Located directly off Willow Street near the Yarmouth/Hyannis town line, these trails were originally cut by local motocrossers back in the 1970s. They aren’t regularly maintained, but new sections have been added to by some Mid Cape-area trailmasters over the years. Their most distinguishing feature is the “mild trials” riding flavor.
Hyannis Ponds has been heavily (and illegally) used by motocrossers for years, so be ready for lots of loose soil and rutted out climbing/descents. You can access the network two ways: just left of the first overpass is the first trailhead, clearly marked by a Cape Cod Pathways plaque. This is the older main trail with singletrack branching off in several direction about 3/4 of the way in. The second entrance lies about 30 yards beyond. Entering here, the trail immediately forks in two directions – going left brings you up to the checkered watertower above Mary Dunn Rd. Starting there, yet another trail along the north side of the highway connects back to the railroad tracks. That route, sometimes called the “highway loop,” is about 6 miles long.
Head right and you encounter a myriad of intersecting trails, many leading out towards either Willow Street or Route 6. Some also border the backyards of private homes. Please be respectful of homeowners and avoid trespassing on private property. You’ll also notice a series of sandy roads running throughout. They were leftover from an unfinished housing development. This land was later re-zoned as a protected wellhead area by the Town of Barnstable. It’s best to follow trails crossing these roads instead of riding on them. The terrain itself consists of a combination of hard dirt, semi-hardpack and loam, with soft soil patches thrown in for good measure. There are copious roots, as well. It’s a somewhat rough ride, fairly technical in certain spots, with many twists and turns. There also are several small/medium-sized hills on the main left-hand trail, so be prepared for some strenuous burst climbing.
A distinct trials theme is found in several newer sections here. The trails are cut in an obstacle-laden manner, which means you’re forced to ride over, instead of around, most anything you encounter on the singletrack.
Another spur towards the Barnstable Municipal Airport is called Bushwood. It begins as an extension to the left of the main trail about 3/4 of the way through. Be prepared for a 7.5-mile ride to complete the entire loop.
Parking & Directions
Access is a snap due to the trail system’s immediate proximity to Route 6. From the highway, get off at Exit 7 and take Willow St. towards the highway overpasses. There are two places to park. The original spot is a dirt area diagonal across from Route 6 eastbound exit ramps – just pull in past the guardrail and park underneath the first overpass.
The second spot is diagonally across the street at IFAW (International fund for Animal Welfare). They’ve granted parking access for cyclists in the back of their business lot. Please don’t abuse this privilege – it’s up to us as mountain bikers to respect their generosity.