The Otis Atwood Conservation Area is a 1.6-mile rolling singletrack trail off Osterville-West Barnstable Road near the Trail of Tears on Cape Cod. It’s perfect for novice mountain biking and is also easily accessible from Route 6. This fun, fast mini-loop bears little resemblance to its nearby big brother, the Trail of Tears in the West Barnstable Conservation Area.
Otis Atwood is a thickly wooded parcel covering 73 acres. The quick 1.5-mile route traverses hilly terrain through an oak & pine forest mixed with scattered holly and white pine. A large boudler sits next to the trail about midway along the loop, making a perfect pitstop for water and/or food. Along its northern edge, there is a spur leading to theTrail of Tears which crosses Osterville-West Barnstable Road.
The trail looks easy, but don’t be fooled. It makes up for deceptively smooth, hard dirt/pine needle terrain with tight, devilish curves and turns. Combine that with thick conifer groves, and you’ve got a recipe for narrow, sinewy singletrack complete with short, steep climbs and quick descents. In terms of rocks, there is negligible hardpack. Ideal for training rides, two to four laps here can guarantee you a decent workout and much fun.
Due to its short length, the loop can be completed in well under 30 minutes at a decent clip. Otis Atwood is very popular with dog walkers, so be sure to carefully scan the trail ahead of you while riding. Please be aware that hunting is also allowed in season – check the trailhead kiosk for more information.
Parking & Directions
Parking is located right off Osterville-West Barnstable Road. Take Route 6 to Exit 5 and head south on Route 149. When it curves right, bear left on Osterville-West Barnstable Road and travel 300 yds to a narrow half-moon pulloff on your right. Parking is plentiful, and the trailhead is conveniently located directly at the center of this lot.