Cape Cod is a stunning destination with miles of sandy beaches, picturesque towns, and scenic trails. One increasingly popular way to explore this beautiful place is by using a utility task vehicle (UTV).

What are UTVs?

UTVs, also known as side-by-sides, are versatile off-road vehicles capable of navigating various terrains, from rocky hills to sandy beaches. They’re perfect for families or groups who want to explore Cape Cod together. One of their advantages is that they can access areas not open to traditional vehicles, allowing visitors to explore secluded beaches, hidden trails, and remote wilderness areas. Moreover, UTVs are safer and more comfortable than ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), requiring less physical exertion to operate and offering better protection against the elements.

UTV rental options on Cape Cod

There are several rental companies offering UTVs for day trips or longer excursions. Some popular UTV rental options on Cape Cod include:

Safety guidelines and regulations

Before renting a UTV, it’s essential to review the safety guidelines and regulations for off-road vehicles on Cape Cod. For example, all UTV riders must wear helmets and safety belts, and all riders must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license. Additionally, UTVs must be registered and have a current off-road vehicle permit.

Top scenic trails and beaches to explore with UTVs

  1. Cape Cod National Seashore:
    This beautiful stretch of coastline offers a variety of trails to explore, such as:

    • Province Lands Trail: This 5.45-mile loop offers stunning views of the dunes, forests, and beaches.
    • Great Island Trail: A 6-mile trek through diverse terrain, including marshlands, forests, and sandy beaches.
  2. Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge:
    This refuge is home to a variety of wildlife and offers beautiful views of the ocean and marshlands.
  3. Sandy Neck Beach Park:
    This park boasts six miles of sandy shoreline, dunes, and marshes, making it an ideal location for UTV exploration. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including migratory birds and sea turtles. Be sure to adhere to the designated off-road vehicle trails to protect the fragile ecosystem.
  4. The Cape Cod Rail Trail
    The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 25-mile long path that follows the former Old Colony Railroad line. While it is primarily known as a biking and walking trail, certain sections are open to UTVs. Make sure to research which sections are UTV-friendly and follow all posted guidelines.
  5. Provincetown Dunes
    Provincetown’s dune system is a must-see for any off-road enthusiast. With miles of rolling sand dunes and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, this area offers a unique UTV experience. Note that access is limited to certain trails, and a permit is required to ride here.

Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable UTV Adventure

  1. Check the weather before your excursion to ensure safe riding conditions.
  2. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.
  3. Stay on designated trails to protect the environment and respect local regulations.
  4. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and avoid disturbing their habitats.


Cape Cod’s scenic trails and beaches offer an unforgettable UTV adventure for those looking to explore the area’s natural beauty. With a variety of rental companies, guided tours, and picturesque destinations, it’s easy to plan an exciting excursion. Just be sure to follow safety guidelines and respect local regulations to ensure a memorable and responsible experience.


  1. Q: Can I drive a UTV on Cape Cod’s public roads? A: No, UTVs are not allowed on public roads. They are meant for off-road use on designated trails and beaches.
  2. Q: What should I wear when riding a UTV on Cape Cod? A: It’s best to wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty, along with closed-toe shoes. Don’t forget to bring a helmet, sunglasses, and sunscreen for added protection.
  3. Q: Do I need any special permits or licenses to rent a UTV on Cape Cod? A: You must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license to rent a UTV. Some areas may also require a separate off-road vehicle permit.
  4. Q: Can I bring my own UTV to Cape Cod? A: Yes, you can bring your own UTV. Make sure it is registered and meets all safety requirements. You may also need an off-road vehicle permit for certain areas.
  5. Q: What should I do if I encounter wildlife while riding a UTV on Cape Cod? A: Keep a safe distance and do not disturb the wildlife. Remember that you are a visitor in their habitat, so be respectful and considerate.

UTV Resources:

  1. Cape Cod ORV Permits
  2. Cape Cod ORV Map
  3. Off-Road Tours on Cape Cod
  4. Cape Cod Outdoor Activities
  5. More Cape Cod Outdoor Activities
  6. Riding in Cape Cod Area
  7. Boat and Recreation Vehicle Registration and Titling Bureau
  8. Dennis Natural Resources: Off-Road Vehicle
  9. Preventing Catastrophic ATV-Related Injuries
  10. UTV Protection

Featured Image by: Terry Ross via flickr