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  Biking Cape Ann
Biking Cape Ann

What to Bring

Backpack   Repair kit
Sunglasses   Water bottle
Gloves   Water
Windbreaker   Snacks
First aid kit   Food
Biking pants  


From Boston, take I-95 north, or Route 1
north and I-95 north at exit 44
At exit 45, take route 128 north up to
At end of route 128, go on either side of
route 127A to park on one of the lots along the harbor
  Good to know in advance
You can rent Trek hybrid bikes for $25/day at Harborside Cycle, 48 Rogers St., (978) 281-7744 (on the main artery facing the
fishing boats harbor). Credit card required, call in advance if you can. Open Sat 10-5 and Sun 10-3, weekdays 10-6.

A map can be helpful: the famous green
Rubel bikemaps are available in most
bookstores across New England (about
$4.95). For this ride, use "Eastern

Traffic can be heavy on weekends –
always ride safely
Always wear a helmet
Bring your trash back with you

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 2/5
  Time from Boston: 1 hour
  Duration: Full day

Free with your bike, or $25 rental/person

  Main activity:


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This ride is arguably one of the best ways to get a real taste of New England. Not only because you will start and finish in Gloucester, made famous worldwide by the Perfect Storm movie, but because you will ride across sceneries that blend many words: the rocky shores of Massachusetts, the nice summer mansions overlooking the ocean, the thick inland woods and forests, and the unmistakable artist's feel of Rockport.

Once you have parked your car, proceed northeast on route 127A/ Main St., riding along the harbor. The street becomes Eastern Point Road, and you can already start exploring side streets, like Rocky Neck avenue on your right, where you will find quaint houses, painters shops and authentic small boat repair yards.

A great side trip is to turn left on Eastern Point Boulevard West, which opens behind a small stone gate on your right just before the road starts to climb. Do not be put of by the signs that prohibit entrance: there is a public right of way down to Eastern Point Lighthouse, a Coast Guard facility at the end of the road and a great place to have a full view of the Gloucester Harbor Bay. You can also get back there by walking – see our related destination, particularly adapted to families and kids.

Once back on the main road, now named Farrington St, then Atlantic Rd, you will explore Cape Ann by staying mostly along the shore. You generally follow the route 127A, which transforms into route 127 after Rockport. Rockport, about halfway through the ride, is a nice stop to have lunch. From there, if you start feeling tired or if the weather changes, you can shorten the ride by taking Main Street/Route 127 from downtown and go back in straight line to Gloucester (beware of heavy traffic on this road). Otherwise, continue along the coastline on Route 127 before riding back to Gloucester. Be extremely cautious when crossing the roundabout with Route 128. From there, route 127 becomes Washington Street. Turn left on Pine Street/Proctor Street, then right onto School St down to the Gloucester Harbor. Once there, you can make the extra effort to see the Fishermen Memorial (less than a mile away on your right on Western Ave/Route 127), or turn left and return to your car.

Once back in Gloucester, for those who loved the Perfect Storm, the Crow's Nest bar is facing the harbor, not far from Harborside Cycle, where you can rent bikes for the day.

Consider a full day for this ride, unless you are particularly fit and do not stop at the many vistas and points of interest along the way. There are few climbs, which most people can easily master at low speed. Start early if you rent your bike, as the bike shop closes at 5 pm on Saturday and 3 pm on Sunday.

There is more to see in the area than is described here, so you may want to bring a travel guide with you (if only to know where to find the best lobster in town).

Paddling Biking Mountaineering