Stretching nearly eleven-miles along the path of an old rail line, take a ride on the Shining Sea Bikeway. The paved path is mostly level as it stretches along the coast from Falmouth to Woods Hole and into North Falmouth, making it a great choice for the beginner or the casual cyclist.
First opened up in the mid 1970s, the bikeway came to reality when the Town of Falmouth purchased the right of way for the old railroad and tore up the tracks. It just so happens it gets its name from those infamous lyrics of “America the Beautiful”, written by a Falmouth native. The bikeway in some ways also lives up to its namesake, offering up some beautiful natural scenery as cyclists travel along the path.
Originally running from Buzzards Bay to Falmouth Station, the first three miles of the bikeway cut through North and West Falmouth and around Woods Hole. About a decade ago, a federal grant paved the way to add on another 7.4 miles to the trail, taking it all the way from Woods Hole to North Falmouth.
The bikeway is not only a great place to get in some exercise, but also to experience the natural beauty of the area. Along the way cyclists are treated to views of Sippewissett Marsh and of Chapoquoit Beach. Cyclists wind along the coast and cross the Salt Pond Bird Sanctuary, allowing users to avoid most traffic, especially during the summer season.
More recently, a bike fix-it station was added to the trail for convenience. You’ll also find some signage now highlighting some of the natural attractions along the way, plus giving some historical context to the area.
It’s easy to hop on the trail, with parking lots located at either end of the Shining Sea Bikeway. You’ll also find more parking lots situated along the trail for easy access.