For many of us, the pandemic has changed the way we travel and the activities we seek out when planning trips. Now more than ever, finding destinations with large open spaces that allow for social distancing is at the top of the list of things we look for when picking travel destinations. Approximately three hours from home, Cape Cod is on our travel wish list. With over 130 beaches, 14 historic lighthouses, plenty of water activities, and a variety of bike trails, a Cape Cod vacation offer lots of opportunities for outdoor fun.
Having visited Martha’s Vineyard a few years ago, which lies to the south of the Cape, I regretted not exploring the bike trails. Promising scenic views and a good workout (two things I love), for those who are looking for affordable outdoor activities in Massachusetts, discover 114 miles of bike paths in Cape Cod. Rent a bike for a few hours, the entire day, or bring your own. As a casual cyclist, I have teamed up with Hotels.com to share three bike paths to add to your list of things to do in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. And if you’re looking for affordable Cape Cod hotels, there are a wide range of options from luxury resorts to guest houses.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, stay up to date with the latest health and safety advisories in your area as well as the destinations you plan to visit. Stay safe and be well.
Cape Cod Bike Paths For Beginners
Shining Sea Bikeway
Spanning 10.7 miles, this former railroad is the only bikeway on Cape Cod that features the sea, rivers, and vistas of the saltwater marshes. Along the well-maintained path perfect for beginners, you’ll enter wooded areas, ride through suburban neighborhoods, and see bike-themed murals from the AmeriCorps Cape Cod. Approximately 8.5 miles into the trail, take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean as you pass by Surf Drive Beach.
Where to start: Start at the Depot Road trailhead along County Road in Falmouth.
Where to end: The Steamship Authority parking lot in Woods Hole, Crane Street.
Read Next: Free Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard
Cape Cod Canal Bikeway
This 7.5-mile easygoing Cape Cod bike path is perfect for casual cyclists and families with young children looking for a trail that is off-limits to motorized vehicles. Running along both sides of the Cape Cod Canal, watch the boats along the canal, or have a seat on any of the park benches as you enjoy the natural scenery. The path is flat with plenty of space for walking and running.
Where to start: There are various places to start – Herring Run on Route 6, the parking lot of Sagamore Rotary, or the U.S. Engineering Observation Station.
Cape Cod National Seashore
For panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, add Cape Cod National Seashore to your list of bike trails in Cape Cod. This 3-mile route (round-trip) passes through large groves of cedar, pine, and oak trees and ends with views of the ocean for as far as the eyes could see. Be on the lookout for surfers and seals. If you’d like to continue riding further, venture off to Cape Cod Trail, a paved bike trail that runs 25 miles.
Where to start: Begin your journey at the parking lot of the Salt Pond Visitor Center off Route 6 in Eastham.
Don’t forget in Massachusetts, bicycles are considered vehicles, so you will be subject to the same rules as other motorists. Check your tire pressure before heading out, wear a helmet and reflectors if you plan on riding late into the evening or at night.
If you’re ready to see the Cape, hop on a bike and cruise any of these scenic trails!
Cape Cod Bike Rentals
Need to rent a bike in Cape Cod? While I recommend calling these companies to make sure they are still operating, here are a few bike rentals in the area.
- Dennis Cycle Center: Fast service and provides helmets, locks, and baskets.
- Cape Cod Rail Trail Bike & Kayak is conveniently located in Brewster directly on the bike path.
Have you been to Cape Cod? Which Cape Cod bike path are you adding to your list or have you already enjoyed?
Danielle Desir is a financially savvy traveler, 5x author, and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to 27 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her terms. Listen to The Thought Card Podcast here.