Runners will love the Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) — a paved multi-use path that runs between Yarmouth and Wellfleet. It’s one of the most popular place on the Cape to walk, run, bike, and blade! It’s also a great option in certain areas where there aren’t very good roads for running. The terrain is relatively flat with some minor grades in certain sections in the Lower / Outer Cape areas, specifically Orleans and Wellfleet.
The original trail, still shown in downloadable maps, was 22 miles from Rt. 134 in South Dennis to Le Count Hollow Rd. in Wellfleet. Extensions have been added recently: at the Dennis end, the trail now extends for nearly 3 miles west to Homer Park/Station Ave. in Yarmouth, with another less developed 2-mile section to Higgins Cowell Rd. (good for running, less so for bikes); and at the Welfleet end, the trail has been extended for ~1 mile from Lecount Hollow Rd. to Wellfleet Hollow State Campground.
The CCRT passes by many local points of interest and several areas with lakes suitable for swimming /picnicking, including Nickerson State Park in Brewster. Some of the most scenic areas are (heading from Dennis) miles 10-16 on our route map, passing by several ponds into Nickerson State Park to Orleans. There’s a good connection to the Salt Pond Visitors Center and trails there, at Locust Rd. in Orleans (mile ~22).
Harwich to Chatham Spur. Near Main St. in Harwich, there’s a ‘bike rotary’ where a spur of the CCRT, the Old Colony Rail Trail, runs for 7.5 miles through Harwich to Crowell Rd. in Chatham. It’s not hugely scenic. There are a couple of on-road sections at the Chatham end.
- Overall, 28.7 miles including new extensions. Old Colony Rail Trail from Harwich to Chatham is 7.5 miles
- Some elevation, but gentle grades
- Depends on section chosen
- Numerous access points and parking areas. At Yarmouth end, good access at Station Ave.