Shining Sea Bikeway

Take a journey of discovery down the Shining Sea Bikeway, a 10.7-mile bike path through Falmouth. This paved, multi-use trail is more than simply a place to go bicycling, running, and rollerblading – it’s a gateway to hidden views of Cape Cod’s shining seas, from the harbors and salt marshes of Buzzards Bay to the sand and surf of Vineyard Sound.

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Discover Buzzards Bay in a new light as you ride, roll, walk, or run on the Shining Sea Bikeway. This bike path snakes through four of Falmouth’s villages: North Falmouth, West Falmouth, Falmouth Village, and Woods Hole. Along the way, you’ll discover Cape Cod beaches, harbors, forests, and salt marshes.

The Shining Sea Bikeway was one of America’s first 500 rail trails. It’s located on the former rail bed of train service that ran from Boston to Woods Hole. The name “Shining Sea” is in honor of Katharine Lee Bates, a Falmouth native who penned “America the Beautiful.”


Shining Sea Bikeway through a salt marsh in Falmouth

The annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride rolls down the scenic Shining Sea Bikeway every October for the final stretch of its 100-mile route.

The Shining Sea Bikeway is a paved, multi-use trail that runs 10.7 miles from North Falmouth to Woods Hole. Along the way, there are several convenient places to pick up the bike path and enjoy some cycling by the sea. (Download trail map)

Beginning in North Falmouth, get started on the Shining Sea Bikeway at its northernmost point on County Road. About 2 miles down, you’ll ride through an active cranberry bog and the trails of Bourne Farm and Cardoza Farm.

If you want to hop on the bikeway a little farther south, head to West Falmouth, another spot with a convenient parking area next to the bike path. Just south of here, the bikeway takes a turn toward the water and reveals perhaps its most stunning vista: Great Sippewissett Marsh, a spectacular stretch of salt marsh along Buzzards Bay.

Looking for an easy ride into Woods Hole? Start on the Shining Sea Bikeway at Falmouth Village, about 4 miles north of Woods Hole Village. Along the way, you’ll be treated to a scenic tour of Nobska Light and sandy beaches along Vineyard Sound.

Habitats & Wildlife

The Shining Sea Bikeway is the only bike path on Cape Cod that runs alongside the seashore. Nearly one-quarter of the bikeway passes through conserved natural areas, so you can get a close-up view of ponds, cedar swamps, salt marshes, cranberry bogs, and wooded uplands.

As you travel along the bike path, be on the lookout for all kinds of wildlife. In summer, ospreys soar high above the water and great blue herons stalk their prey in the marsh. Foxes, deer, and turtles are also common sights along the bikeway. For the best views of landscapes and life, we recommend getting an early start on summer days.

Property Owned By
Size: 10.7 miles
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Gravel parking areas on County Road, Old Dock Road, Depot Avenue, Woods Hole Road, and Oyster Pond Road
Cost: Free
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Dogs: Yes (on leash)
Facilities: Restrooms (portable), Picnic Tables, Trash
ADA Accessible: Yes

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
Falmouth, MA 02556
41.647276, -70.613869

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Shining Sea Bikeway
Falmouth, MA
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