5 Questions About the Cape Cod Rail Trail

cape cod rail trail

If you don’t know a lot about the Massachusetts peninsula, you might have many reservations regarding the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

cape cod rail trail

The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 27.6 miles paved path from Yarmouth to Wellfleet and passes through six towns. The time required to make it through varies as per your mode of travel. For instance, it will take you one day to cross it from start to finish if you cycle across the trail.

This guide will explain more about the Cape Cod Rail Trail and answer all of your pressing questions. So, stick with us and read on.

Where does the Cape Cod Rail Trail Start and end?

cape cod rail trail

The Cape Cod Rail Trail, or CCRT, is located in southeastern Massachusetts. Established in the 1970s, the trail is almost 27.6 miles long.

The trail lies between Yarmouth and Wellfleet. From Yarmouth to Orleans, the trail stretches on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. It was then extended past Wellfleet in 1872 when the Old Colony Railroad was bought.

How many towns does the Cape Cod Rail Trail pass through?

This magnificent trail currently passes through 6 different towns. Starting from Yarmouth, these include Dennis, Orleans, Harwich, Eastham, Brewster, and Wellfleet.

cape cod rail trail

Before the first railroad was built, the Cape was a very isolated area from the other parts of the country. It was only accessible either through a stagecoach or a packet boat.

However, with the first tracks being laid in 1848, there were multiple expansions between different towns, which shortened traveling journeys.

With the increase in popularity of the Cape, the railroad was used by many visitors, especially from New York and Connecticut.

The growing popularity also meant that the trail was eventually furnished with biking, hotels, and food facilities to meet the travelers’ needs.

In 1935, bridges over the Cape Cod Canal opened to carry the cars. Eventually, in the mid-1960s, the tracks were torn up from the area, which is why you can find many relics of the Cape’s railways all across the trail as you ride through it.

Can you walk on the Cape Cod Rail Trail?

As freight rail cars ceased to exist on the trail many years ago, the track was paved for cyclists to enjoy. Every year, thousands of cyclists visit the trail with their cycles and hop on it.

You can also walk on the trail if you want to enjoy its serene views more peacefully. The trail is majorly used by tourists for walking, running, road biking, and bird watching.

Dogs and other pet animals can also walk on the trail, but it is essential to keep them on the leash. The trail surface is smooth and measured to be 6 feet wide at least.

The trail also has a gorgeous unpaved shoulder on one of its sides, mainly designed for runners, walkers, and all those interested in horseback riding.

Due to the pavement structure, it can also be accessed by users of strollers or mobility equipment such as wheelchairs. You can also find benches all along the route if you want to sit down and rest.

You can get off the trail at any time and perhaps visit a beach that lies near it. Approaching the southern end, both walkers and cyclists can either continue the trail or turn east to move towards the Old Colony Rail Trail. This trail then ends at Crowell Road.

How long does it take to bike the Cape Cod Rail Trail?

cape cod rail trail

The beautiful terrain and coastline of Cape Cod make it an ideal destination for all ambitious cyclists. And, without a doubt, the best way to see the beauty of the trail is to bike your way through its scenic views.

Whether you have experience riding through delicate paved trails or rushing through extreme mountain trails, the Cape Cod Rail Trail will be an experience unlike anything else.

It is possible to bike through the trail in one day. Although if you spend your time exploring the different attractions located along the route, it will take you more time to complete the trail.

cape cod rail trail

It is recommended that you spend your time exploring the beautiful track. For instance, you can swim through the freshwater ponds or stop for a while on the beach.

There are various bike shops along the route if you want to repair or rent cycling equipment. For instance, the Bike Zone Yarmouth provides cycling gear, besides mountain and road bicycles.

A bike shop near the South Dennis Trailhead offers safety equipment, mountain bikes, clothing, and accessories. You can also get tricycles, tandem cycles, and electric bikes at the Dennis Cycle Centre found in South Dennis.

What is the Prettiest Part of the Cape Cod Rail Trail?

With its charming villages, salt marshes, cranberry bogs, sand-dune vistas, and an overlooking beach, the Cape Cod Rail Trail is a part of heaven on earth.

cape cod rail trail

It is the perfect ride for all those who want to take a break from their everyday lives and simply immerse themselves in an exotic experience.

Especially if you want to spend your summers away across the countryside, then the trail is the perfect place to be at. The first few miles of the track are surrounded by forests on both sides, which offers shades from the warm weather.

cape cod rail trail

Amenities such as bicycle maintenance, food, and drinks are all available. When visiting Harwich, you will cross a bicycle rotary, eventually taking you through the woods.

Continuing across the trail, you will pass some glacial ponds before arriving at the Nickerson State Park (NSP). As you move further, busier sections of the trails are surrounded by restaurants and family-run hotels.

cape cod rail trail

You can rest on this part of the trail before starting your journey again. The trail continues with many other amenities and attractions along the path.

For instance, Cape Cod National Seashore can be found just miles away from Orleans. You can also catch a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Nauset Marsh.

Overall, we can vouch for the fact that the Cape Cod Rail Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the country you will ever come across.

If you are planning to spend your vacations away from your busy life or just want a getaway with your loved ones, then this is the place you should visit.

Check out more places you can visit and things to do in Cape Cod.

Final Thoughts….

cape cod rail trail

Whether you are planning a vacation across the countryside or just want to bike across a serene trail, the cape road rail-trail offers many amenities and opportunities you can benefit from.

This accessible trail is not only well-furnished, but it is safe and secure for people of all ages—no wonder why all the visitors love this beautiful trail.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your vacations today and make your way to the trail.


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