This fall I had the opportunity to take a day trip down to Cape Cod to bike the canal trail. Being an avid cyclist, I couldn’t pass up the chance.
The Cape Cod Canal Bike Path is very short, about 7 miles each way, so a there-and-back trip is only 14 miles. While on my ride I did notice some other bikers, but a majority of the people on the trail were walkers and sightseers. With not too many moving vehicles, the bike path is well-suited for beginners. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this path to an experienced cyclist, but I would definitely recommend the bike way to beginners and families.
The Cape Cod Canal Bike Path is probably the most well kept bike trail I’ve ever been on. I didn’t once see a divot or hole in the trail. Not only is it well-maintained, but as far as bike paths go it’s easily one of the better ones for riding. The lanes are wide the whole way– they never get narrow. There’s plenty of room, which is one of the reasons I think this trail is perfect for families. There are some small inclines here and there, but it’s certainly not hilly. It’s also extremely easy to access, with large parking lots at both ends. Although there are paths along both sides of the canal, it’s difficult (nearly impossible) to cross to the other side.
The trail was fairly empty when I went in September. Crowded paths are one of the few things that can ruin any biking experience. I’d expect the pathway to fill up during the summer and on the weekends, but the wide lanes should make any crowd easy to deal with.
One of my favorite things about this path is that it’s completely removed from all traffic. Not only that, but the scenery is great. At all times you are right alongside the canal, so you can stop at any point and watch a number of ships (everything from large oil tankers to small yachts) pass through the canal. If you complete the entire trail you’ll ride under two bridges, which are both very impressive. At one end of the trail there’s a big jetty, and you get a great view of the ocean. As far as visual scenery goes, this trail has it all.
I recommend this trail to anyone looking for a relaxed, family-oriented Cape Cod biking experience.