Cape cod is one of the nicest locations to spend a summer in America. The hook-shaped peninsula means that it has many unique beaches and trails that can entertain the entire family and provide the perfect place to relax in the summertime sun. As Cape Cod has increased in popularity land has become more and more expensive. The unique location has attracted the rich and famous who are building incredible mansions across the peninsula. Recently a small island came up for sale. While it would have been a perfect location for another mansion, it was purchased for a different reason. This island was purchased for the people.
Sipson Island is located in Pleasant Bay in Cape Cod. It is well protected from the elements thanks to the natural peninsula. It is closely located to the mainland meaning it is easy to get to. The island is only 25 acres in size but its location made it a hot property when it recently went up for sale. The island went on the luxury real estate market in 2018. It had been privately owned for the last 300 years when the local Monomoyick people sold it to English settlers. While it could easily have stayed under private ownership and made someone a lot of money, the sellers went a different direction.
The island was sold instead to the Sipson Island Trust. The trust is comprised of the ‘Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts’, ‘The Friends of Pleasant Bay’, and the local residents in the area. The idea behind the purchase was simple. Instead of allowing another piece of land to disappear into private and become either a trophy estate or a profit-hungry resort, the trust wanted it to be something people could enjoy for free.
The Trust had enough funds to purchase 17 of the 25 acres meaning 8 are still privately owned. The Trust has plans in place to purchase the remaining 8 but is accepting donations to assist their aim. The aim of the Sipson Island Trust is to make the island one of conservation and respect. The Monomoyick people lived in this area for 9,000 years before English settlers arrived. The trust feels that by giving the island back to the people they are finally offering the indigenous people that once resided there.
While most developments today seek to add to a location, the SIT hopes to take away from Sipson Island. They want to restore it to its natural state so hope to strip away many of the existing buildings on the island. As of July 25th, the island was open to visitors. To get there you can either kayak or paddleboard. If you have a small boat (under 22 feet in length and shallow) you are welcome to use it but any larger boats are not able to land ashore to ensure the marine environment is protected.
As the site is being undeveloped at present there is still some work ongoing. Yet Sipson Island offers a perfect day trip if you are in the area. You can kayak or SUP to the island and then embark on some walks, swims, or a picnic. Fishing is allowed as long as you have a license. As you would expect, pets, fires, and hunting are not allowed. The trust described the island as “a secret garden” waiting to be discovered. So much of the island has not been visited for so long that it has become almost like new land located directly in Cape Cod.
There are so many hikes, trails, and activities to do in Cape Cod that is a must-see destination if you are ever nearby. Yet we would highly recommend putting the Sipson Island day plan near the top of your list. A truly unique experience in a world that is increasingly overdeveloped.