Daytrip Destination: Sampsons Island


If you’re looking for a great, easy-access beach to bring your boat (and family) this summer, look no further than Sampsons Island.


Sampsons (shown as “Dead Neck” on charts) is a long, sandy, 37-acre barrier beach off Osterville and Cotuit. The island is managed by Massachusetts Audubon, whose staff may ask for a donation while you use the beach. Note that much of the island’s interior is off-limits through much of the season to protect nesting shorebirds. From May through September, Sampsons is patrolled by Mass Audubon’s Coastal Waterbird Program staff, who protect nesting areas, lead nature walks, and ensure compliance with sanctuary regulations.




Sampsons-Sat-Map_largeYou can access the well-protected “backside” of the island via the narrow channel connecting Cotuit Bay and West Bay then gently nose your bow onto the sand to offload passengers. If approaching from Cotuit Bay, watch your depth, as the western end of the island is bordered by shallow flats in places.

Incidentally, the fishing for bluefish and striped bass can be pretty good right in front of Sampsons, especially in June.