Two-Wheeling by the Sea | Cape Cod’s Shining Sea Bikeway

An ode to the Shining Sea Bikeway, the best coastal bike ride in New England.

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 15 2022


The Shining Sea Bikeway

Photo Credit : Cate Brown
The Shining Sea Bikeway
Photo Credit : Cate Brown

On a warm November day in 1975, more than 100 cyclists turned out in Falmouth, Massachusetts, for the reopening of a familiar route: On a former Wampanoag walking path and soon-to-be-retired rail line to Woods Hole, the Shining Sea Bikeway made its debut after nearly a decade of planning. There were speeches, a fife-and-drum band played “Bicycle Built for Two,” and then crowds of bikers took to the path for much of the afternoon. It’s been a cause for celebration ever since.

Today, the seaside route extends into North Falmouth and offers an almost-perfect encapsulation of Cape scenery in one simple, easy-to-cruise 10.7-mile experience. The highlights? Where to start? There are harbor views and cedar swamps, salt marshes and coastal ponds, wooded stretches and quiet neighborhoods. There are forests to sidetrack you. And a cranberry bog.

Take a seat on a bench. Bring a picnic. Bring your swimming gear. Bring a camera. Just don’t bring a schedule, because this is a slow-as-you-want-to-go version of the Cape that is impossible to appreciate from a car’s passenger seat.

To learn more, go to and search for “Shining Sea.”