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Cape Cod Cape Cod’s Bike Trails

Cape Cod is the best known cycling destination in Massachusetts. Our cycling visitors enjoy the dramatic landscapes, the contrasts between bay, pond and ocean and numerous bicycle paths and routes. Listed below are some of the more popular bike paths and trails on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Rail Trail
(26-mile rail trail through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet): Cape Cod Rail Trail is one of the oldest and most popular rail trails in the country. Its paved surface, few hills and well-marked automobile crossings make it ideal for cyclists of all ages. The Rail Trail is quintessential Cape Cod, a tapestry of cranberry bogs, pine groves, salt marshes, freshwater ponds, country and town, with the gleam of rolling waves never far away. Food and water are readily available and public restrooms can be found at Nickerson State Park in Brewster, Salt Pond Visitors Center at Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham and the National Seashore Headquarters in Wellfleet. If you need them, bicycle rentals are available at many points along the way.

Chatham Bike Trail
8-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail extension from Harwich to Chatham, along main roads) Combine exercise with sightseeing as you cycle through parts of Harwich, along the shoreline and by such landmarks as Chatham Light, Coast Guard Station, and the Chatham Fish Pier. Parking areas can be found along the route, and Chatham’s quaint downtown village of shops and eateries is just a short distance from the route.

Cape Cod Canal Bike Paths
(14.2 miles paved, off-road trail; access the paths in Sagamore): These paths run along both sides of the man-made Cape Cod Canal. Cyclists can enjoy beautiful sea breezes and watch the ship and boat traffic through the Canal. The Canal Trail is a popular destination for cyclists, pedestrians, inline skaters and joggers. Park benches are also scattered along the path at regular intervals for rest and relaxation after a long walk or hard workout on the route. Bourne Recreation Area features picnic facilities in a nicely landscaped plot to the right of the parking area.

Shining Sea Bikeway
(3.3 miles of paved, off-road trails; access the trail from Locust Street in Falmouth): This beautiful path runs along some of the most breathtaking scenery on Cape Cod, including the Vineyard Sound shoreline and the Salt Pond Bird Sanctuary. Extending from Falmouth Village to the quaintvillage of Woods Hole, the path is ideal for casual and beginner cyclists.

Safety Tips (provided by the National Park Service):

  • Massachusetts state law requires children younger than 13 to wear protective helmets when operating or riding as a passenger on a bicycle. It is advisable that all riders, regardless of age, wear protective headgear.
  • If you have an unfamiliar bike, check your brakes, gears and steering before entering a trail
  • Ride single file and stay to the right. All trails have two-way traffic and heavy traffic times
  • Don’t speed and be alert for the unexpected (rollerbladers, hikers, dogs, windblown sand, etc.)

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 03/09/08
Categories: ActivitiesOutdoors
Keywords: activities, outdoors, biking, bicycling, bike trails, bike paths


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