Hiking & Biking the Cape

Cool, sunny days with minimal humidity make spring the perfect time to explore the Cape on foot or on a bike. The Cape Cod Rail Trail, with access right across the street from two bike rental shops in Orleans Center, is a can’t-miss option for biking and hiking. Prefer to walk the road the less traveled? Here are three of our favorite hikes:

Cliff Pond Trail, Brewster: New on our radar this year is the Cliff Pond Trail in Nickerson State Park . A packed-sand trail winds around the pond’s 2.6 miles of shoreline. Views of the pond are nonstop.

Great Island Trail, Wellfleet: This is a soft-sand trail, much of it directly on the beach, so it is a somewhat arduous hike. The shorter Tavern Loop is nearly four miles. The full hike is almost nine miles. Ample hydration and sunscreen are absolute musts.

Small’s Swamp & Pilgrim Spring, Truro: Located in the Pilgrim Heights neighborhood of North Truro, these two trails within Cape Cod National Seashore are perhaps the least-used of the park’s Self-Guiding Walking Trails, which we think is a good thing. Combine the two for a one-plus-mile hike. Both offer scenic vistas that take in a huge saltmarsh with a meandering river and distant views of the Atlantic. Add a diversion into the dunes across the adjacent bike trail for a longer walk and a gorgeous view of the ocean (look for one of the many foot trails off the bikeway). Photo via Blogspot.

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