This hilly loop starts from Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown. The route is 5.25 miles long. But with the trail extensions to Herring Cove Beach, Race Point Beach and Bennett Pond, two more miles can be added to your distance. Riding the trail is a great way to tour the vast dune system in the Province Lands area, as well as its shady Beech Forest, one of the few places within the tract with extensive tree cover.
The Visitor Center itself is an excellent source for more information on the history and current ecosystem of the surrounding area. It offers informative movies, exhibits, a bookstore and the observation tower. Numerous Ranger-guided intepretive tours from the center also explore the dunes and hollows comprising this stark but beautiful landscape.
This trail is guaranteed to become a favorite for bicyclists, although the route can turn difficult at times because of its undulating hilly terrain. The paved network traverses much of Province Lands’ 4,000 wild acres, winding through the quiet dunes of Provincetown and their unique coastal environment.
Along the path you’ll explore cranberry bogs, marshes and skirt several saltwater kettle ponds too. From breathtaking marshland to exposed dunes to expansive shore views, these trails offer some spectacular scenery. An added convenience is the direct access to both Race Point and Herring Cove beaches.
During 2008-2009, a 3.2-mile section of the Province Land trails was repaved and renovated for safety and general improvements. A formerly hazardous stretch due to a steep grade was removed and rerouted. A pull-out was also added for observing Race Point Light. Two existing timber retaining walls were rebuilt and new ones installed. Both tunnels got warning beacons and signage alerting visitors to hazards. These changes are part of a larger 5-stage project to rejuvenate the entire path for cyclists and pedestrians, the final two phases being planned for the very near future.
Parking & Directions
From Head of the Meadow Beach, travel Route 6 north toward Provincetown for six miles. Turn right on Race Point Road at your first stoplight. Look for signs marking the Beech Forest area and Province Lands Visitor Center. Race Point Road ends at Race Point Beach. To reach Herring Cove Beach, go to the end of Route 6.
Ample parking is available at the Visitor Center year-round. There are approximately 100 spaces in the front lot facing the observation deck and main building. Cyclists are encouraged to park here, as the trail begins at the top of the hill on the far side of the observatory. Route maps can be picked up at the trailhead entrance.