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Nickerson State Park, Brewster

#1 of 13 in Nature in Cape Cod
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Nickerson State Park is a state-owned, public recreation area of more than located on Cape Cod in Brewster, Massachusetts. The state park's sandy soil and scrub pines surround many kettle ponds which are dependent on groundwater and precipitation. The largest of these are Cliff Pond (the largest at across), Flax Pond, Little Cliff Pond, and Higgins Pond. Ruth Pond, Keeler's Pond, Eel Pond and Triangle Pond provide additional water habitats.
The land comprising the state park was once part of the estate of Samuel Mayo Nickerson (1830-1914), an area native and Chicago liquor distiller who made a fortune as one of the founding officers of the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1890, Nickerson built Fieldstone Hall on land overlooking Cape Cod Bay, a mile west of the present-day park, to be the home of his son Roland C. Nickerson, Roland's wife Addie, and their three children, Roland Jr., Samuel, and Helen. Fieldstone Hall was lost to fire in 1906, and a larger mansion was built on the same site. That building subsequently became a seminary and is now a major feature of the upscale resort known as Ocean Edge.
Shortly after Fieldstone Hall burned down, Roland Nickerson died at age 51, his death at the time being ascribed to his heartache at the loss of his home and personal possessions. His son, Roland Jr., a naval lieutenant, died in the 1918 influenza epidemic. In 1934, Addie Nickerson donated that portion of the estate on the south side of Route 6a for use as a "state forest park." It became the Commonwealth's first state park and was named in honor of her late husband and late son.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
288 reviews
  • Bring the kids, bring yourself, bring your bikes and bring your beach equipment or just camp out. We went to bike and found the beach areas: very pristine and calm. Bike path leads to rail trail...  more »
  • We took a 3 mile hike around Cliff Pond. The hike itself is not challenging. The views around the pond were great, especially as we passed other, smaller ponds. The trail was easy to follow and...  more »
  • I first came to Nickerson State Park to camp with my young daughters 20 years ago. It is wonderful for camping with beautiful sites in wooded areas near ponds for swimming. Very safe. Nice facilities. Very well maintained. A great place to get back to nature. One of my favorite places to camp (which I still love to do!).
  • We really enjoyed our stay! The people are so friendly and the staff in the main office are super helpful and knowledgeable. Here’s plenty of room in between camp sites but you do have neighbors that you can see. Bathrooms were cleaned often which I was thankful for. Overall we had a great experience!
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