Posted by Cape Cod Daily News via WordPress Tag Cape Cod
Saturday September 23, 2023 (2 months, 1 week ago)
A leisurely 22-mile round trip ride along the coast in Cape Cod
When I think of Cape Cod I think of summers on the beach, mini golf, fried clams, and the occasional shark attack (insert laughing emoji). Little did I know that Cape Cod is also a utopia of cycling, with many trails all along the right arm of Massachusetts. While seeking out new places to ride and explore the Cape kept popping up, so we packed up our two wheeled friends and headed off for a couple days of riding. The Shining Sea Bikeway was our first stop and very pleasant start to our trip.
The Shining Sea is the only bike trail in the Cape that goes along the shore which is easy to see when looking up maps of it. The trail is named “Shining Sea” in honor of Katherine Lee Bates, a native of Falmouth who wrote “America the Beautiful”. It begins in North Falmouth, and we found the best place to park and start is at the parking lot at the Northern Trailhead on Country Road. You have to cross the street out of the lot to enter the trail, but it is well marked and easy to find. Once on the trail it an easy going almost 11 miles to the end in Woods Hole.
I was expecting to see Water for the entire ride, but the ocean doesn’t come into view until the final couple miles when you ride right along the ocean and some beaches. A couple miles in you will come across a cranberry bog and a marsh, giving you a spot to stop and relax if you want a little solitude. Signage along the way gives a little backstory of each area, and the Native American tribes that once inhabited the lands. The real treat of course is towards the end. The views are fantastic and there really is nothing like the ocean breeze hitting your face as the sounds of the waves and seagulls fill the air around you. We were there on a Tuesday just after Labor Day, so the busy summer crowds had thinned making it a joyous cruise and giving us the chance to take in all the sights around us.
This is a very easy trail to ride and one that I would recommend to any level cyclist. It is basically flat the entire distance, with a measly 180 feet of elevation over the almost 22 miles. It never feels difficult and allows for some casual coasting if you want to ride slowly along the ocean as it comes into view. If you are planning a trip to the Cape carve out a few hours to enjoy this ride, you won’t regret it!
Right at the end of the trail in Woods Hole close to where the Martha’s Vineyard ferry launches we saw a restaurant called Leeside Pub. It had a sign outside that said “welcome bikers” and that was all we needed to give the bikes a little rest as we went inside. We enjoyed a local brew from Naukabout brewery and a fried fish sandwich which was the perfect start to our time on the Cape. And if you feel the need to grease your gears a little longer with a few extra brews, the easy ride back will be very forgiving of you.
Cheers! And enjoy the ride.
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