Skiing Bicycling
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Melville Coast


Cape Cod

Melville Coast
Cape Cod
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Things To Do
If at all possible, we recommend you include bicycling in your Cape Cod visit. If you follow our advice and come in early June, bikes offer many advantages, but if you come anytime from late June through Labor Day, they are almost essential. Traffic on Cape Cod overwhelms the two lane roads and colonial towns and villages with their narrow streets and buildings squeezed together. Parking is hard to find, and what you do find is expensive. Sitting in bumper to bumper gridlock for hours is quite common, especially on weekends. Bikes avoid this.

Beaches are an extreme example of the congestion. From several hundred to a thousand families may descend on a beach with parking for 75. The beaches are large enough to absorb such numbers, but the lots are not, and they tow you for even putting one tire on the sand. Even worse, it is through vehicles that Cape Cod collects its user fees. You may pay from $60 to $100 for a nonresident parking permit. However, you can bike in, park right at the sand, be exempt from the permits, and have no worries.

Especially if you stay inWellfleet at Paine's, Duck Creek Inn or The Stone Lion, you can bike everywhere you need to go. The terrain is either level or gently rolling, the distances are very compact, and there are bike racks everywhere.

Do not worry about navigating heavy traffic on your bike. As these photos show, there are trails everywhere separating you from roads, and even when you are on the same pavement as the cars, they're moving slowly. Route 6A is the one main road running right up the middle of The Cape. But the 26 mile long Cape Cod Rail Trail begins at Paine's and runs parallel to 6A all the way back down to The Cape Cod Canal, past cranberry bogs, pine groves, salt marshes, fresh water ponds and one beach after another. There are three restroom complexes along the way. There are also the Cape Cod Canal Trail, Shining Sea Bikeway and Chatham Bike Trail. Locally, from Paine's, you can pedal to three beaches, the Marconi site, and several ponds without ever crossing 6A, and you only have one crossing to pedal into Wellfleet, with its restaurants and Duck Harbor and Mayo Beaches. From Duck Creek Inn or The Stone Lion, you can pedal to Duck Harbor and Mayo Beaches and various restaurants without crossing 6A. Pedalling over 6A on a bridge gains you access to Cahoon Hollow, White Crest, LeCount and Newcomb Hollow Beaches, plus the Marconi site.

Hopefully, you can bring your own bikes with you. But if not, you can rent right in Wellfleet. New mountain bikes run $20 a day or $60 a week. In early June, you ought to be ok, but if you come from late June to Labor Day, we urge you to call ahead. There are beach cruisers and other special styles available but we suggest staying with the mountain bikes.

Black Duck Sports Shop, 349-9801, sets at the intersection of 6A and Cahoon Hollow Rd., less than a mile from Paine's, and less than two miles from Duck Creek Inn and The Stone Lion. As you drive in on the first day, the Black Duck Sports Shop on the left is where you'll turn off 6A to enter Wellfleet.

However, if you stay at the Provincetown Inn, you can rent at the Provincetown Bike Shop one mile away on Commercial Street. From Provincetown, you have an extensive network of bike trails out through spectacular dunes to Race Point Beach, Herring Cove Beach, and the Province Lands Visitor Center. There are seven miles of bike trail which access remote ponds and seascapes accessible to no one else. Many hard core bikers spend their entire vacations biking the mountainous dunes in this extreme northern part of Cape Cod.

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