turq beach bike in sand

Local Betty Field Trip: Biking the Cape Cod Rail Trail {CCRT}

It's going to be a pretty weekend, perfect for really digging into some deep research into the best ice cream on the Cape. 

One of the best ways to do do it is to enjoy the Cape Cod Rail Trail {CCRT} Yes, unlike Hingham, the Cape has managed to turn their dusty ol’ train rail trail into a gorgeous bike path. A 22-mile paved beauty that runs from Dennis to Wellfleet passing through Harwich, Brewster, Orleans and Eastham. Along the way you can pick up the Old Colony Rail Trail that leads to Chatham {after all it wouldn’t hurt to just make one little stop at Buffy’s for one little scoop for scientific purposes}, and the trails within Nickerson State Park and the Nauset Bike Trail leading to Coast Guard Beach. 

You can pick up the trail in many places, but if you didn’t bring your own bikes your best bet is to stop by any of the numerous bike rental places and get geared up and mapped up there. The trail is nicely paved, there are few hills and although there are quite a few crossings, they are well marked and drivers tend to be courteous of the bikers. It’s wide enough to ride side by side but a good rule of thumb if you have a gaggle of kids in tow is, “stay to the right” - that’s my screaming mantra every summer as I try to corral two boys careening down the path. In the summer it can be busy and I can only assume that it’s a challenge for those dedicated cyclists to actually maintain a consistent ride without having to brake for the onslaught of tandem bikes, toddler trailers and teens expressing some freedom.

Once on the road {so to speak} you will pass an endless number of salt marshes, cranberry bogs, freshwater ponds and pinewoods, not to mention the quaint towns and homes along the way. There are also various places to stop for food - one favorite? the hotdog vendor at the Brewster/Harwich line. Biking the CCRT isn't a bad way to justify all that Cape ice-cream testing...

Bike Rental

Brewster: The Rail Trail Bike Shop, and Barbs Bike Shop  Eastham: Idle Times Bikes, Cape Cod Bike. Dennis: Barbs Bike Shop  Orleans: Idle Times Bikes, Orleans Cycle  Wellfleet:  Idle Times Bikes, Cape Cod Bike

Pit Stops 

Mile 13: Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans Center for coffee, candy and ice cream {of course!}

Mile 17: Arnold's- the best fried clams on the Cape + mini golf {because that's a natural combination.}  {Also good bathrooms- just saying.}

Mile 17: Nickerson State Park a beautiful park for a trail ride.

Mile 19: Cobies in Brewster- more fried clams {well fried anything really} and a fabulous chocolate frappe...and more bathrooms.

*Please wear a bike helmet, Betty is watching.