Stretching from Yarmouth to Wellfleet, the Cape Cod Rail Trail has a unique history and offers abundant things to see and do along the way. We want to give you an overview of what the Rail Trail is all about as well as some points of interest that are well worth a stop. We cannot forget to include some delicious eateries that will sustain you while exploring, and we will conclude with some general tips to remember for biking and hiking the trails.
About the Rail Trail
The New York, New Haven, and Hartford railroad companies all made use of the old railroad tracks which have now been converted to paved trails. Currently, the Rail Trail encompasses 27.6 miles of paved pathways suitable for biking, walking, and wheelchair use. There are plans in the works to add a few more miles! As recent as the 1960s and 1970s the rails were in use to transport passengers and freight. Now, passengers are of a different sort, riding their bikes while making use of the same routes! Although it is possible to travel all of the mileage in one day, that adventure may prove quite grueling. We’ve put together some stops along the way that are quite unique and simply lovely.
- If you decide to travel a little more mileage than just a walk or hike, you’ll want to check out a bike rental place first. Dennis Cycle Center, Rail Trail Bike & Kayak, and Barb’s Bike Shop will outfit you with just what you need.
- Parking is accessible in many locations. The bonus is that a lot of parking in the surrounding parks is usually free! This map gives a nice overview of the trail along with specific parking areas.
- Parks such as Peter Homer Park and Nickerson State Park offer picnic spots, restrooms, and even swimming in Cliff Pond (in Nickerson).
- The Cape Cod Lavender Farm gives you a chance to stop and smell the roses, ‘er lavender. The farm is free and open from March through December.
Too many beaches to list! Here are 3 lovely spots you’ll enjoy: Mayflower, Nauset, and Corporation Beaches.
- The Salt Pond Visitor Center. Part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, this visitor center has rangers on duty and many educational resources available.
- Cranberry Bog Tours. An organic cranberry bog offering tours in spring, summer, and fall. Make sure to bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted.
Restaurants Along the Trail
Included in this list is quite a range, from coffee to ice cream and meals in between. All of these can accommodate wherever you end up on the trail!
- Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters, 2624 Main Street, Brewster
- Eat Cake 4 Breakfast, 26 Wampum Drive, Brewster.
- Ride your bike right up to Cobie’s Clam Shack, 3260 Main Street, Brewster
- The Chocolate Sparrow, 5 Old Colony Way, Orleans
- PB Boulangerie Bistro, 15 LeCount Hollow Road, South Wellfleet
- Jomama’s New York Bagel and Coffee House, 125 MA-6A, Orleans
- The Block & Tackle, 545 State Highway, Wellfleet
General Biking and Safety Tips
We want you to have the best experience possible on the Rail Trail. Here are just a few quick tips to help you remain safe and Leave No Trace during your visit:
- Wear a helmet. It’s the law for bikers age 16 and under and a good idea for everyone else.
- Clean up wrappers and napkins from your picnic and snack breaks.
- When preparing to pass a less speedy biker or pedestrian, make sure your signal can be heard. We like to say, “pass on the left” as a quick and clear directive.
- If you happen to be the less speedy party, always stay to the right.
- Keep those pets on a leash. We are overjoyed that Rail Trail is pet friendly, so let’s preserve that privilege by keeping your furry friends on a leash.
We do hope to see you soon! The Cape Cod Rail Trail provides such enjoyment throughout the exercise with fun and unique stops along the 27+ miles. Reserve one of our luxurious rooms in which to retreat after a big day on the trail. You deserve a comfortable place to relax after enjoying one of our favorite pet-friendly activities in the area!