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Bicycling on Cape Cod

Concierge.com's insider take:

Cape Cod has a huge network of off-road cycling trails, many of which cruise through the woods and past cranberry bogs, clam shacks, ice cream stands, and freshwater lakes. Bike paths about seven and a half miles long line each side of the Cape Cod Canal. The Shining Sea Path in Falmouth runs nearly five miles along an abandoned rail line from Woods Hole to Falmouth Center; it will more than double in length when an expansion to North Falmouth is completed in spring 2009. But the longest off-road bike route is the hugely popular 28-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail, which runs from South Dennis to Wellfleet along another former railroad right-of-way (508-896-3491; mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/ccrt.htm). Parking is free at various points along the route, and the Rail Trail connects to a bike path inside Nickerson State Park as well as to the nine-mile network within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Note that many off-road trails get crowded in the summer.

Massachusetts Bike Route 1 runs from Boston to Provincetown and Woods Hole, partly on protected bikeways and mostly on vehicle roads. The Cape Cod Cyclist Club organizes free group road- and mountain-bike rides (capecodcyclist.com), and Bike and the Like runs seven-night fall cycling tours of Cape Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket (877-776-6572, bikeandthelike.com). Trail maps and rental shop locations are available at Bikecapecod.com.

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