Guest Author - Lynn Newcomb Gaziano
The Shining Sea bike path in Falmouth Massachusetts is a fine example of tax dollars that were well spent and itís very easy to get to.
Just head south from the Bourne Bridge toward Falmouth. Take the Rte 151 exit toward Old Silver beach. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and go straight through the lights. Youíll cross a railroad track right after the lights. The North Falmouth parking area for the bike path will be on your right just after the tracks.
From this location in North Falmouth you can bicycle, walk or roller blade all the way to Woods Hole. It is a little more than 10 miles long and is almost completely flat, paved roadway. The path winds its way though woodlands, farmland, salt marshes, ocean front beaches and ends at the quintessential Cape Cod location of Woods Hole. The path at the Woods Hole end is older and there is some wear and tear, frost heaves, etc showing up. This end of the path was built in 1975. The North Falmouth end is newer and the pavement is much smoother.
There are convenience stores and a few restaurants available if you get hungry along the way. On the North Falmouth end there is a restaurant called the Silver Lounge. They serve lunch and dinners. The food is not bad, not great. I eat there from time to time. There are many fine, pricey restaurants available at the Woods Hole end but my favorite haunt is the Pie in the Sky bakery right at the end of the bike path. They have great fruit smoothies there, the perfect refreshment to quench your thirst after an invigorating bike ride.
You can leave your bike at the rack down the hill from the bakery and go exploring in this quaint New England village. If you didnít bring a camera along you may regret that now. It is truly a lovely place.
There is a drawbridge in the center of town and when a boat is passing through, even the pedestrians have to wait for the bridge to go down before they can pass.
If you are planning to visit during the tourist season of May-September it will be bustling with people. During the off season youíll get a feel for what it is like to be a local and the charm of the place will be greatly magnified.
Parking a car in Woods Hole is not an easy task so arriving by bike just makes sense.
This bike path is a joy to travel and you wonít feel like itís a workout because the beauty of the trek will thrill and delight at every turn.
There are portable toilets at both ends of the path and The Beach Rose Inn generously offers use of their restrooms to travelers at about the midway point of the journey. Bring a bottle of water and a camera and have a wonderful time.