I celebrated this 4th of July at the beautiful Bass River Beach in South Yarmouth with my family, friends and masses of other beach lovers. Bass River Beach is a very wheelchair friendly and accessible beach!
Bass River Beach has a large parking lot; the cost to park is $12 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Bass River Beach does NOT offer discounts or free parking to the disabled with handicap placards like our Massachusetts State Beaches and some other Town Beaches offer. Kenny & Company feels a person in a wheelchair should get a discount because they do not have full access to the ocean waters.
My friends and I need to bring 2 vans each time I go to the beach; my home van for me seated safely in my wheelchair and my families van to carry my beach buggy and beach wheelchair; we had to pay $30 to park both vans. Bass River Beach has only one loaner beach wheelchair available for the disabled. It is a first come first serve basis so I wouldn’t depend on it being available.
Parking spaces on weekends and holidays fill up quickly so I recommend you get here early. If the lot is full make sure you ask the attendant if a handicap space is still available because they don’t always know unless they take the time to look. We parked our vans in the two handicap parking spaces located next to the accessible walkway leading to the snack bar and restrooms located in front of the beach. The walkway is made of new maintenance free decking material so it will not get weathered or wear out.
The snack bar area is wheelchair accessible and the pavement is of cement so it is easy to maneuver your wheelchair. The snack bar countertop where you place and pay for your food or drink is of a good accessible height.
The Picnic Tables here are NOT wheelchair accessible for the benches are permanently attached leaving no room for me to sit. I really like the accessible picnic table at Old Silver Beach in which the end of the table extends leaving room for a person in a wheelchair to sit.
The restrooms are spacious, wheelchair accessible and fully ADA compliant. Located outside the restroom is a single outdoor shower for you to rinse off which is wheelchair accessible and easy for me to use.
Bass River Beach has a great maintenance free ramp leading to the beach from the parking lot. There are two handicap parking spaces here as well. This ramp has railings on each side for added safety and the slope is gradual and easy to wheel a wheelchair along. A sign located here states: “This project has been funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development through an Entitlement grant to the Town of Yarmouth”.
The beach has fine white sand which is easy for my friends to push my wheelchair on. This beach was very crowded on the 4th of July yet we had no problem finding a spot close to the water. I really enjoyed cooling off in the clean ocean water.
My family and friends lifted me out of my beach wheelchair so I could enjoy wading in the water because my beach wheelchair can’t go too far into the ocean or it will tip. All the people we met on the beach were very friendly and kind.
Lifeguards are on duty when the beach is open. We saw some lifeguards on surfboards further out in the water to ensure all beach goers remain safe and don’t venture out too deep. Beware of possible sharks this summer off our shoreline due to warmer water and more seals!
Bass River Beach also has a boat dock that is wheelchair accessible. There is an accessible wooden ramp leading to the dock. There is a very large fishing pier at this beach where many fish off of and catch great fish. This fishing pier is fully wheelchair accessible and has a nice long and wide wooden path leading to it from the parking lot.
Kenny and Company give Bass River Beach FOUR STARS for Wheelchair Accessibility. In order to earn the Fifth Star they would need to offer free parking for disabled with handicap placards like our Massachusetts State Beaches and many other Town Beaches offer; and place at least one wheelchair accessible picnic table in front of the snack bar.