No trip to Cape Cod is complete without a walk, run, or ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Right outside the Chatham Seafarer, the 22 mile historic route is an easy and unique way to see the Cape. Plus, it boasts a bevy of sweet spots to scope out along the way. Ready to hit the road? Let’s take a little tour.
History Lesson: Built in 1978 to trace a 19th-century railway line, the Rail Trail follows what was once the main link between the state’s major cities and vacationers headed to the newly popular Cape. Though you won’t see much in the way of railroad remnants during the ride, you might spot a few tracks near the last mile.
How to Get Started: The trail officially begins near Route 134 in South Dennis, but you can hop on at several points along the way. The Chatham Seafarer is steps from an access point to the Rail Trail, and that means your little ones don’t have to bike on main roads to get to the path. If you’re planning a leisurely jaunt, rent a bike near the western trail head – the Dennis Cycle Center is a great resource – and slowly make your way north to the forested wonder of Nickerson State Park and Brewster’s quaint gems. Seymour Pond is a perfectly hushed stopping point, but long-haul riders can continue on through idyllic Orleans and the postcard-worthy marshland of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Set aside an entire day if you’re planning to go that far; it’s a long ride, but the magnificent views are more than worth it.
Inside Secrets: The Rail Trail all but radiates classic New England charm, so you’ll want to hit a few of the perennial favorites during your ride. Cobie’s Clam Shack is a lunchtime icon in Brewster, and Orleans offers endless opportunities to grab some ice cream and window shop through the local boutiques.
Have you experienced the iconic Rail Trail?