Not only does the Shining Sea Bikeway offer a paved path away from the speeding traffic of the main roads, but also nature trails. If you take a mountain bike down the bike path, you will not be sorry that you chose your wider tires for this trip (or rented a mountain bike from the various bike shops around). Off of the main paved path, there are some amazing packed dirt trails that let you get up close and personal with nature. One of these paths is located only 1 mile down the bike path from The Beach Rose Inn which is the sprawling 49 acre Bourne Farm owned by the Salt Pond Bird Areas Sanctuaries, inc. These trails are also great for hiking, nature walks, trail running and Mountain Biking. Whichever route you choose, you will not be sorry as they all offer spectacular sites.
You can view the location of these trails/paths and others on the following map: Shining Sea Bikeway Map & Points of Interest
I have had the pleasure of taking some random turns on these dirt paths and have discovered some great secret areas, after some twists and turns of the path to arrive upon a lake that seems to be tucked away from the main routes. There are also more than just hidden lakes to be discovered when traversing on these dirt roads. There are also aplenty of stone benches tucked neatly into corners that come in handy for sitting upon when taking a water break or for a picnic and to look at the green nature scenery in the summer or the magnificently colored autumn foliage with the various shades of yellows, reds, oranges, auburns in the fall.
One of the bonuses of these off road paths are that they all lead back to the Shining Sea Bike way so getting lost is never an issue. No matter which direction you chose on the path you will eventually be led back to the paved bike path making it easier not to have to lug around all the ‘wilderness’ gear like maps, compasses, and the always modern GPS systems. Although, these trails do offer the best opportunity to test out any such equipment.
And remember when biking “…repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart.” ~Diane Ackerman