With boats parading past, birds spiraling overhead, and the smell of salt in the air, the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway has all the ingredients of a perfect summer day. (Not that it isn’t great in other seasons, too!) The bike path is actually a service road for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but it’s used as a recreational destination where locals and visitors ride, walk, and fish.
The bikeway connects several recreation areas along the Cape Cod Canal, including Buzzards Bay Recreation Area, Herring Run Recreation Area, Bourne Recreation Area, and Tidal Flats Recreation Area. At each of these spots, you can start your ride or sit, picnic, and relax when you’re ready for a break.
The paved Cape Cod Canal Bikeway runs on both sides of the canal. There are 7 miles of path on the north side and 6.5 miles on the south side. The path is flat and wide, so it’s perfect for young children, active adults, and everyone in between. (Download trail map)
You can access the bikeway from a half-dozen recreation areas along the canal. We recommend starting at the railroad bridge – either at Buzzards Bay Recreation Area on the mainland side or Tidal Flats Recreation Area on the Cape side. From these two places, you can bike all the way to Cape Cod Bay!
Because this path is also the canal service road, be careful of the occasional service vehicle that may be using it.
Habitats & Wildlife
The Cape Cod Canal is a bustling industrial waterway. But it also provides habitat for a wide variety of species, from gulls, ospreys, and cormorants in the air to stripers and sea bass teeming beneath the waves. The canal is a destination for anglers hoping to hook a prized sportfish from shore.
If you’re biking on the north side of the canal, take a break at Herring Run Recreation Area to view the fish ladder and herring run. In the spring, river herring splash their way upstream to spawn in Plymouth’s ponds.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to strengthen our nation’s security by building and maintaining America’s infrastructure.