The Beach Times

The Extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 27, 2019


rail trail

There's no better way to explore the Cape than by taking a bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The trail follows the route of the Old Colony Railroad and is paved all the way through, making it a smooth ride that even novice riders can enjoy. The trail also has wide lanes, plenty of places to stop for food and drinks, and is incredibly well maintained.

In November 2018, local officials put the finishing touches on a new section of trail, expanding the CCRT to from its original western trailhead in Dennis to a new area in Yarmouth. This expansion should make the path more accessible for those staying in Yarmouth and improve access to parking, as well.

There are bike shops in multiple locations along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, giving you the chance to get out there and explore from your Cape Cod vacation rental.

 

New Section of Trail

Adding a new section of trail was actually a massive undertaking because the updated route crosses Route 134, near the Dennis Trailhead, and the Bass River. The solution was to create two bridges, one over the highway and another over the river, to ensure that riders could cross these obstacles without having to deal with vehicle traffic.

The bridge over the Bass River is incredibly scenic and adds an entirely new element to the trail. Keep in mind that this new section is close to Route 6, however, so it isn’t as quiet as other parts.

Along with the new trail, there is now a large parking lot on Main Street in South Dennis, just west of the parking area on Route 134.

 

Connecting with Other Trails

Perhaps the main benefit of the expanded trail is that it meets with an existing section of path in Yarmouth. While the latest extension of the Cape Cod Rail Trail ends at North Main Street in Yarmouth, it reaches an additional segment of pathway that has a bridge running over Station Avenue and goes all the way to Peter Homer Park. There is a large parking area on Station Avenue, just before the bridge, and further spaces available at the park, so riders will have plenty of options when driving to the trailhead.

From the park, you can also get on a paved, but narrower and less maintained, trail that goes past Bayberry Hills Golf Course and ends at Higgins Crowell Road in West Yarmouth. In fact, thanks to these trails, you can almost get to Hyannis Harbor and the Barnstable Municipal Airport from Wellfleet without having to ride on any roads. Improvements to the section of trail between Peter Homer Park and Higgins Crowell Road, including integrating it into the CCRT, are expected in the coming years.

 

Possible Extensions in the Future

There is already talk of expanding the Cape Cod Rail Trail to a parking lot just south of Cahoon Hollow Road in Wellfleet, about two miles from the current northeastern trailhead near Lecount Hollow Road in South Wellfleet. The expansion would see the trail run right alongside Route 6 and approach downtown Wellfleet. Opponents of the development believe running the trail along the highway brings unnecessary danger, however, and would prefer to wait until they can agree on a safer expansion route.

The goal is to have the trail eventually reach Truro, where it will meet with existing trails heading into Provincetown, but many locals want to see the expansion head along the Cape Cod National Seashore, rather than following Route 6 the entire way. This leg hasn’t even entered the planning stage, so it remains at least a few years away.

Another expansion into Barnstable is a little further along, with officials saying the new route is about 25% designed and due for completion by 2022. This route will see another bridge built over Willow Street, with the entire track finishing up at Independence Park in Hyannis.

From there, eventually, the Cape Cod Rail Trail will run from Sandwich to Truro, with connecting trails heading into Provincetown, giving locals and visitors the chance to ride the entire Cape. There is no set timeline on the completion of the whole project.

 

Spend Your Vacation Exploring the Trail

Even if you’re unable to bring your bike to Cape Cod, it’s easy to rent one, as there are shops near most of the main trail entry points. Don’t miss out on one of the Cape’s top activities, especially now that the Cape Cod Rail Trail is more accessible than ever.

No matter where on the Cape you book a vacation rental, you’re never too far from the Cape Cod Rail Trail and all of its amazing scenery, views, and history.



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