Cape Cod Rail Trail
Everyone loves this rail to trail bike path, which connects South Wellfleet with South Dennis, and runs through the villages of Harwich, Brewster, Orleans and Eastham. The road is paved and pretty flat, making it good for riders of all ages. A full round trip is 44 miles, an easy ride for experienced bikers, but a little much for families, who may prefer to make this a two-day excursion.
As bike rides go, this one is both scenic and extraordinarily civilized, with numerous restaurants, ice cream shops and even bike shops along the way. Mile markers show up pretty much every half mile, so it’s easy for kids to calculate just how far they have to go. And while much of the trip is through woods, marsh land and cranberry bogs, you’re never far away from the ocean – short side roads lead to several National Seashore beaches. (If you want a dip and don’t want to leave the main path, Nickerson State Park is near the midpoint of the trip, and offers swimming pools, picnic areas and restrooms in the summer.)
Most people start from the South Dennis end. To reach the trailhead, take US6 to Exit 9, and head south on SR 134. The trailhead parking area is on the left, about .5 miles south of the exit, past Patriots Square Plaza and Cumberland Farms. At the other end of the trail in South Wellfleet (where you’ll find a parking lot and basic restroom,) you may want to continue another mile on LeCount Hollow Road to Maguire Landing Beach, where you can swim in the Atlantic or just enjoy the terrific ocean view.