Cape Cod is a hook-shaped peninsula of Massachusetts, and is a popular summertime destination. There are quaint villages, seafood shacks, lighthouses, kettle ponds, salt marshes, and gorgeous beaches on the bay and ocean sites with 400 miles of shoreline. The natural highlight is the Cape Cod National Seashore, preserved since the early 1960s, which runs from Eastham to Provincetown. Sandwich is the oldest town on the Cape, and Provincetown is the most vibrant commercial area. This is our comprehensive guide to the best places to run in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
It is 60 miles from the Sagamore Bridge to Provincetown. The are four ‘areas’ of the Cape: The Upper Cape: Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, and Mashpee; Mid-Cape: Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis; Lower Cape: Harwich, Brewster, Chatham; and Outer Cape: Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham and Orleans (National Seashore).
Our Cape Cod running guide features 20 of the best routes — a great collection of beach runs, bike trails, off-road paths, oceanfront roads, and architectural gems. See our ‘Overview’ post for a guide to the routes by area/town, and our list of the ‘bests’ by theme (beach, trail, town, etc.). A few notes about running on Cape Cod:
- There aren’t very many roads that go for a long way ‘along the ocean’
- For beach running, the Bay Side beaches are better. Keep an eye on the tides
- Many of the roads outside village centers don’t have sidewalks or shoulders
- Route 6A, the ‘Kings Highway’, is very pretty in spots, but due to traffic and lack of shoulder, is not safe for running. Might be OK if you go off season or really early.
- Take advantage of the many wonderful bike paths. The best for running: Shining Sea Bike Path, Cape Cod Rail Trail, Nauset Trail.