A list of recreational activities happening at WHOI and information about who to contact to get involved.
Bike Paths & Fitness Trails
Cape Cod biking maps are available at any of the local bikeshops, and some are available online at
Shining Sea Bike Path
About 11 mi. From North Falmouth (near Rte. 151.) to Woods Hole (Steamship Authority parking lot) along an old rail line. Parking available at Woods Hole Rd, Depot Ave, County Rd, Mill Rd, Old Dock Rd.
Cape Cod Canal Bike Path
Either side of the Cape Cod Canal. Bathrooms in Sandwich and Bourne (seasonal). www.capecodbikeguide.com/canal.asp
Cape Cod Rail Trail
25 mi. paved bike path between South Dennis and Wellfleet. A map is available online at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails/print/ccrt.pdf . You can park in Harwich off Rte. 6, Kettle Ponds, access to Nickerson State Park. Beautiful biking in early fall after Labor Day.
Road Cycling Routes
The Cape features fantastic road cycling, on streets with relatively low traffic and few (if any) traffic lights. www.mapmyride.com is a fantastic resource.
The mountain biking near WHOI is some of the best in Massachusetts. The terrain is varied from moderate to very technical with many challenging hills. The trails can be accessed from the intersection of route 28 and route 151. The trail system is extensive and almost all single track. Some generous local riders maintain and cut new trails to minimize overuse and erosion and to improving riding conditions. There’s no place to get water once you get on the trails so an extra water bottle and a snack are a good idea.
Also see: Old Jail Lane, Hathaways Pond, West Barnsatable, Hyannis Ponds Conservation Areas. http://www.capecodbikeguide.com/trails.asp
WHOI Fitness Trail
1.5 mi. On WHOI property. Starts next to softball field behind Clark and loops through the woods connecting Quissett and the Oyster Pond apartments. Twenty stations for a full body workout. Trail map at http://www.whoi.edu/generalinfo/internal/fittrail. Check yourself for ticks afterwards, though, because the trail is not mowed regularly!
Running and Other Races
A number of races are held locally, including the world-class Falmouth Road Race. Those interested in training for any races below should consider attending Falmouth Track Club workouts, where you’ll meet many like-minded runners from WHOI and the rest of the community. http://www.coolrunning.com lists most local events and entry information. Longer races include the Hyannis and New Bedford marathons and half marathons.
Falmouth Track Club
Workouts every Wednesday nigh, year round, 5:30pm. Location varies. Contact Jim Preisig, email@example.com orhttp://www.falmouthtrackclub.org
Coffee O 5-miler
Coffee Obsession and the Falmouth Track Club sponsor a (free!) 5-miler every Friday at 5:30 pm starting from the Town Hall Square in Falmouth.
Seagull Six Spring Classic
A misleading 5.8 mile race around Woods Hole, open to all applicants, on the first weekend of April.
Falmouth Road Race
A world-class 7.2 mile run from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights. The oldest road race in U.S. History! Open to time-qualified runners and Falmouth residents. Or, run it with Team WHOI and fundraise for the institution! Held in August, applications open 1 May. In case you were wondering what the big red and blue numbers on the street were, they’re the mile markers for this race. http://www.falmouthroadrace.com
Falmouth Main Street Mile
1.0 mile race held in September, open to all applicants.
Cape Cod Marathon
26.2 miles throughout Woods Hole, Falmouth and the surrounding area. Individual and 5-leg relay teams. Open to all applicants, held in October. http://www.capecodmarathon.com
Falmouth in the Fall Road Race
Local race over the 7.2 mile Falmouth Road Race course. Open to all applicants, held in November.http://www.falmouthinthefall.org
Chase the Patriot
4.2 miles of cross-country running through Beebe Woods, Patriot’s Day weekend.
4.2 miles of cross-country running through Beebe Woods, Thanksgiving Day.
Falmouth and Hyannis Sprint Triathlons
Check out http://www.newenglandtritour.com for a triathlon series between Falmouth and Hyannis.
Health Clubs and Pools
614 Main St, Falmouth. Hours: 24hrs/day. Decent selection of equipment and machines. No real locker-rooms (showers in bathroom). Discounts for WHOI employees. Highly subsidized memberships for Joint Program students, through APO.
