Old Colony Nature Path, Provincetown MA


• 3-star trail
• 1.5 mile each way
• Easy/medium difficulty | Easy elevation
• Provincetown, MA | Cape Cod
• Driving Directions: West, Snail Rd


Provincetown end of the rail trail.

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The Old Colony Nature Pathway on the outskirts of Provincetown is well-used but mostly unimproved trail that follows the alignment of an old railroad bed. Mostly popular with local runners and dog-walkers it is also possible to ride a bicycle here, though there are a couple of short sandy sections where you'll likely need to walk your bike. After all, this area is mostly sand dunes.

The railroad arrived at Provincetown in 1873, transforming the once remote fishing settlement into a popular resort and artist community. Passenger service was active until 1940 and a freight service continued until 1960 after which the rails were removed. The Provincetown Conservation Trust has an excellent publication describing the route of the old railroad, accompanied by maps and old photographs - see the link at the foot of this page. Folks who want to explore more of Cape Cod's railroad heritage will want to check out our articles on the other Cape Cod Rail Trails.

Rough, Hardpack, No Access, Parking Expand Map

Old Colony Nature Path 3★
1.5 miles each way, Medium, Gain 50 ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails
Trailspotting Map: GPX Download
Trailspotting Map: Google Earth KMZ

The unimproved trail allows for nature to thrive here, surrounded as it is by squat oak and sassafras trees and sections of wetland. West of Snail Road the trail is wide and sections appear suitable for occasional vehicle access. However, our favorite section is between Snail Road and Mayflower Avenue to the East - this single track trail with undulating ground was a lot of fun on our small hybrid bicycle.


Eastern, narrower section of the Nature Pathway at Mayflower Ave.


Birds-eye view of the trail in the trees towards Provincetown.

Trail Conditions:
We identify this trail as medium difficulty for bicyclists, but easy for pedestrians. Rough trail with sandy patches, particularly on the West side of Snail Rd. You'll want to walk a bike for short lengths. The East side offers a more firm, narrow trail.

Tangents:
• Trail Links: Official, Public Map at AllTrails, TrailLink
• Other Links: Self-Guided Provincetown Railroad Tour (PDF)
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

Nearby Trails:
• 16 miles away: Cape Cod Rail Trail (4★ 28.4mi Easy)
• Show on map: All nearby rail trails

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