10 bike paths around Buzzards Bay to ride, walk, jog, skate, or ski
If you enjoy bicycling, then you’ve no doubt traveled on one of southeastern Massachusetts’ many bike paths. These paved, well-marked paths off the main roads provide everybody with safe places to walk, bike, run, skate, or ski, whether you’re an avid adventurer or just learning how to ride.
There are several bike paths around the Buzzards Bay region, many with one-of-a-kind views of the water and the Bay’s natural habitats. Exploring bike paths is a great way to see and appreciate the places that the Coalition works to protect. That’s why we host the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride every October – which runs along many of the bike paths listed below.
There’s a continued effort to create more bike paths around southeastern Massachusetts as part of the South Coast Bikeway, a growing regional system of bike and multi-use paths that would eventually run for 50 miles from Rhode Island to Cape Cod. With committees and plans for new paths in places like Westport, Marion, and Bourne, there could someday be a dedicated bike path in nearly every Buzzards Bay community! Until then, hop on your bike and check out one of these 10 existing bike paths around the region.
1-4. Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail, Fort Taber Park, New Bedford Harbor Walk & New Bedford CoveWalk (New Bedford)
With spectacular open-water views of Clarks Cove, outer New Bedford Harbor, and Buzzards Bay, the bike paths in New Bedford’s South End (marked in red and orange on this map) are some of the most scenic and accessible public pathways in the region. It’s all part of The Blue Lane, a network of pathways that connects neighborhoods along the New Bedford waterfront.
Together, the paths along the New Bedford Harbor Walk, Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail, Fort Taber Park, and the new CoveWalk extend for nearly five miles – but you can enjoy each path on its own.
Set atop the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier, the Harbor Walk and CoveWalk provide unique elevated views of New Bedford Harbor and Clarks Cove, respectively. They both link with the two ends of the Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail, stretching for another mile along each side of New Bedford’s scenic South End peninsula to Fort Taber Park. There, a network of paved paths snake through the park, providing a perfect place for all ages to go walking, jogging, and bicycling.
5-7. Phoenix Bike Trail/Little Bay Conservation Area & Mattapoisett Rail Trail (Fairhaven/Mattapoisett)
The Phoenix Bike Trail’s 4.5 miles of paved path through Fairhaven’s forests, salt marshes, and neighborhoods is a safe and beautiful place for local bicyclists, runners, and walkers. It links seamlessly with the Mattapoisett Rail Trail for another mile, giving you over five miles of flat, easy pathways to explore.
For a lovely water view, snake your way down the scenic one-mile Little Bay Extension behind the Fairhaven Public Works Department to enjoy the vista of Little Bay and Nasketucket Bay from the small concrete pier at Little Bay Conservation Area.
8. Myles Standish State Forest (Carver/Plymouth)
With over 15 miles of paved biking trails, Myles Standish State Forest in Carver and Plymouth has routes for all ages and skill levels. For families, there’s a leisurely 6.25-mile path that will take you among the forest’s beautiful pines and ponds. If you’re looking for a longer route to help clear your mind, check out the 11-mile ride through the forest. Want to burn some calories? There’s also a challenging 7.8-mile ride into one of the loveliest and most remote parts of the forest.
9. Cape Cod Canal Bikeway (Bourne)
If you’re looking for an easygoing, scenic bike ride, there are few better places than the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway. This wide, paved pair of paths – actually U.S. Army Corps of Engineers service roads – run approximately 7 miles on either side of the canal, offering unique views of ships, barges, and tugs chugging between Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay.
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.
10. Shining Sea Bikeway (Falmouth)
Take a journey of discovery down the Shining Sea Bikeway, a 10.7-mile bike path through Falmouth. 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.
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.