Cape Cod Rail Trail

#1 in Best Things To Do in Cape Cod
Cape Cod Rail Trail picture
Courtney Rose Photography/Cape Cod Chamber

Key Info

3488 Main St.

Price & Hours

Free
Dawn-dusk daily

Details

Recreation, Sightseeing, Free Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.7

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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

Many outdoor enthusiasts highlight the trail as one of the best ways to experience the natural attractions across the Cape. They also praise how well-marked and clean the trail is, and report that it's mostly flat and easy to navigate. 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 dawn to dusk– are situated in Dennis and Wellfleet, with a Harwich-Chatham spur that brings you to Chatham Center. There is a $10 vehicle fee to park in Dennis or Wellfleet if you have out-of-state license plates ($5 for Massachusetts vehicles), but there's plenty of free parking along the way if you want to jump on in the middle – Orleans Center makes a great starting point. For a trail map and other information, check out the Massachusetts government website. For recommendations on bike rentals, check out our Getting Around guide.

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Type
Time to Spend
#2 Wellfleet Drive-In

With a mini-golf course nearby and a playground set up in front of the screen, the Wellfleet Drive-In is perfect for families looking for a break from the beach. Double features are shown each night throughout the summer (complete with a vintage welcome reel and quintessential theater snacks at the Dairy Bar and Snack Bar), making for a memorable family theater outing. And though the original 1950s mono speakers have been known to offer spotty speaker functionality (they are antiques, after all) you can always tune your radio to the drive-in's own 89.5 FM radio station for audio.

Past theatergoers say the retro drive-through experience is not to be missed, saying it’s a great nostalgic activity, but recommend getting there early to secure a good spot.

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Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
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