Falmouth Sports Center
33 Highfield Dr., Falmouth; 508-548-7433. Hours: Mon-Fri 6:00-21:00, Sat/Sun 8:00-17:00. The FSC houses tennis courts, racquetball courts and a sizable health club with exercise equipment, Nautilus machines, universal gym equipment and free weights. The locker rooms have saunas, steam rooms, and showers, but the waiting list for the lockers themselves is long. Tennis and gym memberships are separate. Tennis league play and instruction is available. Racquetball courts run $6 per hour per person for gym members and $12 per hour per person for non- members. Checks or cash only, no credit cards accepted. Memberships can be started at any time. They offer discounted rates for WHOI employees.
336 Gifford St., Falmouth; 508-540-1600. Located at Atria senior center. $5 a pop. It’s not full length, but it’s better than a kidney bean and not as far as Hyannis YMCA.
59 Shore St., Falmouth; 508-540-3000. Swimming in the winter when they have no guests. In and outdoor kidney shaped pools not suitable for laps.
Balanced Health and Fitness
634 N Falmouth Hwy., Falmouth; 508-563- 1100. Website: http://www.balancedhealthfitness.com
133 E. Falmouth Hwy, 508-540-8896; This is the old Balanced Health and Fitness on Rte. 28, it is a branch of the one in Centerville. http://www.gymexpressfalmouth.com
Cape Cod Swim Club
14 Ellis Ln., Pocasset; 508-564-5690. Competitive training and learn to swim lessons from age 6. Full length pool. If you’re just interested in swimming laps, take the master swim class, or look elsewhere.
291 Jones Rd, Falmouth; 508-540-2000. $8 per visit; You need to go to the front desk and check in and pay and then turn in your key card when you’re done with the pool.
Gratitude Hot Yoga Falmouth
80 Davis Straits Unit 103, Falmouth, MA 02540 (next to Casa Vallarta): https://gratitudehotyogafalmouth.com/
2 locations: 47 Main St., Plymouth, MA 02360 and 5 North Market Street, Mashpee MA 02649 (Mashpee Commons)
The Yoga Collaborative
75 County Rd., North Falmouth, MA; Offers a variety of classes with drop-in rates and 10- or 5-class passes. See the website for full schedule: http://theyogacollab.com/
Therapeutic Qigong Classes at WHOI
A half hour of movements coordinating breathing and stretching to promote a healthy body, mental focus, and a rejuvenated spirit. Held on Tuesdays at 12:15 pm, usually in the foyer of the 5th floor of Clark. There is no charge for you to participate in this beneficial routine. Contact Alexandra Lancaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joint-Program Anytime Fitness Discounted Membership
Below is an email from Jim Yoder about the new Anytime Fitness program for JP students based at WHOI.
WHOI’s Academic Programs Office is offering JP students subsidized access to Anytime Fitness (AF) on Main Street in Falmouth. The AF program is only for JP students who are based at WHOI, i.e. JP students who are based at MIT are ineligible since you have regular access to the MIT facility.
The program at Anytime Fitness will start on 3 June, 2013. We are offering 2 options.
- Option 1 is for a full year membership. Those interested in this option will pay our office $150, and our office will pay the full annual fee directly to AF. It may be possible to eventually reduce the student (and WHOI) share should MIT agree to contribute, but that is unlikely in the near future. If you are interested in Option 1, please bring a check for $150 made out to WHOI to Christine Charette in WHOI’s Academic Programs Office by 30 May. WHOI will then pay for your annual membership (and the initiation fee for JP students who have not previously used AF) for those who have their check to Christine by 30 May.
- The second option is for a 3-month membership starting on 3 June, 2013,for students who are based at WHOI, including those who will only be based at WHOI for the summer. For this option, students will pay $50, and our office will pay the full 3-month fee. If you are interested in this 3-month option, please bring a check for $50 made out to WHOI to Christine Charette by 30 May. WHOI will then pay for your 3-month membership (and the initiation fee for JP students who have not previously used AF) who have their check to Christine by 30 May.
These are the only 2 AF options we are offering at this time. Our office will not reimburse for any other fitness or related program or for memberships at AF currently in effect. Should you sign up under one of the offers described above, AF may reimburse you on a pro-rated basis for an existing AF membership that extends beyond June 3, 2013. That’s between AF and you. We are planning, however, to make the same offers available again in early September, and then again around the first of next year. So for $50 you can try out the AF facility for 3 months starting on 3 June, and if you like it, you will have the option to purchase an annual membership for $150 again in September. Note that we will try to accommodate new JP students coming in this summer as best we can, since most will not arrive before 3 June.
