The Beach Times

The Best Places to Kayak on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Kayaking on Cape Cod

Cape Cod has some of the best kayaking opportunities found anywhere in North America, mainly due to the diversity of its water bodies.

For some, there is nothing better than a day on the ocean in a kayak, as you can quietly maneuver along the shoreline and access beaches, islands and areas that you can’t get to any other way. You might also have the chance to see some wildlife without a noisy motor scaring it away.

For others, kayaking through a still pond or lake is the way to go, since you are protected from rough water and weather, and can quickly get to shore for a break when needed. You are also never far from your vehicle, so returning after a day spent on the water is much more manageable.

Or, you might look for a river or stream to navigate in your kayak, which can provide access to both the ocean and some ponds, depending on the route you take.

As you can see, the Cape has everything you could ever want from a kayaking destination and if you aspire to get out on the water this vacation, make sure you bring your boat. Alternatively, there are kayak rental locations found throughout Cape Cod, if needed.

 

Nickerson State Park

At Nickerson State Park, you'll have so many choices on where you kayak that it can be overwhelming. The park as a whole is 1,900 acres in size and features numerous ponds, including Cliff, Flax, Little Cliff, Higgins, and Eel, and all of them have direct road access. These roads make it easy to reach your desired pond or travel through the park until you find one that isn't overly busy.

One of the great things about Nickerson State Park is that most of the ponds are close enough to each other that you can portage between them if your boat is light enough. That way, you can explore multiple kettle ponds throughout the day without having to load your kayak back onto your car. The larger bodies have beaches to check out, as well, so you can include a swim in with your excursion.

 

Nauset Marsh

People around Cape Cod say that Nauset Marsh is perhaps the best place for beginners to get out on the water. This saltwater marsh is one of the most fertile in the world, which means it is full of wildlife, including seals, otters, and birds, to see while you paddle through its streams. In addition to the small streams running through the marsh, there are tidal creeks and more open bodies of water, like Salt Pond Bay. This diversity means you can explore various eco-systems throughout the day

Those with more kayaking experience can start their journey in the wetlands before paddling into the Atlantic at Coast Guard Beach. Make sure you keep track of where you entered the ocean, however, as it can be easy to get lost.

Overall, Nauset Marsh is a spectacular place to take your boat because the scenery is outstanding and you can go in so many different directions once you’re out there. Most kayakers enter the marsh at Town Cove in Eastham, just off Route 6.

 

Bass River

At five miles long, Bass River is Cape Cod's largest river, and it sits conveniently between Yarmouth and Dennis. You can enter the river from either town or the boat launch at Smugglers Beach on Nantucket Sound. Once in the river, you'll find some areas quiet and others livelier. There are powerboats on the river, but they are speed restricted, limiting the wake created and allowing for a smoother journey for those using kayaks or paddle boards.

The river has numerous coves and inlets you can explore, and you'll also find a couple of marinas where you can stop for lunch. The marinas can also rent you a kayak or paddle board. If you head far enough north, you'll eventually get to Kelleys Bay, Dinahs Pond, or Follins Pond, as well, which provide a quiet place to explore. Note, however, that the speed restrictions are not in place on Follins Pond.

 

Eel Pond Landing

For something a little different, start your journey at Eel Pond in East Falmouth. One thing you'll notice about Cape Cod is that there are numerous ponds with the same name, so if you're looking on a map, make sure you find the Eel Pond in East Falmouth and not the one in Woods Hole, Bourne, or Brewster, although these other ponds are also accessible via kayak.

The Eel Pond in East Falmouth starts on Nantucket Sound right by Washburn Island, which is a stunning wildlife reserve. Heading north, you can turn right and take the Seapit River into Waquoit Bay or go left and travel up the Childs River to Waquoit Village. Either way, you'll have a quiet ride and will almost certainly see some animals along your journey.

You might have to start your trip at the Waquoit Bay Kayak Launch in Mashpee or Bosun’s East Falmouth Marina, since it can be challenging to find an access point or parking along Eel Pond.

 

Wequaquet Lake

Wequaquet Lake in Barnstable is another place worth visiting with your kayaks, but keep in mind that parking can be difficult to find. There is a boat launch at the north end of the lake where you can get your boat in the water, but only a dozen or so parking spots.

If you're lucky enough to score a space, the lake is massive and, therefore, it's easy to find a peaceful area to paddle by yourself. There are also some uninhabited islands that you can visit if you want a break from your boat. This lake is in the middle of a large residential area and, therefore, is a favorite of locals. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s a good idea to look for a vacation rental nearby to make it easier to access.

 

Kayaking On Cape Cod

There’s no way you’ll get to all of the Cape’s kayaking routes on your vacation here because you can pretty much put your boat in the water anywhere and you’ll find it to be kayak friendly. Just make sure you stay away from rougher areas of the ocean unless you’re an experienced paddler and are confident with your navigation skills.

Likewise, you can always take a kayaking tour, as numerous companies will supply a guide and ensure you’re on a scenic route all day long. Kayak rentals are also available if you’re not able to bring your own, so don’t let the fact that you’re flying in from another part of the country stop you from enjoying the natural beauty that is best enjoyed from the quiet water passageways on Cape Cod.

When looking to rent a kayak, it's a good idea to call ahead at the beginning of your trip. That way, you'll be aware of rental rates and availability before arriving at the office.

Whether you're into kayak tours or will be bringing your own kayaks on your vacation, you're sure to find something that suits your needs on the Cape this summer.

 



Bass River Eel Pond Kayaking On Cape Cod Nauset Marsh Nickerson State Park Wequaquet Lake

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