The Beach Times

Cape Cod Bike Paths
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, December 4, 2017


This is the first in a series of articles about cycling on Cape Cod. Expect in depth articles on individual bike paths in the upcoming months. Bike trails and paths are everywhere on Cape Cod, and this isn't by accident. The presence and design of the trails are purposefully done, as those who planned the bikeways studied similar coastal areas, such as those found in California, and tried to emulate their scenery and accessibility.Cape Cod

The natural beauty of the area means that visitors want to spend their time outdoors and there’s no more convenient or exciting way to experience the environment than by choosing a route and following it for a few miles.

Cycling is popular from early spring through the autumn. Basically, if you don’t see snow on the ground, you are sure to come across locals and tourists alike using the bike paths. While cycling has always had a place on Cape Cod, it really took off following the 1978 purchase of part of the old Pennsylvania Central Railroad grade by the Department of Environmental Management. This purchase provided the land necessary for the Rail Trail, which has become very popular and has helped to create the cycling culture that is present today.

In fact, the popularity of biking has risen to the point where if you visit The Cape and don't get some cycling in, expect some serious questioning from friends and family as to why when you get home.

So get out there and enjoy nature on your next visit to Cape Cod!

Activities Along the Trails

Heading out for a cycle on Cape Cod doesn’t stop at choosing a destination and then starting your journey, as each trail has its own story and a unique set of activities along the way.

Many trails have picnic spots, complete with tables and shade, providing you with everything that you need for a quick meal. These points, which often sit in a state park, are fabulous because you can pack a lunch, eat along the trail, and then return to your vacation rental for dinner.

Some paths, such as those along the National Seashore or in Nickerson State Park, have swimming opportunities, as well. Be sure to pack your swimsuit because you can work up a sweat along the trail and then cool off in the water.

The great thing about accessing a beach via a bike path is that they tend to be away from the roadways and, therefore, are secluded and less crowded. Locals will tell you that the best place to relax on the beach and enjoy the dunes is along an oceanfront trail.

Cycling or Mountain Biking

Don’t know which type of bike to bring to Cape Cod? Well, in short, it depends on the type of bike trail you wish to take. There are numerous paved paths in the area, which you can easily navigate with a road bike. These pathways are well-maintained and smooth, so you won’t have any trouble travelling from place to place.

If you plan on trying some of the unpaved trails in the region, however, a mountain bike is a must. These trails offer a more technical and challenging ride, but the payoff is always worth it.

View, View, and More Views

And when speaking of the payoff, of course, we mean the views. Each bikeway has a different landscape and, therefore, a unique scene to offer those who complete it. One trail might present a panoramic look at a lake, while another might get you up close and personal with a cranberry bog.

There are woodlands, parks, canals, flowers, wildlife, and anything else that you could hope to see on Cape Cod along these trails.

You can also get close to history while taking a bike trip, as bridges, homesteads, and museums seem to pop out of nowhere, allowing to experience one-of-a-kind attractions while out for your cycle.

Rules and Regulations

Before embarking on a cycling journey on The Cape, make sure that you are aware of the rules.

Most of the rules are common sense, as all riders under the age of 16 must wear a helmet, but it is advisable that all bikers have one.

Riders should stay in single file and announce themselves when passing others. It is critical that you don’t ride too fast, either.

Finally, riders should keep to the marked trails because it is illegal to ride your bike off the paths.

Following the rules and guidelines ensures that you'll have fun, and stay safe at the same time.

Go For a Ride

That’s it! You’re now ready to take on the breathtaking and accessible bike trails that line all areas of Cape Cod. It doesn't matter if you're staying in Woods Hole or South Dennis, there is a scenic trail at your disposal.

Just don’t forget to bring or rent a bike on your next visit.



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