The bike trail system at Nickerson State Park in Brewster is an extensive one, with almost ten miles of trails. You could easily spend an entire day or more just bicycling on the bicycle paths found within Nickerson State Park. The trails at Nickerson tie in directly to the Cape Cod Rail Trail at the parking area right near Route 6a. At the Park, there is camping, swimming, picnicking, and some beautiful wooded areas deep in the Park that only hikers and bikers are able to enjoy.
The Park is named for Roland Nickerson who was born in Brewster. Enriched by the railroads in the western U.S. Nickerson eventually returned to Brewster and built the sumptuous buildings along Route 6a, now owned by Ocean Edge, as his "summer place". He kept the land across the road as his "park". In the 1930's his widow donated the land to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, creating a bit of "wildness forever" on Cape Cod.
While Nickerson State Park is now a busy spot in the summer, there are still many quiet places to be treasured along the bike paths by those who seek them - beautiful spruce stands, stately white pines (on the Ober Trail), an old cedar swamp, and peaceful and relaxing ponds. Each trail is a little different, with some staying close to the auto roads, and others heading deep into the pine woods, along ponds or into cedar swamps.
The park offers restroom facilities, a park store, picnic grounds, fresh-water swimming, and camping (reservations at ReserveAmerica.com) Beccause the area has been protected for such a long time, and because there is such a large expanse of woodland and numerous ponds here, the Nickerson trails can provide some glimpses of real Cape Cod nature that many tourists don't get to see.
The area of the park was formed thousands of years ago by the actions of the glacier that had stalled here. Large deposits of material built up in a coveyer-belt-like motion, resulting in many small hills. Large chunks of ice left in the debris formed steep-sided ponds, kettle ponds, that make up most of the ponds in this area. Bicycling in the Park is difficult in some spots, and it is all at least moderate in difficulty as there are several steep hills and many smaller ones.
Beginners, though, can choose shorter, easier routes and still see the quiet beauty of Cape Cod's woodlands.
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