Q: We’d like to treat Mom to a biking trip on Cape Cod. We want to go off-season so we don’t pay crazy prices and to avoid the crowds. If you have any suggestions, we would greatly appreciate them.
Tracy Macdonald, Barrington, N.H.
A: There are plenty of biking trails on Cape Cod, but our favorite, and one of the finest in the country, is the Cape Cod Rail Trail (508-896-3491, www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/southeast/ccrt.htm) The reward-effort ratio can’t be beat: It’s paved, flat (there are a couple of hills but nothing you can’t handle), and plenty of places to stop along the way (think: beaches and parks). There are also restaurants, ice cream shops, and public restrooms (all necessities.)
The former rail bed trail runs 22 miles from South Dennis to Wellfleet. Start with a home-style breakfast at Red Cottage (36 Old Bass River Road, 508-394-2923, www.redcottagerestaurant.com) in South Dennis. Barb’s Bike Shop (430 Route 134, 508-760-4723, www.barbsbikeshop.com) is also nearby if you need to rent bikes or helmets, pick up maps, or fix a flat. There is free parking at the Route 134 trailhead (near Patriot Square Mall) where the trail begins.
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