Cape Cod Walking & Biking Trails

Cape Cod is blessed with miles and miles of walking and biking paths. Whether you are just looking for a little exercise or if you are up for a bit of adventure--you'll be sure to find the right path or trail for you.

Every nook and cranny of the Cape is a special spot to explore.  Some paths/trails are operated by the state (the very popular Cape Cod Rail Trail), the National Park Service (Cape Cod National Seashore), the individual towns, or museums and sanctuaries (Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and Mass. Audubon).

If you are heading into the woods, be sure to wear appropriate clothing, use bug spray  and bring plenty of water.  If you are taking your bike for a spin, you might want to bring along similar items including a bike helmet. Although optional but suggested for adults, helmets are mandatory for children under 16 in Massachusetts.

Trail listings start in Bourne on the Upper Cape and continue through Provincetown on the Outer Cape. P: Paved, wheelchair and stroller friendly bike paths. B: Trails suited for bikes.

Along the canal: Paved service roads along both sides of the canal.  On the off-Cape side, pedal from Buzzard’s Bay to Scusset Beach, about 7 miles.  Or, start at  the Herring Run on Rte. 6. On the Cape side, pedal from Sandwich to Bourne, about 6.8 miles.  Or, start at the U.S. Engineering Observation Station, Sandwich or from Pleasant Street, Sagamore. (Canal area) PB

Biking along the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne. Photo by Jane Booth.

Talbot’s Point Salt Marsh Wildlife Reservation:  One of the largest salt-marsh areas on Cape.  Round trip: 1.5 miles.  Access from Old Colony Rd., off Route 6A.  (Sandwich)

The Boardwalk to Town Beach and Cape Cod Canal: Route 6A to Jarvis Street. (Sandwich)

Shawme Crowell State Forest: Route 130.  Walk, bike and camp across 742 acres of this beautiful state forest.  (Sandwich) B

The Knob: Hiking trails amid 13 acres of protected bird sanctuary off Buzzards Bay.  Access at Quissett Harbor, Quissett Rd. (Woods Hole)

Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary:  8 self-guided trails, spectacular show of holly, over 130 bird species. Mass Audubon. 286 Ashumet Road, off Rte. 151. (East Falmouth)

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: 2,500 acres of open water, barrier beaches, marshlands and uplands, including Washburn Island and South Cape Beach State Park. Access from Rte. 28. (Falmouth)

Shining Sea Bikeway:  10.7 mile bike path, begins at ferry dock in Woods Hole, reaches to Rte 151 in N. Falmouth. Trail winds through woods, marshes, bogs. Follows former railroad line. (Falmouth) PB

Mashpee River Woodlands:  Hiking trails through a forest, along Mashpee River, marshes and cranberry bogs, 8 miles.  Access: Quinnaquisett Ave. or end of River Rd. off Great Neck Rd. (S. Mashpee) 

Lowell Holly Reservation:  Explore trails along a peninsula between Mashpee & Wakeby Ponds. S. Sandwich Rd. off Rte. 130. (Mashpee) 

South Cape Beach State Park: 3.5 miles of ocean and bay beaches, dunes, ponds & salt marshes.  Great Neck Rd. South to Greak Oak Rd.

Cape Cod Rail Trail: Follow the route of the old main Cape Cod Railroad through 5 Cape towns. The west end is on Rt. 134 in Dennis. Trail winds through Harwich and  Brewster (with a detour through Nickerson State Park), through Orleans and continues through a salt marsh to the Cape Cod National Seashore Center in Eastham, then on to Wellfleet. There are parking areas at different starting points in each town (see the parking symbol on maps in back). (Mid-Lower Cape) PB

Sandy Neck Great Salt Marsh Conservation Area: East Coast’s largest salt marsh features 50’-100’ dunes & a stunning barrier beach, 9 miles.  Access from beach parking lot, Sandy Neck Rd. (W. Barnstable)

MA Audubon's Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary: 110 acres of pond, vernal pools, salt marsh and pastures. 345 Bone Hill Road, access off Route 6A. (Cummaquid)

W. Barnstable Conservation Area: Wooded trails.  Access from Popple Bottom Rd. off Rte. 149. (W. Barnstable)

Old Townhouse Trail: A 3-mile trail past a playground, ballpark & golf course.  Access Old Townhouse Rd. (Yarmouth)

Historical Society of Old Yarmouth Nature Trails: 60 wooded acres along a pond,  1.5 miles.  Behind the Yarmouth Port Post Office, Rte. 6A. (Yarmouth Port)

Callery-Darling Conservation Area:  Wooded trails, boardwalk across salt marsh, 2.4 miles.  Rte. 6A to Center St., (Yarmouth Port)

Taylor-Bray Farm:  Working farm with short walking trails, views of a tidal marsh. Access off Rte. 6A near Dennis town line. (Yarmouth Port)

Indian Lands Conservation Area: Wooded walk following the banks of the upper Bass River, 2 miles.  Access from northern end of Town Hall parking lot, Main St. (S. Dennis)

Fresh Pond Conservation Area: 87-acres, 4 trails, spectacular pond.  Access off Rte. 134. (S. Dennis)

Nickerson State Park: Paved & dirt trails through woods & along 8 freshwater kettle ponds.  Swim, fish, picnic.  Access from Rte. 6A. (Brewster) PB

Nickerson State Park in Brewster. Photo by Jane Booth.