A nice feature of an AF membership is that they will “freeze” your membership, and then add the time onto your membership, if you need to be away from Falmouth for an extended period of time, e.g. for field work. You need to work this out on your own with AF. I’m told that there are 2100 AF sites around the country, and that your membership is valid at any of them.
Another feature of AF is that a member can access the facility 24/7, although staff members are not on duty in the evening. AF has some security precautions on site, but one obviously has to be careful and use common sense, e.g. attend with a partner, if using the AF facility late at night.
Social Events in Woods Hole
Join the email@example.com mailing list! Link: http://mailman.whoi.edu/mailman/listinfo/socialist
Pottery & Sculpture classes at the Falmouth Art Center
Year-round ceramics classes for all skill levels (kids and adults). Classes range in subject matter from the pottery wheel, hand-building, to portrait sculpture. See website for upcoming classes: http://falmouthart.org/
If you have questions, you can contact Amber York at WHOI (firstname.lastname@example.org, x3977)
P.O. Box 12, Falmouth, MA 02541; 774-392-2383.
Each year we eagerly invite singers, age 16 and older, who love ensemble singing and choral music to join the Falmouth Chorale. Under John Yankee’s skillful and dynamic direction, you will have the opportunity to work on vocal skills, interpretation, group sound and musicianship in preparation for performances.
Anyone wishing to join the Falmouth Chorale must participate in a Voice Placement Session (VPS). Singers should prepare their choice of America, the Beautiful, The Star Spangled Banner or God Save the Queen. During this session, John Yankee will also check ability to match pitch, as well as vocal range. Each session will last approximately eight minutes. Email chorale manager Sarah Sadler at email@example.com or call 774-392-2383 to schedule a Voice Placement Session.
As a member of the Chorale, you will rehearse on Tuesdays, 7 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. at John Wesley United Methodist Church, Falmouth.
The Greater Falmouth Community Chorus
P.O. Box 222, Falmouth, MA 02541. 508-564-0054.
How to be Involved
Singing – Basic Membership
We’re always looking for more people to join our group. If you have no experience with chorus, but can sing, we’d love to have you. We are a fun group and we help each other.
Non Singing Membership
Perhaps you love music, but can’t sing. We still have room for you. You could help with taking tickets, setting up for concerts, or handing out programs.
We are a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Falmouth Chamber Players Orchestra
We are a volunteer classical orchestra rehearsing and performing in the Falmouth area of Cape Cod.
We welcome calls from all classical musicians.
Please click on the Rehearsal Schedule link to see our calendar.
Use the email link below to contact us for more information about the orchestra and the audition process.
The Woods Hole Cantata Consort
Flying Pig Pottery
410 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole; 508-548-7482. Adult pottery classes. $120 for 6 weeks includes all materials and 7day/week open studio.
43 North Main St., Falmouth; 508-495-1847. Scrapbook shop right next to Coffee Obsession. Sells paper, stamps, etc., and has ongoing classes and workshops. Especially applicable around holidays when they have workshops on things like ”Holiday Card Making” and ”The Perfect Valentine.”
Mashpee Commons. They provide the pre-made pottery, you get to decorate it, they fire it for you and voila, you’ve designed your own mug!
The Cape Cod Area Philatelic Group (CCAPG)
The CCAPG is a group of stamp collectors and philatelists that typically meet the 4th Thursday of the month, September-May with a club picnic in July. Meetings are at 6:30pm at the Yarmouth Fire Station #2 Meeting Room at 340 Main Street (Route 6A) in Yarmouth Port. New members are always welcome. Dues are $15 a year, $5 for Junior Members under 18. Contact Secretary Dave DuBois at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.sefsc.org/cape-cod.html
Fairs and Events
Many calendars listing Cape Cod events exist on the web; http://www.capecodtravel.com/attractions/calendar/ is particularly well maintained and complete. A few local, or big Cape events along with a few of the more “touristy” Cape offerings are here.
MBL Friday Night Lecture Series
Schedule and info at http://www.mbl.edu/inside/what/news/events/events_friday.html. Science lectures on a variety of topics. Free and open to the public.
Nantucket Film Festival
508-325-6274; http://www.nantucketfilmfestival.org. Event showcasing independent films, panels, readings, and annual screenwriters tribute.
Falmouth Arts and Crafts Festival
Held annually during the summer on the town green in Falmouth.
Barnstable County Fair
Barnstable County Fairgrounds, Route 151, Falmouth; 508-563-3200. Held annually (normally in mid-late July each year) Adults $8, children 12 and under are free. The Cape’s largest annual event featuring rides, games, exhibits, demonstrations, music, food and concerts.
