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Cape Cod Rail Trail free

Mid and Outer Cape
Cape Cod Rail Trail Photo info
John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Recreation, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.7)
Value: 5.0 (5.0)
Facilities: 4.0 (4.0)
Atmosphere: 4.0 (4.0)
About these ratings

Popular with bikers, rollerbladers and horseback riders, this 22-mile of paved trail is a breezy ride through the Lower Cape's diverse ecosystems. Previously known as the Old Colony Railroad corridor, Cape Cod Rail is considered one of the best bike trails in New England. 

Railroad fanatics will be sad to know that most of the original railroad tracks are gone, but you can catch a glimpse if you're willing to hunt for them. According to one Virtual Tourist user, "[To] see this section of the old tracks, [go] a bit past the eastern end of the trail. Great place to walk. See if you can find the rusty but functional railroad switch. You can operate it with impunity, as trains no longer use this track."

In fact, TripAdvisor users highly recommend that you take your time exploring off the trail. Some of the Cape's best beaches and ponds are scattered throughout the area, especially in Orleans and Wellfleet. Unique snack shacks and lunch spots are perfect pit stops when your stomach starts to grumble. And don't forget to explore the area's smaller villages for a taste of the Old Cape.

The trailheads -- open 24/7 -- are in Dennis and Wellfleet, with a Harwich-Chatham spur that brings you to Chatham Center. But there's plenty of free parking all along the way if you want to jump in the middle -- Brewster's Nickerson State Park spur is a popular starting point. For a trail map and other information, check out the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's website

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