I have been poking around and collecting the names of Cape Cod rivers.


My discoveries thus far include:


Bass River

Little Pamet River

Pamet River

Quashnet River

Mashpee River

Santuit River

Swan Pond River


If you know of any other Cape Cod rivers, let me know and I will lengthen the list.


I had never realized how many “creeks” exist on Cape Cod. “Creek” is a foreign term for most native New Englanders.


Seems that the identifying element of Cape Cod “creeks” is that they are associated with estuary environments i.e., the transition in short distances of sweet fresh water draining from the land and flowing to sea through common tidal estuary environments.


When driving the roads of Cape Cod, you notice those ditch-like tidal waterways twisting through the salt marsh grasses – those are for the most part referred to on Cape Cod as “creeks.”


Cape Cod is a region consisting of many small watersheds – a lacework pattern of tiny localized and intimate waterways.


Listed, rather, by academics as one large regional watershed.

A day trip this week to Sandwich, Massachusetts by several members of the Friends of the Ten Mile and Bucklin Brook combined the joy of local travel with the business of watershed field observation, thus my comments about Cape Cod as an unusual watershed entity – actually a dynamic environmental oddity as Cape Cod protrudes into the sometimes-stormy Atlantic Ocean.


We observed especially the Sandwich estuary consisting of several “creeks” flowing to sea through a common barrier beach breach at Town Neck. (say “barrier beach breach” three times fast) Fun!

Sandwich is fun and as well, an intact estuary “creek” environment presenting a quick study reality – naturally well-organized geographically and placed amongst the convenient location of several warm cozy tea shops.


The Sandwich “creek” system is bracketed on the west by Mill Creek associated with scenic Sandwich Center and the Shawme Lake complex and supported in the east by Spring Hill Creek more closely associated with the Green Briar Nature Center with Jam Kitchen in East Sandwich.


Several “creeks” exist in between including: Factory Creek, Parsonage Creek, Ox Pasture Creek, Old Dock Creek, Old Harbor Creek, and Pine Island Creek – all common and picturesque tidal “creeks” as described above and arrayed as a fan with all waters flowing to a common tidal exchange with Cape Cod Bay at the Town Neck breach.


This is the nostalgic stuff as described by Patty Page in her famous song “Old Cape Cod.” And a great place to relax and enjoy the power and beauty of water, just being water.


Don Doucette

Photo Credits To Ben Cote