Beaches -- Bourne has only one public beach: Monument Beach, off Shore Road. Half the parking lot is free (this fills up fast), and the other half requires a sticker from Bourne Town Hall, at 24 Perry Ave., in Buzzards Bay (tel. 508/759-0623). Though the beach is small and pebbly, it's picturesque. Full public-beach facilities accompany the relatively warm waters of Buzzards Bay.
Bicycling -- The Cape Cod Canal bike path, 14 miles on both sides of the Canal, is one of the best on the Cape. On the mainland side of the Canal, on Main Street in Buzzards Bay, access is at the far end of Buzzards Bay Park. On the Cape side of the Canal, access is at the Bourne Recreation Area, just north of the Bourne Bridge, along Canal Road.
Boating -- If you have your own canoe or kayak or want to rent one in Falmouth, you'll enjoy exploring Back River and Phinney's Harbor at Monument Beach. Cape Cod Kayak (tel. 508/563-9377) rents kayaks (free delivery locally) by the day or week and offers lessons and ecotours on local waterways. Kayak rentals are $49 to $75 for a half day, plus $5 for a tandem kayak. Lessons are $49 to $55. Two- or 3-hour trips are $49 to $79.
Fishing -- So plentiful are herring, as they make their spring migration up the Bournedale Herring Run (tel. 508/759-5991; Route 6 in Bournedale, about 1 mile southwest of the Sagamore Bridge rotary), you can net them once they’ve reached their destination, Great Herring Pond. You can obtain a shellfish permit from Bourne Town Hall, at 24 Perry Ave., Buzzards Bay (tel. 508/759-0600). Also plentiful here are pickerel, white perch, walleye, and bass. For freshwater fishing at Flax Pond and Red Brook Pond in Pocasset, you’ll need a license from the Bourne Town Hall. You can also obtain a freshwater fishing license at Red Top Sporting Goods, at 265 Main St., in Buzzards Bay (tel. 508/759-3371). The Cape Cod Canal is a great place to try surf-casting, though the state now requires a $10-per-year permit (free for those over 60). To get one online, go to www.mass.gov/marinefisheries or call tel. 866/703-1925.
Ice-Skating -- The John Gallo Ice Arena, 231 Sandwich Rd., in Bourne (tel. 508/759-8904), is open to the public daily from September to March, with reduced hours in the summer. Rates are $3 for adults, $2 for children.
Nature & Wildlife Areas -- The Bourne Conservation Trust has managed to preserve a handful of small plots of land; for information, contact the town Conservation Commission (tel. 508/759-0615). The largest tract is the Four Ponds Conservation Area/Town Forest, which consists of 280 acres off Barlows Landing Road in Pocasset. The 40-acre Nivling-Alexander Reserve (off Shore Rd., at Thaxter Rd.) has three walking trails and flanks Red Brook Pond, where fishing is permitted ; it offers a half-mile wooded walk past several cranberry bogs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (tel. 508/759-5991), which is in charge of the Cape Cod Canal, runs free naturalist-guided nature walks and slide shows about the Canal. Visit the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center, 60 Ed Moffitt Dr. (at the northeast corner of the canal; take Rte. 130 to Tupper Rd. to Town Neck Rd. to Coast Guard Rd.), Sandwich (tel. 508/833-9678), for more details about this interesting waterway. There are several exhibits, as well as free public programs and canal guide booklets. Open daily 10am to 5pm in season.
Tennis -- In the Bourne area, public courts are located near the old schoolhouse on County Road in Cataumet, and in Chester Park, opposite the railroad station in Monument Beach. For information, call the Bourne Memorial Community Center, on Main Street in Buzzards Bay (tel. 508/759-0650), which also has courts.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.