The most practical way to use the Patriots Path is by bike. I once used the section near Willowwood Arboretum with my bike not knowing until later it was a section closed to cycling. There were no signs indicating that it was hiking only BTW.
I don’t know why they continue to insist that some sections be hiking only. I think the notion that mountain bikers are going to reek havoc has long been proven false. Many of the attractions along the path like the Willowwood Arboretum would make fine cycling destinations using the path.
Even the Jockey Hollow section of the path should be opened up to cyclists since that would allow riders to continue westward beyond the park to other destinations.
In the sections that are too rugged for biking, the roads are often unpaved and have low traffic so routing bikes on to the road wouldn’t pose any significant hazards.