Where Does the Cape Cod Canal Start?

If you’re planning a visit to Cape Cod, one of the first questions you might have is where exactly does the Cape Cod Canal start? The answer to this question is quite interesting and can provide some insight into the history and geography of the area.

The Beginning of the Cape Cod Canal
The Cape Cod Canal is a man-made waterway that connects Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay. It was built in the early 20th century and has since become an important shipping route, as well as a popular destination for recreational activities like boating, fishing, and biking.

Location
The canal begins at its westernmost point in Bourne, Massachusetts. More specifically, it starts at the northern end of Buzzards Bay and runs approximately seven miles to its easternmost point in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

The History of the Canal

The idea for a canal connecting Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay dates back to the 17th century when Dutch explorer Adriaen Block first proposed it. However, it wasn’t until 1909 that construction on the canal began under President Theodore Roosevelt’s direction.

The original canal was completed in 1914 and was much narrower than what we see today. Over time, it was widened and deepened to accommodate larger vessels.

Why Was It Built?

So why was the Cape Cod Canal built in the first place? The area around Cape Cod has long been known for its treacherous waters and unpredictable weather patterns.

Before the canal was constructed, ships had to navigate around the entire peninsula to get from one side to the other. This led to many shipwrecks and lost lives.

By building a canal through the narrowest part of Cape Cod, ships could avoid this dangerous journey altogether. The construction of the canal also made transportation faster and more efficient between Boston and New York City.

  • Fun Fact: During World War II, the Cape Cod Canal was closed to civilian traffic and used exclusively for military purposes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Cape Cod Canal is an important part of the history and geography of the area. It starts at its westernmost point in Bourne, Massachusetts, and runs approximately seven miles to its easternmost point in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The canal was built to make transportation faster and safer between Boston and New York City and has since become a popular destination for recreational activities like boating, fishing, and biking.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins