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Biking the Cape Cod Bike Trail

Updated on April 10, 2015
Cape Cod Rail Trail
Cape Cod Rail Trail

A nice hybrid a fair price!

Cape Cod Rail Trail

You and Your Bicycle on Cape Cod

By George Bogosian

Cape Cod in Massachusetts has 22 miles of paved bike trials; it’s called the Cape Cod Rail Trail. They’ve been working and improving this trail system for years and they continue to do so. It was developed on the old railroad that ran the length of the Cape from Boston to Provincetown. To avoid a bicycle accident on the trail stay to the right while riding...and you won't need bicycle insurance! I really like this bike trail system because it goes through a diversity of terrain and is away from the bustling crowds.

Mostly a flat ride with just gradual inclines makes for easy biking.

It’s great for children, but keep track of your distance and time. Don’t forget to bring along some drinking water and a snack for everyone. It can be a long ride back to the car with tired kids. Most folks bike sections of the trail because of its length. There really isn’t a trail “loop” to ride; it’s a down and back ride. The trail goes through the outskirts of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. You can access the system at a number of locations and there’s a great bike map available at most Cape stores or visitors centers that you need to acquire.

NickersonState Park is about in the center of the trail system and they have a large parking lot next to the trail. If you’re without your bike you can rent one there right beside the trail. The self-help info center is often out of the trail map so pick one up before parking here. (There’s a link below to view an on-line bike trail map) Here are other recommended access spots for the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

• The trailhead at Route 134 in South Dennis
• Headwaters Drive in Harwich
• Route 137 in Brewster
• NickersonState Park in Brewster
• OrleansCenter
• Cape Cod National Seashore at the SaltPondVisitorsCenter in Eastham, one-half mile from the Locust Road intersection with the trail.
• National Seashore at Marconi Area
• The trailhead at LeCount Hollow Road in South Wellfleet

I usually go south/west on the trail from Nickerson because I like going for a swim on a hot day in Seymour's right beside the trail.

There’s a bike rack and a few picnic tables under the shade of the trees here at the pond. It even has a small sandy beach! I also like the diversity of the landscape in this direction. You have to cross roads a few times and they’re well marked with a warning to stop and take a look; but you know that drill. I also like going to the only bike traffic rotary I’ve witnessed. There are opportunities along the way to get a bite to eat from restaurants or general stores who offer outside tables for eating and resting. I love seeing the small entrepreneurial signs by the trail side offering ice cream or food just off the path. New ones keep popping up each year along the trail; a great stop for everyone!

Every town has a bicycle rental shop and most are right beside the trail system so there’s no excuse if you didn’t bring your bike and now wish you had; bike rentals are easily available. As with most of my Cape hubs they’re about getting off the beaten path to experience the beauty and diversity of a location. Bicycling the Cape Cod Rail Trail will be a rewarding ride, I promise (you can walk or run it if that’s your mode of transportation) you’ll see the Cape like most don’t.... just by getting off the well trod path.

Cape Cod Rail Trail

© 2011 George Bogosian


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    • bigocean profile image

      George Bogosian 6 years ago from New England


      Well, I have to check that out this coming season. Thanks for the heads up on the mammoths!

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      Nice info. This year people who use the trail at its origin on Route 134, will have some new attractions that promise to be very popular. Right alongside of the trail is an "Inflatable Amusement Park". New for the 2011 season, the park will have 40 mammoth inflatables from dragons to water slides. The park is being built as an annex to the newly renovated Dick & Ellie's Flea Market - Cape Cod's oldest and largest flea market.