Navigating the rotaries of Cape Cod – or traffic circles, asthey’re called elsewhere - is one of the quirky charms of traveling on our fairpeninsula. Jump into the spin as soon as you cross the Bourne Bridge; or ifyou’re heading to Hyannis, have a whirl around the West End and airportrotaries. No matter where you enter the vehicular roulette, your circular exitcan send you off into intriguing new adventures, whether or not it’s where youintended to go.
What would the Cape Cod Rail Trail be without a rotary tocall its own? Granted, the bike trail version is a simple, three-spoke rotary,well marked with signs (unlike some of its automotive counterparts). Mostcyclists stick to the main CCRT, the 22-mile route from Dennis to Wellfleet,and pass through the Harwich rotary, just over 3 miles from the Dennis trailhead, likea gentle curve in the road. But the 7.5-mile Old Colony Rail Trail spur,leading through Harwich Center into Chatham, is a worthy diversion.
Stealth Trio, the same crew of geocachers to populate theCCRT with caches, has hidden nine or so geocaches along the Old Colony spur.These caches highlight publicly visible sites, like Chatham airport, as well as hidden ones. One of our favorites was “OCRT: Island Pond,” which brought usdown a side dirt path to a small pond hidden from the trail by woodlands.Another cache, “OCRT: Solitude,” offered a pause at the historic Harwich CenterCemetery. While I signed the log after finding the cache, we were treated tomusic from the Congregational church’s bells.
Now that summer’s here, why rush past the scenery, on or offthe trail? The bike trail less traveled can also make all the difference.
Images, from top:
OCRT Chatham spur