An Entertaining New Bikeway Extension

June 28, 2009

I walked along the new Falmouth bikeway extension yesterday morning, happy to be out on an all-too-rare sunny day, starting at the North Falmouth end.

The dirt parking lot was almost completely full, but I found a spot and set off on foot. My bike is in the repair shop for another week or so for annual maintenance–the wait for repairs is currently about three weeks, perhaps due to the popularity of the new bikeway.

The extension adds 7.4 miles to the original 3.3-mile Shining Seas path from Falmouth to Woods Hole, which was constructed in 1976. It travels through residential neighborhoods, wooded areas, Sippewissett Marsh,cranberry bogs, Oyster Pond, Bourne Farm and offers some beach views.

The bikeway was not crowded, but there was an assortment of walkers, skaters, runners, bikers, families with strollers, and little kids on little kid bikes. The sun was shining, and the day was glorious. Ok, maybe actually a little hot, especially for me, as I was wearing my dreary day clothes (long pants, heavy t-shirt).

I didn’t walk far, only to the first street intersection about .6 mile from where I started (the path has convenient one-tenth mile markers in the pavement). I didn’t get as far as the marsh, pond, and beach views; my part of the path was mostly a tree-lined section, partially along the existing railroad, with fences shielding the yards of abutting properties from view. Still, it was a great place to walk, and I am looking forward to trying the path on my bike–one could commute all the way to work, if one so chose!

The new bikeway extension opens officially on July 2, and there will be celebrations and entertainment. The event takes place at 11:30 AM at Carlson Lane, just off Palmer Avenue, in downtown Falmouth.

The Greater Falmouth Mostly All-Male Chorus will sing the complete version of “America the Beautiful.” The Shining Seas bikeway take its name from this song, the words of which were written by Katharine Lee Bates, a resident of Falmouth until she was almost 12 years old.

The Falmouth Academy Brass Quintet will play processional music, and Congressman William Delahunt will speak. Bikers on an array of antique bicycles will start the procession, and everyone is invited to join in on their own bicycles. Sounds like a great day!

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