4 Unforgettable Rides In Cape Cod

 4 Unforgettable Rides In Cape Cod, Including Martha’s Vineyard

Two the bicycle clubs I rode with when I lived on Long Island (pronounced longailand) made annual treks to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

We did the same basic rides year after year, because they were gorgeous.

Long Island Bicycle Club  & Massapequa Park Bicycle Club both rode Bourne Bridge and Martha’s Vineyard.  Mass Park Bike Club also rode to Provincetown for a number of years.

Bourne Bridge from Woods Hole or Falmouth 41 or 51 miles

GPS Link

I would double check this route, as I recently re uploaded it from memory.
This route starts in Woods Hole.  However, you can start in Falmouth by riding then end of the ride, to Woods Hole, at the beginning.
You can also shave about 10 miles from the ride by not riding all of the canal trail.

bike ride to bourne bridge on cape cod a truly great ride
This route starts in Woods Hole. You can also start in Falmouth, towards the end of the ride, and ride to Woods Hole. You can shorten the ride by 10 miles, if, at the canal trail under the Bourne Bridge, you turn left, instead of right.
harbor woods hole ma
Harbor in Woods Hole, MA
unforgettable riding
Right off Water Street is School Street,  a nice quiet road. (Google Maps)

The outbound portion of the ride is on lots of relatively quiet streets, though even the numbered routes have shoulders and are not busy.  There is a rest room break at Old Silver Beach around mile 10.  The next break will be Bourne Bridge.

At about mile 14  the route cuts inland to bring to the canal path at the Bourne Bridge around mile 20.  For the full 51 miles,  turn right for the 10 mile out and back to the end of the path.  For the 41 mile version, turn left and continue the ride.

A popular lunch stop is The Lobster Trap a mile 32 or so.


lobster trap
The Lobster Trap, Bourne, MA (Google Maps)
Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska Lighthouse. We took some sunset photos after the ride.

The return ride to Falmouth and Woods Hole is routed along the road. You could take the parallel Shining Sea Bikeway, if you prefer.
Outside of Falmouth you ride along the shore and past the Nobska Lighthouse back to the start — where there is coffee, pastries, ice cream and beer at the various shops.

Cape Cod Rail Trail

Just over 25 miles, one way, along the interior of the island.  See details here

I haven’t ridden this trail for years, but, if you only want to do part  of it,  go to the middle of the trail somewhere, and ride North East (toward Eastham and Orleans). It is stunning.  There are lots of food and rest stops on the trail or immediately off the trail.


cape cod rail trail enduring beauty
Some stunning scenery (Google Maps)



GPS Route 38 miles. Options for more, below route map.

From the northern end of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the ride starts through the park and along the shore.

The whole ride outbound is on quiet scenic roads.

Plan to lock your bike and spend some time in Provincetown.  It is a fun city.

Come back another time in your car and go whale watching.  The feeding grounds are in this area and it is not unusual to see multiple whales at a time.

Cape code provincetown bike ride
This round trip is about 38 miles.  You can add to this by riding to the tip of the island (about 6 miles round trip) and/or heading over to ride through the sand dunes on paved bike paths.
1 provicetown Ocean view drive
Ocean Avenue, at the start of the ride. Yes, the ocean is to your right.  (Google Maps)
2 provicetown old county road
After you cross over the highway, the rest of the ride in on the west side. The roads are just as nice, however. (Google Maps)
3 provicetown just outside
As you approach Provincetown, there will some summer communities and more views of the ocean. (Google Maps) 
Whale Watching, Provincetown, MA
There are several whale watching boats, all day long, from Provincetown. We liked the Dolphin Fleet, as they collaborated with non profit agencies regarding whales.

Martha’s Vineyard

This is one of my absolute favorite rides in the areaGPS Route 54 miles You can save 8 miles by turning right at mile 29.6, Menemsha Crossroad.  You will skip the the ride to the point, however.

The ride starts on this map from Vineyard Haven (the ferry from Woods Hole).  However, you can also pick up the ride in Oak Bluffs  (the ferry from Falmouth).


You can save 8 miles by turning right at mile 29.6, Menemsha Crossroad.  You will skip the the ride to the point, however.


m1 e chop drive
From Vineyard Haven (at the beginning or end of the ride, depending on where you start from) you wend your way between the two town. Chop Road (Google Maps).  At this point you are riding between the two main towns on this side of the island.  While there are some quite streets, there may also be traffic.


m2 martha
As you leave Oak Bluffs there will be water on both sides.  Here you can ride on the bicycle path or the road.  In the past we have ridden both.  Usually we ride on the road if the bicycle path is crowded.

As you exit this section to the left look for Edgartown Bicycles (you will pass it on Main Street).  In the summer it is a natural rest stop.  They have  a bathroom and water as well as some really great bicycle shirts.

This loop actually by passes downtown Edgartown.   Tourist time would be at the beginning or end of your ride in Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs.

Instead, you will continue toward another beach, with a ride along the beach road.  You will then head inland, with some winding roads and wind up on Edgartown – West Tisbury Road.  Please read the note on the photo about riding on the road vs the bike trail.

If you ride on the bike trail you will eventually see a sign for the Martha’s Vineyard Hostel.  It is a pleasant rest stop.  In the past they had water and access to their outhouse.  If you wish to skip that stop, a few miles up the road is a large general store, with anything you may need.

After the general store, you turn right to get to Middle Road, down towards the end of the island. This is a more scenic way, with less traffic than South Road.

At Menemsha Crossroad, the route continues south to the end of the island for a great overlook and a 4 minute ferry ride to Menemsha for lunch.  If you want to cut off 8 miles, turn right at Menemsha Crossroad and bicycle directly into town.

After touring the southern part of the ride, and taking a break for the overlook, you will ride on Lobsterville Road toward the bike ferry.

Menemsha is a great place to stop for lunch.  If it is really hot outside, the food cabin right by the ferry landing has a covered porch.  For a treat, however, go around the block to one of the fisheries for a lobster roll and chowder.  Eat in the back on the wood crates, right on the habor.

There is plenty of food and shopping here.

After lunch it is a about 12 miles back to Vineyard Haven and 15 to Oak Bluffs.  It is a steady uphill most of the way, but few steep areas.  If you have time before your ferry, look for Martha’s Ice Cream, in either town.


Comments welcome,  below.

Cape Cod Off The Bicycle Photos

More Riding Like This – Through The Flat Portions Of  The Alps

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