Island Off Cape Cod Opens to Public for First Time Since 1711

Sipson Island, just off the eastern coast of Orleans, Massachusetts, has been private for more than 300 years

A photo of Sipson Island off the coast of Cape Cod. The island is now open to the public for the first time in more than 300 years.
Sipson Island Trust

For the first time since the colonial era, an idyllic island off the coast of Cape Cod is open to the public.

Sipson Island in Pleasant Bay has been private for more than 300 years. It became publicly accessible on Saturday, the Sipson Island Trust announced.

The 24-acre island is located just off the eastern coast of Orleans, Massachusetts.

According to the trust's website, the island was sold to 11 English colonists by Tom Sipson, a Native American leader, in 1711.

The Sipson Island Trust says it worked with the Friends of Pleasant Bay and the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts to acquire the island last month.

The trust listed some rules on its Facebook page. Pets, open fires, fireworks, firearms, hunting, trapping and the collection of plants or animals from the island are prohibited, and boats must follow specific guidelines.

Officials say they support and encourage scenic viewing, walking, hiking, picnicking, swimming, birdwatching, photography, painting and sketching, as well as fishing and shellfishing for visitors with licenses.

Some private property remains on the island. The trust asks visitors to be respectful.

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