Editor’s note: This is part of our Best Hikes on Cape Cod series, which will highlight trails across Cape Cod all summer.
The town of Bourne straddles the Cape Cod Canal and is home to some very cool hiking options. A good place to start is by taking a spin over to the town’s handy conservation land trail maps web page for info on trail length and parking. The Bourne Conservation Trust website and the Buzzards Bay Coalition website both provide good resources for folks looking for hiking spots and maps.
As you start planning your Bourne adventures, make sure to take ticks into consideration. You may want to look into treating your clothing with permethrin, an insecticide that keeps ticks from clinging to your apparel. The spray form is available at many Cape hardware stores. Several clothing companies (including Insect Shield and L.L. Bean) sell clothing that is pre-treated with permethrin — the protection lasts for about 70 washes. As always, sunscreen and water should be part of your tool kit.
So lace up the hiking shoes and let’s take a look at some of the top trails in Bourne:
A splendid hiking opportunity unfolds in one of the Cape’s most scenic villages at the Cataumet Greenway, a Bourne Conservation Trust property with parking available next to the railroad depot in the center of town. Here’s how the Buzzards Bay Coalition describes the 95-acre property:
“Be prepared to explore when you visit Cataumet Greenway! This diverse patchwork of nine different protected parcels, stretching from bogs to Buzzards Bay, creates a web of new places to discover.”
I was particularly charmed with the Dimmick Waterfront Scenic Vista. This must be one of the most beautiful places on Cape Cod. An open field rolls down to Red Brook Harbor, a cozy and protected offshoot of Buzzards Bay, and the gentle water views are just plain lovely. But the whole trail system is a winner, and you can easily tailor your hike to a distance that suits you.
Cape Cod Canal Bikeway
Bourne has a couple of great access spots for the epic Cape Cod Canal Bikeway, a paved biking/walking trail that runs for about seven miles along both sides of the Cape Cod Canal. On the mainland side of Bourne, the Buzzards Bay Recreation Area (Canal Street, Buzzards Bay), offers parking and access to the bikeway. On the Cape side of the canal, the Tidal Flats Recreation Area (33 Canal Service Road, Bourne) also provides parking and access for the trail.
The recreation areas both offer excellent views of the beautiful railroad bridge that spans the canal. If you’re lucky, you might see the bridge descending to allow a train to cross. Walking along the canal is always fun, especially when there’s a lot of boat traffic.
This is a short but exceptionally beautiful walk that is great for kids. It’s always exciting to explore an island! The trail sidles along Squeteague Harbor in Cataumet then heads out to Lawrence Island, where you will be treated to great views of Buzzards Bay. On a clear day, you can see Cleveland Ledge Light in the distance, named for former President Grover Cleveland, who spent summers in Bourne.
A small parking area can be found at the end of Grasslands Lane in Cataumet. Please respect nearby private property and have fun!
Eric Williams, when not solving Curious Cape Cod mysteries, writes about a variety of ways to enjoy the Cape, the weather, wildlife and other subjects. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @capecast.
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