We are pleased to announce that we have just taken delivery of eight, brand new bicycles. As you can see from the photo, Maggie is pretty excited about them, too! Some of you might not be aware of the fact that there are extensive biking opportunities on the Cape. The Cape Cod Rail Trail (which can be accessed just one mile from the Old Manse Inn) is a 22 mile Cape Cod viewing experience. This paved trail with well-marked automobile crossings, runs through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. Along the way there are many places where you can leave the trail to enjoy a picnic or just relax. You can stop to visit the National Seashore or the Salt Pond Visitors Center which features displays of the whaling and salt works industries, and exhibits of many Cape Cod artifacts. Food and water are readily available, and public restrooms can be found at Nickerson State Park, Salt Pond Visitors Center at Cape Cod National Seashore and at the National Seashore Headquarters.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail follows a former railroad line established in 1848 by the Old Colony Railroad. Before these tracks were laid, the Cape was only accessible by packet boat or stagecoach. The tracks originally connected Boston to Sandwich and as time when on it expanded and connected Boston to Provincetown – making the tip of the Cape a very short, 5 hour, trip from Boston. As the railroad grew, so did the popularity of the Cape as a tourist destination and the rail line transported visitors from New York, Connecticut and other parts of Massachusetts. Alas, as the automobile became more popular and easier to afford, and bridges were constructed to connect the Cape to the main land, the railroad lost its importance. Trains continued to haul freight until the mid-1960s when the rails were torn up and the old station houses were razed. But the beauty of the landscape it dissected can still be enjoyed on the bike trail.
All of us know how hectic life can get. We scurry around in our cars chauffeuring the kids to soccer and music lessons, shopping and running errands, often never taking the time to notice what is going on right outside the windows of our car. Next time you come to visit, let us help you plan a day on the bike trail where you can take the time to smell the salt air and delight in the simple things we have come to love about this little spit of land we call home.
For a detailed view of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails/print/ccrt.pdf
Hope to see you soon!
Karen and Rich Keevers