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History:  3 trails, uplands, salt marshes, beech tree groves, bay beach & Wing’s Island. Access from museum lot, Rte. 6A. (Brewster)

Punkhorn Parklands: 800-acres of conservation land with 45 miles of trails along marshes, kettle ponds, woods. Access from Run Hill Rd. off Stonybrook Rd. (Brewster) B

Old Colony Rail Trail (Harwich & Chatham Municipal Trail): An off-shoot of the Cape Rail Trail that begins in Harwich and ends at Crowell Road in Chatham. (Harwich-Chatham) PB

Chatham Loop: Follow signs in a 5-mile “loop” from the Fish Pier or any Town Parking Lot to view a lighthouse, boatyards & harbors. (Chatham) PB 

Seaside Beach Trail:  Harbor, salt marsh, dunes, salt-water inlets, 2 miles. Access off Route 28 & Harding’s Beach Rd. (S. Chatham)

Frost Fish Creek Trail:  Creek, woods, marshland.  Access from Orleans Rd. off Rte. 28. (N. Chatham)

Honeysuckle Lane: Pass Old Ice Pond, a narrow stream, white cedar and cedar swamp.  Via Stage Harbor Rd. (Chatham)

Bell’s Neck Conservation Area: 245-acres of marshland, tidal creeks, trails, herring run, pond.  Intersects with Cape Cod Bike Trail.  Access Bell’s Neck Rd. or North Rd. from Rte. 28. (W. Harwich)

Thompson's Field: 93-acre preserve, spring wildflowers. Access Rte. 39 or Chatham Rd. (Harwich)

Paw Wah Point Conservation Area: A short trail to small beach & picnic area.  Access from Namequoit Rd. off  Rte. 28. (Orleans)

Uncle Tim's Bridge in Wellfleet. Photo by Jane Booth.

Fort Hill Trail: Several trails lead to the Capt. Penniman House, red maple swamp boardwalk and scenic Fort Hill Overlook, 1.5 miles.  Access off Rte. 6. (Eastham)

Buttonbush Trail: Wooded trail with guide ropes and braille markers, .25 miles. Intersects with CC Rail Trail. Access from Salt Pond Visitors Center, Rte. 6. (Eastham)

Nauset Marsh Trail: Begins at the Salt Pond Visitor Center on Rte. 6 and runs to Coast Guard Beach, 1.6 miles. Intersects with CC Rail Trail. (Eastham) PB

Great Island Trail: A sandy trail leads to Jeremy Point, once an island, but is now connected by sandbars to the mainland.  Covered at high tide. 8 miles. Access off Chequessett Neck Rd. (Wellfleet)

Duck Creek Conservation Area: Walk across Uncle Tim’s Bridge to Hamblen's Island in the middle of Duck Creek. Access from Commercial St. (Wellfleet)

Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail: white cedar, high bush blueberry and other flora via a boardwalk, 1.25  miles. Intersects with CC Rail Trail. Marconi Area, off Rte. 6. (Wellfleet)

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary: 1,000 acres of ponds, tidal creeks, salt marsh, bay beach. Mass Audubon. Rte. 6. (Wellfleet)

Pilgrim Heights Area: 2 short walks, salt meadows, a blueberry farm, dunes & ocean views.  Pilgrim Spring Trail leads to the spot where the Pilgrims tasted their first fresh water, .75 miles per trail.  Access off Rte. 6. (N. Truro)

Cranberry Bog Trail: .5 mile trail, partly over a boardwalk, around an old cranberry bog.  Access N. Pamet Rd. (Truro)

Head Of The Meadow Trail: Runs between High Head Rd. & Head of the Meadow Beach parking area, 2 miles. Access off Pilgrim Springs and Pilgrim Lake. (Truro)

Beech Forest Trail:  Features a forest of beech trees, freshwater pond, sand dunes, 1 mile.  Access from Race Point Rd. off Rte. 6. (Provincetown)

Breakwater: A jetty doubles as a wide footpath to secluded Long Point Beach. Wood End Lighthouse is at the end of the jetty and Long Point Light at the end of the beach. Access from western end of Commercial St. and Bradford St. Ext.  (Provincetown)

Province Lands Trail: Challenging 5.25 mile paved loop through the dunes to Herring Cove Beach and Race Point Beaches. (Provincetown) PB  

Courtesy of the Best Read Guide Cape Cod.