by Madeline Bilis
From leisurely rides along paved pathways that are perfect for younger ones to more challenging mountain biking paths that are suitable for teens, your kids will treasure memories of riding together.
1. Cape Cod Rail Trail
Taking a ride on the famous Cape Cod Rail Trail is a must while visiting the Cape. The trail makes its way through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. What makes the trail special is the ability to rent bikes along the trail. Perhaps the most notable shop is Barbara’s Bike Shop, located at the beginning of the rail trail in South Dennis. Many of the bike rental shops offer children’s carts, as well, so taking little ones on your ride doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Route 134 in South Dennis to Wellfleet; capecodbikeguide.com/railtrail.asp
2. Minuteman Bikeway
The Minuteman Bikeway is an 11-mile bike path that runs through Bedford, Lexington, Arlington and Cambridge. Not only does the trail make a flat and enjoyable ride, but it also has a history lesson. Exercise and learning in one day means killing two birds with one stone! The bikeway passes through the area where the American Revolution first started in 1775. If anyone gets a little tired or cranky, the Bedford Freight House in Bedford is located on the trail, where you can grab some snacks and souvenirs.
Bedford to Cambridge; minutemanbikeway.org.
3. Maudslay State Park
Maudslay State Park’s wide trails are perfect for biking. Much of them run along the Merrimac River, making for breathtaking views during your ride. The varying landscapes of fields, trees, ponds, cliffs, gardens and the river won’t allow any room for boredom. If you’re looking for a pleasant and calm ride, Maudslay is your pick.
Curzon Mill Rd., Newburyport; 978-465-7223; mass.gov [search by park name].
4. The Mountain Bike Loop at Middlesex Fells
This 9-mile trail is great for bikers who crave a level up from paved bike paths. The Mountain Biking Loop winds through the Winchester reservoirs in Middlesex Fells Reservation and has plenty of signs to keep you on track. There is a stop along the way at Bear Hill Tower, where you can get a panoramic view of Boston and parts of Cambridge. This view is especially beautiful in the fall at peak season for foliage.
Medford; 617-727-5380; mass.gov [search by park name].
5. Manhan Rail Trail
The Manhan Rail Trail is a paved trail in Western Massachusetts that stretches for nine miles. Its scenery varies from forests to residential neighborhoods to downtown Easthampton. Along the way, you’ll see the Manhan Rail Trail Millennium Mural, which is a piece of public art constructed out of an old train depot, several bridges and picnic areas with tables, and there’s an ice cream shop in town.
Easthampton to Northampton; manhanrailtrail.org.
Madeline Bilis is an intern with Boston Parents Paper.
Looking for a new bike to hit the trails with. Check out the Top 5 Bike Shops from our “Family Favorite Awards.”