival of the piping plover, an endangered bird, pets are not allowed on the beach from April 1st to September 15th each year. However, they are allowed the rest of the year and the beach is a popular place for dog walkers in the off season. Kite flying is also not allowed for the same time period.
Please remember that alcohol and flotation devices are not allowed for everyone’s safety.
Please plan on arriving early as many times during the summer the park reaches capacity and has to close for several hours/
Scusset Beach State Reservation, located on Cape Cod Bay at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal, is a very popular swimming fishing, and camping area operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. One of the best areas in Massachusetts for fun in the sun, it is a wonderful place to visit for day outings and camping during the summer months, and weekend camping is even offered off-season.
- A beautiful, sandy salt-water beach with lifeguards during the summer,
- Boardwalks over the dunes make the beach and jetty handicap accessible.
- Handicap wheelchairs are available for beach use. Please call and reserve ahead.
- A beach bathhouse and concession open during the summer season.
- A campground with 98 RV sites, 5 tent sites, and a Safari Field for camping clubs.
- Park Interpreter’s programs available to all at the Nature Center and other areas of the park.
Scusset Beach, on the Cape Cod Canal, offers a great opportunities for:
- Swimming on Scusset’s sandy beach.
- Walking, biking, hiking along the paved 7-mile Canal Access road from the East end at Scusset Beach to the Rail Road bridge at the West end.
- Fishing, at the jetty, Fish Pier, or all along the canal
- Watching the boats of many varieties on this canal waterway between Cape Cod Bay and Buzzard’s Bay.
The Fish Pier is not only a great place to fish but also an excellent spot to watch the Canal traffic. Family picnics and outings are often held in the shady picnic area, where charcoal grills are available for cooking. Restrooms are available in this area.
Scusset Beach State Reservation offers one of the most popular campgrounds in the Massachusetts State Park system. There are 98 RV sites, 5 tents and a rally field for organized groups.
Scusset’s RV sites offer a blacktop pad, Picnic table, Individual electric hookups (20-30 & 50 amps per site) and shared water hookups. Sorry, propane fire pits only are allowed on RV sites.
Scusset’s 5 tent sites are private, with a picnic table and fire pit for cooking.
The Safari Field is available weekends during the summer and is for rally camping only. Please contact the park for questions about the Safari area.
The campground has a central comfort station with free showers and an outside dish washing station and recycling area. 4 Dumpsters are located through out the campground for campers use. A community fire pit and horseshoe pits are located near the campground entrance.
The parks Nature center and nature programs are available in Late June, July and August.
As the campground is extremely popular, Reservations through Reserve America are strongly recommended.