The Waquoit Bay Reserve is designated for resource protection, research and education but our status as a State Park and the spectacular location on Waquoit Bay and Nantucket Sound also invite recreation. A variety of activities are available at the Visitor Center at the head of the bay, South Cape Beach State Park, Washburn Island, the Quashnet River Area, and the other lands and waters that make up the Reserve. The public is encouraged to enjoy and explore all the Reserve has to offer, but to follow posted rules and regulations that allow recreational use to be balanced with protection of this fragile landscape. Each year thousands of people visit the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Some come for the unstructured recreational benefits that the Reserve provides, including swimming, fishing and shellfishing, hiking, boating, and birding. Others come for more structured activities that are offered by the Reserve’s research and education programs. Click here for trail maps and directions. For activities, see sidebar or click Tour the Reserve.