Cape Cod Canal

Everyone coming to the Cape knows there is a canal they need to cross over one of the two bridges.  However, you may not be aware that there is a great bike trail that follows the Canal on both sides of the waterway!  I haven’t had the chance to ride the western side, but the eastern side seems to be the more interesting ride.  One general warning… if the weather is cool, you’ll want to choose one side or the other to have the sun on you during your ride.  The winds do blow through the canal gap due to the geography which will bring down the temperatures a bit.

Beginning at the parking area at the Canal Visitor’s Center, which is best reached by taking Route 6A to Sandwich, you’ll immediately be confronted by the power plant that you will ride by.  It is one of the more unusual sites on any bike ride.  The trail is basically flat the entire length, so take your time and enjoy the sights along the way.  Your next landmark will be the Sagamore Bridge.

Sagamore Bridge

That isn’t a road in the above picture, but the well-marked bike trail!  Continue along the trail and you might be lucky enough to catch this next sight…

Tug on Canal

There aren’t many trails that you’ll find tugboats moving along at a speed usually slower than the bicycles!  But the unique sights still are yet to come.  Your next rest stop and perhaps a tour is at the Aptucxet Trading Post

where, during the summer months, you can tour the building which was one of the original trading posts for the Pilgrims.  After the trading post, your next view is

Canal bridges

Continue on to the end of the trail which culminates at the ornate railroad bridge.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to catch the short freight train that crossed the bridge and headed up to the power plant!  Maybe next time…

My only complaint is that there is no easy way to cross the Canal at either terminus so a “circular” trip could be made.  So, once you have rested, head back to the northern end and enjoy a picnic at the visitor’s center before ending your bike trip.

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