Cape Cod Biking
Also lighthouses, windmills, nature preserves, golf courses, art and history museums, a winery, art colonies, an airport with sightseeing flights, and campgrounds are all tucked away within the dunes just a short walk or drive from the bike trails the parallel the beach where, in 1849, Thoreau went for a 30 mile walk on the unbroken sands from Orleans to Race Point
There may be no better way to experience the solitude that Thoreau experienced on Cape Cod than on a bicycle. In the sea-bound refuge called the Outer Cape (lower Cape) you can ride on off-road trails for over fifty miles.
The “Cape Cod Rail Trail”, a former railroad bed now turned bicycle path, and the Nauset Dune Trail, a system that winds through Beach forest and high dunes, together contain over fifty miles of off-road bicycle and walking trails.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a largely off-road trail that travels for over 25 miles through Brewster's Nickerson State Park and then through Orleans’s Rock Harbor and on to Eastham and The Cape Cod National Sea Shore’s Salt Pond Visitors Center. At the center, you can continue to the windward Nauset Shore or to the north and reach the end at Lecount Hollow in the town of Wellfleet. At several places along the way, there is ample parking, if one chooses not to travel the entire 25 miles by bicycle.
From the end of the Rail Trail at Lecount Hollow, a short drive towards Provincetown will bring you to the Nauset Dunes bike trail system, with its paved paths through the dunes and along the beach at the very tip of Cape Cod.
Try two places at the shore for seafood: Rock Harbor's small port on the Cape Cod Bay side of the peninsula you find Captain Cass’s Rock Harbor Seafood Restaurant and Young’s Fish Market. Dine in at Capt Cass or get local steamer clams and fresh lobster to go at Young's.
Rock Harbor’s sport fishing charter boats come in twice a day with catches of Striped Bass, Bluefish, Mackerel, Tuna, Sharks, Flounder, Fluke and Cod.
Getting to Cape Cod: Boston is the nearest large city to Cape Cod.
Air service reaches Boston from other major hubs and cities. Rental cars are available at the airport. From Boston take Route 93 to Route 3 and after 60 miles, cross the Cape Cod Canal. Continue on Route 6 for all locations on Cape Cod or go to Route 6A for the slower scenic route through the villages. Routes 6 and 6A join in Orleans and go to the tip of Cape Cod.
Several small commuter airlines serve Hyannis Airport and Provincetown Airport on Cape Cod from Boston, Providence, and New Bedford. Cape Air, US Airways Express, and Linear Air (Hanscom Field Bedford Ma)
Bus service is available from Boston and from Logan Airport. Plymouth and Brockton, Logan Direct serves Hyannis
Bonanza Bus Lines serves Bourne, Falmouth, and the Wood's Hole ferry from Logan Airport
Passenger Boats leave daily from Boston to the tip of Cape Cod (May -September) at Provincetown. Bicycles can go aboard.
A fast cat boat and a slower conventional passenger boat make trips from Boston. Bicycles permitted
A passenger boat makes a daily run from Plymouth, MA to Provincetown.
Writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau visited Cape Cod in 1849 and again in 1852 writing detailed descriptions of treeless solitude. To this day, a barren starkness prevails on the high Nauset dunes, just as Thoreau described it in his journal, Cape Cod. (Click Here for Text of the journal Cape Cod) The relentless sea has reclaimed several hundred feet of the Nauset-side cliffs and dunes since Thoreau’s time but one can still walk as Thoreau did, on over twenty-five miles of unobstructed beach, from Eastham to far distant Provincetown’s Race Point.
For those that want to bike to quiet beaches there are two a little more than a mile from the Rail Trail bicycle path. Follow Skaket Beach Road in Orleans to the end and find a quarter-mile granular sand beach bordered by rose dunes and American Beach Grass with a carpet of Eelgrass at the tide line. To the right, as you face the ocean, you can find privacy in the grass and dune area near the stream outlet.
The water is shallow for a half mile, with the flats totally uncovering at low tide. These sand flats produce the delicious white steamer clams found at Young’s Fish Market in Rock Harbor.
Further North along the Rail Trail you can ride your bicycle to Eastham and another secluded beach, First Encounter Beach.
Fifteen large towns and many small villages make up Cape Cod.
Upper Cape: Along the Cape Cod Canal, the towns of Bourne and Sandwich define the northern limit of the upper Cape
Mid Cape includes Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis. The mid Cap is where you will find Hyannis Airport
Lower Cape includes Brewster, Harwich , and Chatham.
Outer Cape starts in Orleans and includes Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown.
Coast Guard Beach
From the paved trail you can climb a high dune and get a view of spouting whales as you ride your bike in the natural landscapes of Cape Cod
Safe Biking Cape Cod
Bike the mile or so beach of low dune and beach with the outlet of Herring Brook at the end, First Encounter Beach is home to Plovers, Herons, Terns, Red Tailed Hawk and many other shore and marsh birds that live within the heather and beach grass dunes. This is a quiet place even on a summer weekend.
Herring Cove Beach
Herring Cove Beach
Ice cream stop Cape Cod Bike Trail
Nauset Beach, Orleans
Lower on the Cape to the north there is a network of bike trails that starts at Herring Cove Beach on the tip of Cape Cod. The beach looks out on the Atlantic ocean and Stellwagon Bank where whale watch boats hunt for humpbacks. From the parking lot to the right of the beach as you face the water the bike trail extends into the Provinceland Dunes, connecting with the Beach Forest Bike Trail and The Race Point Trail. Both of these trailheads have large public parking lots.
The dunes change daily, pushed by the winds that restlessly rearrange the hummocks and tufts as if preparing each day for special guests. The forces of nature rule the Cape and there is no better way to take it all in then on a bicycle.
Johnathan Young Windmill, Orleans
Safe Bike Trails to Cape Cod Beaches Off-Road, Paved Bike Trails
Lower Cape Trails
Safe Biking Cape Cod Rail Trail Provincelands Dune Trail
Safe Biking on the off-road Cape Cod Rail Trails can make a great
Cape Cod Biking Vacation
Go biking the Cape Cod Rail trails and bike tour on Cape Cod's safe, off-road paved "Rail Trails." Trail maps and trail guides along the way and handy bike rental shops and ice cream stands that make biking the Cape Cod Trails safe and fun.
Along with biking, plenty of golf courses, museums, fine dining and lodging make Cape Cod a great place for a golf vacation or an antiquing outing and some great museums keep you busy but the safe rail trails and dunes trails that cover a good deal of Cape Cod are truly remarkable.
Safe Bike Trails
Mountain Bike or Trail Bike, Bike Tour or Self Guided, Bicycling on Cape Cod Rail Trails makes it safe and fun
Biking through the Lower Cape you find unspoiled and naturally beautiful villages that are by no means primitive. To their credit the villages along the way cherish the simplicity of their seafaring heritage and you can bike to museums and historic collections where you least expect to find them. The locals live in the modern age, however, so you will also find all the modern conveniences like bike rental shops, restaurants, B&Bs and modern hotels.