Blessed with many gently rolling hills, the Cape and islands are custom-made for a bike trek -- either as a way to get to the beach or as an outing unto itself.
- Cape Cod Canal (tel. 508/833-9678): On this 14-mile loop maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, you can race alongside the varied craft taking shortcuts through the world's widest sea-level canal.
- Shining Sea Bikeway (tel. 508/548-7611): Connecting North Falmouth to Woods Hole by way of marshes, cranberry bogs, the Buzzards Bay shoreline, and the picturesque Nobska Lighthouse, this very popular flat and scenic 12-mile path lets you dash to the ferry or dally at the beach of your choice.
- Cape Cod Rail Trail (tel. 508/896-3491): Reclaimed by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, this paved railroad bed currently stretches some 25 miles from South Dennis all the way to Wellfleet, with innumerable detours that beckon en route. Several sections of the bike path have recently been rehabilitated to make for an even smoother ride.
- Province Lands Trail (tel. 508/487-1256): Offering a rigorous workout, this 7-mile network swoops among the dunes and stunted forests at the very tip of the Cape. Take your time enjoying this moonscape. Be sure to stop off at Race Point Beach for a bracing dip, and at the Province Lands Visitor Center (tel. 508/487-1256) as well.
- Nantucket Town to Madaket (tel. 508/228-1700): Only 3 miles wide and 14 miles long, Nantucket is a snap to cover by bike. The 6-mile Madaket path crosses undulating moors to reach a beach with boisterous surf.
- Nantucket Town to Surfside (tel. 508/228-1700): An easy, flat few miles from town, Surfside Beach is a perfect miniexcursion for the whole family. There are even benches along the route, if you'd like to stop and admire the scrub pine and beach plums. When you return to town, pause at Brant Point to watch the yachts maneuver in and out of Nantucket Harbor.
- Oak Bluffs to Edgartown (tel. 508/693-0085): All of Martha's Vineyard is easily accessible for two-wheel recreationists. This 6-mile path hugs the water almost all the way, so you're never far from a refreshing dip.
- Chilmark to Aquinnah (tel. 508/693-0085): The Vineyard's awe-inspiring vistas of ponds, inlets, and ocean greet you at every turn as you bike along State Road and then turn onto the Moshup Trail, a road that takes you along the coast up to Aquinnah. It's a strenuous ride with perhaps the best views in the region. On the way back, treat yourself to a bike-ferry ride to the fishing village of Menemsha.
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.