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Cape Cod Rail Trail

23 June 2017

Trip report 23–25 June 2017

Family-friendly bicycle tour of Cape Cod: bicycle path, farmers’ market, salt water taffy, ice cream, bakeries, lighthouses, & many beaches to play at.

We met on Friday evening in Eastham hostel, set in a wooded area with common space, eating area, open play space, & small cabins. We spent the weekend visiting many attractions along the Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) going out to Orleans farmers’ market, Nickerson State Park, Coast Guard beach, Nauset lighthouse, PB Boulangerie bakery, Flax pond, & much more.

The route was mostly flat, with many services & food stops along the way to purchase meals & snacks.

Friday: Rock Harbor Beach

We arrived Friday afternoon to find our cabin, meet the group, & explore the area.

There was plenty of space for the kids to play frisbee, hang the hammocks, & chase each other.

Later we took a short bicycle ride to Rock Harbor beach.

Initially, we wanted to get dinner from the seafood shack near Rock Harbor beach. But they were running out of supplies when we arrived minutes before closing at 18:00. Instead, we spent time on the beach chasing crabs & getting feet wet:


Location: 41.800087°N, 70.008461°W

We traced our route back toward Orleans for dinner at Guapo’s Tortilla Shack.

Our group had a mix of 8-bed & 4-bed cabins: bunk beds, limited electricity outlets to charge devices, outdoor showers. The main building had indoor showers, restrooms, kitchen, dining area, & wireless internet.

Saturday: Nickerson State Park

Weather forecast was for heavy rain in late morning. We opted to proceed with our bicycle plan regardless.

But first we had a healthy breakfast of cereal, juice, fruit, & blueberry pancakes.

The hostel is a short distance away from CCRT. Within 15 minutes, we arrived Orleans to shop for bread at farmers’ market & bagels at Jo Mama’s.


Location: 41.787172°N, 69.994133°W

Then we proceeded to Nickerson State Park to find shelter from the expected rain. Once there, the group decided to continue on bicycle, rain or shine.

One group decided to take the park roller coaster trail with many quick hills & some dirt tracks:


Location: 41.77327°N, 70.02903°W

Another group continue on the main CCRT.

This was when the rain started coming down. Heavily. We got soaked. No matter. We had a blast on the park trail, with the thrill of steep short hills followed by quick descents. The dirt trail was plenty fun, difficult at times, just what the kids asked for!

In the afternoon, the sun came out warm & bright to dry all the wet gear we had:


Location: 41.802355°N, 69.990451°W

Back at the hostel, we had a choice of indoor or outdoor shower before hearty dinner that we ordered from The Corner Store:


Location: 41.786767°N, 69.990020°W

They offered whoopie pies in triple chocolate, peanut butter, red velvet, strawberry, coconut, & classic.

No. Whoopie pies were not our dinner! We ordered burritos & salads.

Sunday: Coast Guard Beach

We had an amazing plan to visit the best bakery & the best beach on Cape Cod.

We started for a short distance on the CCRT before turning right to join Nauset trail for a winding ride through forest & marsh area:


Location: 41.843761°N, 69.950867°W

The trail ended at Coast Guard beach. There were changing rooms, restrooms, showers, & endless sand for the kids to play on.

We had an extended stop there resting & body surfing on the waves. Then everyone was ready for lunch.

We returned to CCRT by way of Nauset lighthouse & The Three Sisters:


Location: 41.858847°N, 69.957283°W

We continued to the northern terminus of the trail to visit PB Boulangerie for chocolate almond croissant, bread, & soup:


Location: 41.916820°N, 69.989288°W

Itinerary

Day Service Log
Friday 23 June 2017 Eastham hostel: stayed here for the weekend, both nights.
Dinner at Guapo’s Tortilla Shack
Saturday 9:06
  • Orleans Farmer’s Market
  • Corner Store
  • Jo Mama’s
  • Map: Strava & Garmin: download GPX route data
  • Distance ➡️ 32.73km
  • Speed ⏩ 6.2km/h
  • Duration 🔄 5h:16m:55s
  • Ascent ⬆️ 154m
  • Temperature 📶 19.6ºC
  • Sunday 9:30 PB Boulangeire

  • Map: Strava & Garmin
  • ➡️ 34.48km
  • ⏩ 6.2km/h
  • 🔄 5h:34m:12s
  • ⬆️ 139m
  • 📶 27.2ºC
  • Packing List

    Games

    Small portable games to share: rackets, frisbee, cards, ball, puzzles, kite, Sequence, Sorry, SET, & others.

    Swimming

    Extra towels, sun screen, goggles, & change of clothes.

    Bicycle

    Bicycle Bag

    The most comfortable option for carrying gear, clothes, & food is inside panniers mounted on a bicycle rack. These relieve back pain & keep better balance.

    Otherwise, small backpack with such gear, ideally with a waist strap to keep it steady.

    Beds

    A bunk with mattress, sheets, pillow, pillow case, & blankets are provided. Cabins are not heated. Bring extra sweater, jacket, or sleeping sack. Personal linens & sleeping bags are not permitted.

    Bathrooms are outside the cabins, in the main building. Bring headlight to walk out at night.

    Clothes

    • Rain gear
    • Casual clothing, vest, jacket, sweater
    • Warm clothing
    • Lunch food, snacks, & money to purchase
    • Navigation tools: GPS device & phone with navigation apps

    Accessories

    The following is a long list of items to bring. Use it as a reminder of additional items that can make your trip and rides more comfortable.

    • Bicycle Clothing
      • Vest
      • Socks
      • Gloves
      • Sunglasses
    • Bicycle Gear
    • Casual Clothing
      • Shoes, sandals, or flip flops
      • Slacks
      • T-shirt
      • Long-sleeve shirt
      • Jacket
      • Swim suite, goggles, & towel
    • Accessories
      • Toothbrush
      • Lip balm
      • Toothpaste
      • Razor
      • Shaving cream
      • Contact lens solution & case
      • Glasses
      • Flashlight or head lamp
      • Mobile phone & charger
      • Deodorant
      • Comb (or light hat for the evening)
      • Sunscreen
      • Camera & battery charger
      • GPS, power charger, bicycle mount

    Communication

    WiFi was available at the hostel.

    Mobile phone reception was available throughout the entire trip.

    Phone Navigation

    Used MAPS.ME app for phone navigation. Prepare these steps ahead of the trip when you have internet connection.

    • Install MAPS.ME app on your iPhone or Android phone.
    • Open the app
    • Open menu options from the three horizontal bars at the bottom right corner
    • Select Download Maps
    • In the subsequent menus, navigate to find the country & region to download maps for
    • Download map for United Stats of America: Massachusetts: Barnstable

    Social Network

    We used Rudel app to share location of other participants on the trip.

    Share your location anonymously in real time. No login, email, or phone number required.

    The battery drains quickly when using this app. Watch it closely, use it when needed, & carry extra battery with you.

    Variations

    This is one of several trips we have made to Cape Cod, with different ideas, itineraries, destinations, & duration.

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    From → Bicycle

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