Cape Cod Province Lands Trail
The Cape Cod Province Lands Trail is scenic 5.45-mile loop that takes bicyclists, joggers, and skaters over sandy dunes, in between saltwater kettle ponds, and through a shady beach forest. On this paved bike path, visitors can experience the diverse landscape and unique ecosystems of the outer cape, while taking in spectacular views of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The trail begins at the Province Lands Visitor Center, where visitors can learn about the geological and historical sites they’ll encounter on the trail. The visitor center features interactive exhibits, short documentary films, and tours led by park rangers. From the top of the observation tower here, visitors have a bird’s eye view of the vast dunes of Provincetown.
After leaving the visitor center, the Cape Cod Province Lands Bike Trail weaves through uneven dunes, often making sharp turns to avoid treacherous banks of sand and other natural obstacles. While Cape Cod Province Lands Trail isn’t as relaxing as some of the other trails on Cape Cod, the difficult terrain makes this “advanced-intermediate” trail an exciting ride.
While most of the trail cuts through exposed dunes, bicyclists will get a break from the sun in the shady Beech Forest near Race Point Road. In the Beech Forest, visitors can access the Beech Forest Trail, a walking path that circles the cool waters of Blackwater Pond. In the spring and fall, the verdant forest is also an excellent place to watch for birds.
Along the way, there are plenty of other opportunities to extend an adventure on Cape Cod Province Lands Bike Trail. Where the trail approaches the town of Provincetown, a 1.1-mile trail extension takes visitors to the shores of Herring Cove Beach. On the other side of the loop, a half-mile extension brings visitors to the edge of Race Point Beach and, in between, a quarter-mile extension leads to the tranquil banks of Bennett Pond.
Cape Cod Province Lands Trail is one of three bike paths in the Cape Cod National Seashore, which encompasses unspoiled parts of the Cape’s Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecosystem. This is the land that the Pilgrims explored immediately after landing in Provincetown Harbor and the land that transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau wrote about in his Cape Cod memoirs.