The Old Colony Rail Trail runs about 7 miles along the Old Colony railroad grade from Harwich to Chatham. This line had originally been built by the Chatham Railroad Company, and was used by the Old Colony Railroad in the late 1800's until it was sold. Eventually the line was abandoned and converted to a bike path, providing a way to reach Chatham from the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
The Old Colony path begins just west of Harwich center at a bike path rotary where the Cape Cod Rail Trail turns north and the Old Colony Trail continues east. At Brooks Park in Harwich, it is only a block to Harwich Center, a quiet Cape village with a historic museum, library, town hall, church, restaurant, and convenience store. At Brooks Park itself, there is convenient and easy parking for the Cape Rail trail, as well as tennis courts, playing fields, and a nice, modern playground that children will enjoy. Just past the park, two rotaries slow the bicyclists just before crossing Route 39.
From Harwich, the trail heads east through pitch pine woods and residential areas to Chatham. In Chatham, portions of the trail travel along roadways, as the original railbed had been built upon already and could no longer be used to build a bicycle trail. Part of the trail also runs along the boundary of the Chatham airport, which can make for some great views of small aircraft landing and taking off. The trail ends at Crowell Road in Chatham. Taking Crowell Road from there to the right, bicyclists can easily access the Chatham Bike Route that runs along the roadways of Chatham to the Chatham Light, the shops on Main Street in Chatham, Oyster Pond, and views our to the open Atlantic over the Chatham Bars.
Main Menu - Other Trails Cape Cod Visitor's Guides