Woods Hole Film Festival
Annual event. 508-495-3456. Daily screenings, workshops, panel discussions, and staged readings. Points throughout Woods Hole. Usually held in late July. Link: www.woodsholefilmfestival.com
Woods Hole and Falmouth Public Library Book Sales
Held periodically throughout the year. Watch for the sign outside the Woods Hole Public Library. Good place for leisure, mystery, comedy, plays, poetry, science fiction, religious, travel, history, household, etc. Five soft-covers for $1.
Cape Cod Baseball League
Joe’s Driving Range and Miniature Golf
221 Teaticket Hwy, Rt. 28-S, Teaticket. Joe’s offers a driving range, low-tech mini golf and a few practice greens, all at very reasonable prices. Closest to home.
East Sandwich Mini Golf
157 Rt. 6A, Sandwich; 508-833-1905. This place offers probably the best mini golf on Cape with a course built on a tidal wetland that changes depending on the tide. Family-run.
Rt. 28-N, Bourne; 1-800-53-KARTS, www.adventureisle.com. Adventure Isle has mini golf, amusement park rides, a batting cage, and go-karts.
Bass River Sports World
Rt. 28, S Yarmouth; 508-398-6070. This place offers mini-golf featuring a pirate-themed course, batting cages, soccer cages, a driving range, and video games
Trade Center Bowl
89 Spring Bars Rd, Falmouth; 508 548-7000. Bowling alley in Falmouth
Museums & Exhibits
WHOI Exhibit Center
School St., Woods Hole; 508-289-2663. A few research-related exhibits, with several models of underwater vehicles in use at WHOI. Suggested donation: $2/person aged 10 and over. Small gift shop. Open from May through September; hours posted at http://www.whoi.edu/calendar.
Aquarium of the National Marine Fisheries Service
Albatross Street, Woods Hole; 508-495-2001, http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/omi/aquarium/. Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00-16:00. Excellent small aquarium, with more attention paid to the fish and other specimens than to their presentation. Many of the tanks are actively being used in research. A rescued seal lives in a pen outside the aquarium. No admission charge, and no parking.
Woods Hole Historical Museum
579 Woods Hole Rd., Woods Hole; 508-548-7270. Hours: Tue-Sat 10:00-16:00, June through Labor Day. Depicts the history of Woods Hole through an audio-visual presentation, displays and dioramas. A scale model of the town as it was in 1895 is on display. A boat museum and a gentlemen’s workshop of the 1890s are also on the grounds.
Falmouth Historical Society
55-65 Palmer Ave., Falmouth; 508-548-4857, http://www.falmouthhistoricalsociety.org. Hours: Jun 10-Sep 13, Tue-Sat 10:00-16:00; Sep 20-Oct 27, Sat/Sun 13:00-16:00. Society maintains a museum and offers historical tours of Falmouth. Also has extensive archives including ships logs, maritime records, manuscripts, and family genealogy records. Excellent website with Falmouth lore.
For research and study, the MBL/WHOI Library has perhaps the best marine sciences collection in the world, but requires an MBL OneCard for access (see listing below). The Cape is also littered with public libraries; the two closest are in Woods Hole and Falmouth. A CLAMS (Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing) card gives you membership in your local library plus access to the collections of all the 26 CLAMS libraries: http://www.clamsnet.org.
Lillie Laboratory, MBL St., Woods Hole; 508-289- 2455. Open 24 hours a day/seven days a week. Arguably the best marine sciences library in the world. Enormous selection of journals (and if they don’t have it, they’ll get it for you). Great reading rooms; great place to study. The rare book room is pretty cool too. You’ll need an MBL OneCard to get in. These can be acquired from the Digital Processing Center on the second floor of the Lillie Building weekdays between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM. Online databases, journal list, and other services at http://mblwhoilibrary.mbl.edu.
Woods Hole Public Library
581 Woods Hole Rd., Woods Hole, 508- 548-8961; http://www.woodsholepubliclibrary.org. Fantastic book sales on a fairly regular basis which are well-worth checking out. Hours: Mon noon- 17:30 and 19:00-21:00, Wed 10:00-17:30 and 19:00-21:00; Tue/Thu/Fri/Sat 15:00-17:30.
