Take a walk down Buzzards Bay’s eastern shoreline and you’ll be rewarded with the kind of coastal tranquility that can be hard to find on the Cape. Black Beach features a stretch of fine white sand swirled with patches of black and dark gray that provide its name. This barrier beach sits in front of Great Sippewissett Marsh, a stunning, 190-acre salt marsh rich with wildlife.
The access road leading to the beach is private, so access to Black Beach is by foot or by boat only. If you have a Falmouth beach sticker, you may park at the Chapoquoit Beach parking area and walk south down the beach about a half-mile to reach Black Beach. You can also enjoy stunning views of the marsh from the Shining Sea Bikeway, which runs along the eastern edge of the marsh, where bikers can pause to look across the marsh to the sparkling waters of Buzzards Bay. (If you don’t have a Falmouth beach sticker, we recommend parking in one of bike path parking lots and cycling to Chapoquoit Beach along the sidewalk on Chapaquoit Road.)
Whether you walk, paddle, bike, or motor your way to Black Beach, you’ll find a perfect place to swim, fish, beachcomb, and explore a fascinating marsh ecosystem. And if you just want to sit and take in the views, you’ll have no shortage of entertainment: in the summer, this is a favorite spot for local kite surfers to ride the waves!
Habitats & Wildlife
Great Sippewissett Marsh is a shallow, tidal waterway that provides a sheltered habitat for a fantastic variety of marine life. Salt marshes serve as nurseries for young fish and shellfish, including bluefish and bay scallops. At low tide, a vast expanse of tidal flats emerge from the marsh, where you can see crabs scuttling and bubbles emerging from clams hidden beneath the sand.
From a boat gliding through the marsh grasses, visitors can observe birds like egrets, herons, osprey, and a variety of gulls hunting for fish. The Bay side of Black Beach is also important habitat for roseate tern, a federally endangered species. In the fall, stop by to observe migratory swallows flocking in swarms of thousands in the skies above the beach and marsh.