The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a beautiful 22 mile path that goes through several Cape Cod towns including Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, and Wellfleet. The path follows a former railroad and its’ paved surface makes it an ideal place for easy road biking. Along the path, you will find just about every type of fitness buff including walkers, runners, skateboarders, and incline skaters .The path is clean, scenic, and quite a workout due to the lengthy distance. Although not open to motor vehicles, there are a few side streets you will have to pass at certain points along the way. However, the path is very quiet, incredibly scenic, and most definitely one of the top rail trails in the country.
Mike and I completed the entire path with mountain bikes, however, I highly recommend a road bike for this trail! It took us around 6 and a half hour to complete 55 miles. The entire path is actually 44 miles there and back, however, we accidentally took a wrong turn at the rotary (yes a rotary on a bike path!) and ended up going 8 miles out of our way on the Chatham County Rail Trail.
There are no major hills, however, I would not recommend beginning cyclists to complete the entire path. Parts of the path feel like a steady steep incline, which sometimes is harder than an actual hill. In fact, we are still sore today after our ride!
Along the way, you pass all sorts of gorgeous scenery including ponds, state parks, marshes, forests, and cranberry bogs. It’s New England at it’s best and by far the top thing to do for any fitness buffs and nature lovers visiting Cape Cod. The path was not crowded at all and the weather was beautiful, making for perfect riding conditions.
There are plenty of stops along the way for relaxing and dining. We stopped at a seafood stand called Cobie’s. This is a great place to refuel and so unique as it is located on a bike trail. They have sandwiches, baked potatoes, fried ish, smoothies, and more! They also have a nice covered outdoor seating area. Cobie’s was an excellent break halfway through the trail (located around the 10 mile mark). I highly recommend a relaxing break if you intend on making your ride a long one.
Tip: at the end of the trail if you keep going in the same direction for about .6 miles on the road, you will get to an ocean lookout. The beach is very scenic, clean, and uncrowded and provides a wonderful break after completing 22 miles on the bike! In my opinion, biking a mere 0.6 additional miles for the stunning ocean views is well worth the few extra minutes!