Falmouth Public Library
123 Katherine Lee Bates Rd., Falmouth (visible from Main St.); 508-457-2555, http://www.falmouthpubliclibrary.org. Hours: Mon/Thu 9:30-17:30, Tue/Wed 9:30-21:00, Fri/Sat 9:30-17:00. Closed Sundays (check hours online or by phone – sometimes they are open Sundays depending on the season). Good selection of books, CD’s, movies, Internet, magazines. A real multimedia library. For movies, they have lots of musicals and classic films and an eclectic selection of some recent films. Best of all you can check out 2 flicks for 3 days for FREE! Access to online CLAMS catalogue through website.
Gus Canty Community Center
790 Main St., Falmouth; 508-457-2567, http://www.vsd.cape.com/~upload/recreation/Index.htm. Lots of rec classes, yoga, pilates, etc.
Falmouth Night School
Falmouth High School, 874 Gifford St., Falmouth; 508-548-1621. Tons of classes from yoga to Spanish to small engine repair. Online catalog: http://www.falmouth.k12.ma.us/ntsch00.htm.
Both Woods Hole and Falmouth have numerous lovely beaches. Some become crowded during the summer, while others remain relatively quiet. Beach parking stickers are required for all the public beaches in Falmouth. You can see what beaches need a sticker and which don’t: http://www.falmouthmass.us/deppage.php?number=9 . Parking stickers are issued daily at the bath house on Surf Drive (508 548 8623) from 9:00–16:00 until the end of the summer season. Beach stickers are required from June 22 to Labor Day. A beach map is available from the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce (http://www.falmouthchamber.com/documents/BeachMap.pdf).
The Knob Quissett Harbor
Coming from Woods Hole, turn left at Oyster Pond light and go straight to the end of the road. Keep right on the dirt path to get to beach. A beautiful, quiet beach. Good for reading a book and swimming, even in the middle of the summer when other beaches are crowded as it’s hard to find. For a scenic view (especially for sunset), continue on the path to the beach. Also, dogs are allowed on the Knob.
Stoney Beach (MBL Beach)
Go to the MBL end of Water Street and turn right. Turn left on Bar Neck. Turn right at the yacht club. Beach is on your left past the tennis court. Walk to this beach from the village for a swim at lunch.
Between Oyster Pond Rd. and Church St., Woods Hole. Views of the ferries passing and of the lighthouse. Sandier than most other beaches in town and has changing huts. Parking is a nightmare, and there’s nowhere to lock bikes. A short walk from the village or Winding Lane.
For windsurfing: SW W wind on a dropping Woods Hole tide. Advanced sailing only because of strong tides and waves.
Surf Drive Beach (Trunk River, Mill Road)
Really several beaches, with dirt parking lots dotting the length of Surf Drive. Rocky, but good for swimming. Walk from Oyster Pond apartments. The Trunk River lot is accessible via a short dirt road between the Oyster Pond Rd./Surf Drive intersection and the entrance to the CRL
Accessible from Falmouth Heights Road. Very busy in the summer, and parking can be difficult. Similar to Surf Drive Beach. Wood Neck Beach West Falmouth. Wide sandy beach on Buzzards Bay. Rt 28 north. Left turn onto Palmer Ave. Left onto Sippewissett Rd. Right onto Woodneck Rd. Large parking lot at the end of Woodneck Rd
Very popular bathing and windsurfing beach on Buzzards Bay. Rt. 28 North, Brick Kiln Rd. West, Rt 28A north. Left onto Chapoquoit Rd. Large Parking lot near end of road. The pond across the road is warmer and calmer.
For windsurfing: N NW W SW wind. Great high wind spot with waves. Pond on the east side of the road for beginners.
Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket
There are fine beaches all around the island, and there are surfable waves at some beaches on the east side of the island. For the naturalist types, there are several nude beaches near Gay Head on the Vineyard.
Cape Cod National Seashore
If your image of what a beach is includes acres of sand and pounding surf, head for the Seashore. About an hour drive from Woods Hole, you can access the beach at several well-marked locations from Chatham to Provincetown. The water is a lot colder than in the Sound or Buzzard’s Bay
Places to launch boats
Great Harbor boat ramp
On Albatross St in Woods Hole, next to the Aquarium. Good ramp but limited parking available.
Public access on Gardiner St
Gravel driveway down to water on Gardiner St, small public access area.
Cape Cod Tango
Social Argentine Tango Dancing in Cotuit at Freedom Hall 976 Main Street every Thursday 7:00-9:30. All levels and singles welcome. http://www.capecodtango.org
Cape Cod Contra Dances
Every Saturday evening at various locations around the Cape. All levels and singles welcome. http://www.capecontra.org.