Old Jail Lane
The Old Jail Lane trails are part of the Town of Barnstable’s “Cape Cod Pathways” and include a portion of the “Red” trail – a walking route from Sandwich to Yarmouth. NEMBA riders may be familiar with red triangular trail makers used to identify the route in West Barnstable. Loop and branch trails are occasionally designated with blue (northside offshoots) or green (southside offshoots) triangular markers.
The Old Jail Lane trails are primarily double-track over rolling hills. There are a few fast downhills and one challenging climb on Ebenezer Smith Hill (a loop trail just to the north of the blue trail – try riding counter-clockwise to enjoy “Captain’s Logs”). NEMBA volunteers did a great job opening up the green trail (fun downhill in counterclockwise direction) on the southside of the preserve and other brush and log removal.
The Central Park trail is a new addition over the last two seasons. Cape Cod NEMBA members as well as kids from Sturgis High School doing community service re-opened a long grown in trail.
The Front Nine trail is located on an old disc golf course. It's short but quite hilly and challenging. Riding it in the counter clockwise direction is fun. The revese is almost impossible.
Rides can be extended by starting further east such as parking at the Barnstable County Complex (which has bathrooms) at 3249 Main St, Barnstable MA 02360 and entering the woods adjacent to the Trayser Museum off of Route 6A. Or they can be extended further west from parking lot 7 at the Cape Cod Community College at 59 Dillon Lane, West Barnstable, MA 02668.
Riding these trails is a lot of fun. They seem remote as you wend your way through deep woods, the only sound being some traffic noise from nearby Route 6. CCCC students and faculty seeking a nature break from classroom stuffiness are often found out on these trails. While some local dog walkers visit them many times a day.
While not as large as either the nearby Trail of Tears or Willow Street (Exit 7), clever riders will note that Old Jail Lane's trails fall right between them. Making the possibility of a really long day's ride a reality for the hardy.
By Lev Malakhoff