The beauty of Cape Cod can be seen in many ways. The spectacular beaches, such as the National Seashore is a wonderful way to soak up local color and keep cool on these very hot summer days, another way is the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is 22 miles long and travels through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. As you ride on the trail there are many opportunities to leave the trail to relax with a bite to eat, stopping at the National Seashore or visiting the Salt Pond Visitors Center. The Salt Pond Visitors Center features displays of the whaling and salt works industries and exhibits of early Cape artifacts such as scrimshaw.
Other side trips might include the Old Colony Rail Trail in Chatham, the Harwich Historical Society or Nickerson State Park.
The history of the rail trail is that it follows a former railroad established in 1848 by the Old Colony Railroad. The railroad tracks connect Boston to Sandwich and as additional tracks were laid, it connected Boston to Provincetown. The railroad increased the popularity of the Cape as a tourist destination and transported visitors from New York, Connecticut and also parts of Massachusetts. The railroad lost its importance with the introduction of automobiles and the construction of the bridges connecting the Cape to the main land.
Visit one of our Classic Inns of Historic Cape Cod Bay when enjoying the Rail Trail and other Cape Cod Attractions!