An Idyllic Visit to the Canal

by Lisa Cavanaugh

Summer is upon us and everyone on the Cape is looking to be near the water. What could be more agreeable than setting up camp, relaxing with friends and family, and watching the boats and wildlife along the Cape Cod Canal?

The idea for connecting the two tidal rivers that snaked inward onto a narrow isthmus at the western edge of the Cape Cod peninsula began with Myles Standish in 1623. Nearly three centuries later, the concept finally came to fruition when, in 1914,  the Cape Cod Canal officially opened.

This 17.4-mile navigable waterway is operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, and is an important seagoing route for thousands of commercial vessels as well as a popular location for recreational boating and fishing. The canal is also home to seals, striped and black sea bass, squid, jellyfish, and bluefish. Most species of whales that can be found in the region, including right whales, minkes, and humpbacks, have traversed it on occasion.

With more than a thousand acres of federal lands surrounding the canal on both sides, there is an amazing variety of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, fishing, biking, picnicking, and ship watching, available in every season.

The Bourne Scenic Park, located on the western shore of the canal, is owned and operated by the Bourne Recreation Authority on land leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It offers more than four hundred camping sites for tents and RVs plus cabins and lodges for rent from April to October each year.

Located on the Scenic Highway just below the Bourne Bridge, Bourne Scenic Park is a snap to get to from either on Cape or off. And there is no better way to arrive for your canal-side adventure than in one of the new 2022 GMC trucks and SUVs.

The popular Terrain is a mid-sized SUV and the smallest made by GMC.  “It can fit everything folks need for a great day of outdoor adventure or longer camping trip,” says salesman Andrew Robertson of Robertson’s GMC in Wareham.  “It is a five-seater with plenty of room in the back for luggage, and the standard included roof rack can hold all your gear.”  Additional features include a dual sunroof, keyless ignition, and a “Heads Up” visual display that pops up in the driver’s line of sight to allow them to stay attuned to their route.

The 2022 GMC Sierra with the black diamond package is a great truck. It has the Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel paired up with the 10-speed, fully automatic Allison Transmission for effortless trailering and hauling.

— Andrew Robertson, Robertson’s GMC in Wareham

The AT4 off-road trim package adds to the overall appeal of the Terrain, with its black detailing, deep black rims and mirror covers, and pewter/steel color for the grill itself. “It has a more assertive look overall but is still a great family vehicle,” says Robertson.

If bringing along bikes and kayaks or even pulling a camper is part of the game plan, then you might consider the best-selling Sierra 2500 with the Denali package.  “The 2022 GMC Sierra with the black diamond package is a great truck,“ says Robertson. “It has the Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel paired up with the 10-speed, fully automatic Allison Transmission for effortless trailering and hauling.” The “Heads Up” display in the Sierra projects onto the windshield, making it easy to see vital driving information and still keep one’s eyes on the road.


The Denali package offers similar black finish details and includes automatic power running boards and a MultiPro Tailgate that can be configured and positioned to function in several ways. “As in most of your GMC trucks you have an outlet in the rear; if you did need to charge anything you are all set,“ says Robertson. “The Denali also has speakers in the tailgate, so you can bring your music with you to the campground.”

The 2500 can tow up to 18,500 pounds and is perfect for when you might want to bring a travel trailer or fifth wheel and stay for a while. Luckily, the Bourne Scenic Park offers longer-term camping, allowing you to spend a few weeks or more gazing at the engineering marvel and picturesque waterway that is the Cape Cod Canal.