Shawme-Crowell State Forest - Backpacking/Camping

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Shawme-Crowell State Forest is an accessible and charming place to take the family for a weekend getaway. It has a lot of camping options, and well-manicured trails for all to enjoy.

Written by

Garry McLinn


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

49.6 miles


1 of 5 diamonds

Easily accessible to all, Shawme-Crowell state forest is more for car-campers than thrill seekers. Well-manicured tent and RV sites are easily accessible from the main road that runs through the park. The surrounding trails are not very steep, and are very well marked.

Time To Complete

0 hours


All Seasons

Fall and spring are great times to check out Shawme-Crowell, but the real perk of the park is Summer. Stay here when you want to go to Cape Cod but not spend a ton of money for lodging. Winter camping is limited to Friday and Saturday nights.

Dog Friendly


Dogs and their owners are welcome.

Fees Permits


There is a $17.00 per night usage fee, in addition to the $8.65 transaction fee added by their booking website. Yurts can be rented from $45.00-55.00 per night depending on size and location.



Located at the beginning of Cape Cod, Shawme-Crowell is a great destination for those looking to enjoy the natural resources of the Cape, and avoid the high-priced hotels you'll find further out.  Camping is available year-round (though only on weekends during the winter months), and the park is equipped to handle any kind of camper. If you are not a fan of tents, yurt-huts are available for rental, and for the RV crowd there are spacious lots and an easily accessible pump-out station.  The park also boasts several miles of well-groomed, well-marked trails accessible to all skill levels.  

What Makes It Great

Location, location, location!  Shawme-Crowell is a fantastic alternative for Cape-goers looking for a place to bed down for the night. The park entrance is located just off of Route 6, a 15-minute walk from shopping and restaurants in Sandwich, MA (check out Cafe Chew for great buttermilk pancakes!) The drive to the National Seashore in Wellfleet is just under an hour from Shawme-Crowell, and is a wonderfully scenic way to spend a morning.

The park itself has everything you need for a great camping experience. After checking in with the friendly rangers at the front gate, you'll find yourself in a well-maintained and spacious campsite. Each tent site has at least a picnic table and a campfire ring, some even have hibachi grills available as well. The yurts sleep four to a hut, and in addition to the hibachi and fire ring, have their own fresh water source right outside the door. Notably, all the yurts are equipped with handicap accessible ramps leading up to the front door, making this park wonderfully accessible to all. Restroom and shower facilities are clean and plentiful, never more than a five-minute walk from your individual campsite.

The camp store has your basic provisions, including firewood and charcoal for the grill, and a small selection of groceries and beverages.  Should you arrive after the store is closed, the gate-house rangers will sell you a bundle of firewood.  

All the trails in the park are relatively easy making them accessible to even the most casual hiker. Spending a morning wandering the trails is a great way to step away from the city and reconnect with nature although you'll never feel completely isolated— there is always cell service and you're never far from main roads.  

Who is Going to Love It

If you're looking to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, without going far off the grid or having to hike difficult trails, Shawme-Crowell is for you. The ease of access makes it a great spot for families with young kids, or outdoor enthusiasts with limited mobility. It's also a great place to just come for a weekend night and have a campfire with your friends, but make sure to grab one of the group campsites if that's your particular aim.  

Those seeking the profound quiet of the great outdoors may want to look elsewhere. Shawme-Crowell's convenient location close to a major thoroughfare does mean that you will always be able to hear the passing of cars on the highway, even from your campsite at night. However, if you want to spend some time enjoying Cape Cod, and want to avoid the exorbitant prices associated with hotels in the area, Shawme-Crowell is a great way to do that and get a healthy dose of beautiful New England flora and fauna at the same time.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Located at the very start of Cape Cod, Shawme-Crowell is about an hour-and-a-half from Boston (time varies based on traffic conditions). 

To get there, take 93 South and exit onto MA-3 South in Braintree. Take Exit 1C for US-6E (the main road that travels up the Cape), and bear right towards the Mid-Cape Connector/Sandwich Road. Turn right on Sandwich Road and then bear right at the fork towards Main Street. The camping area will be on your right.  

Camping at Shawme-Crowell requires a $17.00 per night usage fee, in addition to the $8.65 transaction fee added by their booking website. Yurts can be rented from $45.00-55.00 per night depending on size and location. 

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Shawme-Crowell State Forest

42 Main Street
Sandwich, MA, 02563
41.762677, -70.517942

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