Boston Coastal Paddles

Any good spots for a few hour paddle on a weekend afternoon on the coast? How far from Boston? Places to rent boats? Water temps and swell size in early June? Thanks for any info.

Where Would You
be staying, exactly? I’m likely around in June. I would lend you a boat but I strongly suspect that you will not fit anything I have. You’re 200 lbs but how tall? Can rent a boat at Charles River Canoe and Kayak (in Newton - suburb of Boston). That’s the closest in the Boston Area.

Water temps are still pretty cool in June, probably in the mid-upper 50’s range. Wet suit/drysuit required. Boston Harbor is my usual haunt. Lots of island. Mostly pretty protected until you hit the outer islands. For more open coast, you’ll have to go north or south.

Let me know, we can try to hook up.


Goose Hummock
If get down to the Cape. Try the Goose Hummock shop in Orleans. They have a large kayak shop and rent yaks. They also give guided tours. Its about a hour and a half from Boston.

Try this


2 Hrs South in Wickford
The Kayak Center. Right on the water in Narragansett Bay. They have a shop that rents out a little further south in Watch Hill that is closer to the Atlantic. Wanna do a Block Island crossing?

If That… Then 2 Hours North
is MIKCO – Maine Island Kayak Co, on Peaks Island in Casco Bay. Beautiful area and the rep of MIKCO is right up there. Head out in the “open” with those folks and you got serious play stuff and playing room. :slight_smile:


How about Osprey Adventures?
I think that was the name of the outfitter; they’re in Westport, about 1.5 hr from Boston.

I tried to rent from them once but they had closed for the season except on weekends.

Boston Harbor has many many

– Last Updated: Feb-04-04 1:23 PM EST –

interesting places to paddle. You can launch from many places in the general Boston vicinity to reach any number of the islands. Check out the following links for info: or you can look at the destination report I posted to p-net

North Shore Paddlers (NSPN)in particular are very active and have a number of members who are regular visitors to these forums and will probably chime in with their thoughts as well.

In the immediate Boston Area rentals can be obtained, among others, at Charles River Canoe & Kayak ( Eastern Mountain Sports on Route 3A in Hingham. Sportsman's Den on Route 3A in Quincy rents a few Heritage SOTs (SeaDarts & Fishermen)if you are so inclined.

Air temps in June can range from raw and chilly 40's to rather balmy 70's - it's quite changable. Water temp around 50. Ocean conditions vary based on the weather - anything from flat calm to fuggitaboutit! Mostly within the islands you're dealing with moderate wind driven chop about 1'. Pleasure boat traffice will not have reached it's summertime peak yet but there is always some commercial traffic in the designated channels. Outer Islands will see more ocean swells usually in 2' to 4' range - long gentle rollers 'til they get in the shoals.

Weekends in June usually find me day tripping around an island or two (Peddock's, George's, Lovell's, Rainsford, Bumpkin, Long, or Thompson's to name several)

Feel free to give me a holler if you're looking for company.

Hey, Seadart, are you coming
to Beantown?

This is a great place to paddle, once it’s not frozen any more.

If I had to pick just one spot in the whole area, it would be to launch from the curving beach at Nahant, a half hour northeast of Boston, and work your way up the coast past Swampscott and Marblehead.

It wouldn’t show off the tidal marshes here, which are beautiful, but it’s about as nice as the coast gets in terms of rocks, inlets, mansions, seals, seabirds, and sailboats.

Boston Harbor itself can be a good urban paddle or wild and desolate depending how far you go out. It has two beautiful lighthouses and two dozen islands. The innermost harbor, where the USS Constitition is moored, is a lot less fun since 9/11 because of increased security. I’ve stopped going there myself.

I’m not aware of any rental places right on the harbor (or anywhere on the ocean within an hour of Boston), but if you had a car, there are plenty of places that could rent you a boat. I’d be happy to help you find one.

When you know your plans, post a message on the nspn message board, and one or more of us will probably join you and even lend you a boat. I have one boat that might fit you, and you’re certainly welcome to it.

You also may want to make a pilgrimage to Walden Pond, and take a trip up and down the freshwater lower 10 miles of the Charles River–excellent views of Harvard, BU, MIT, the Back Bay (historic Victorian buildings), Genzyme, Lotus, Mass General, our new “Big Dig” suspension bridge, and the shiny skyscrapers of downtown Boston. There is boat rental beginnig in April on the Charles through Charles River Canoe and Kayak.

If the dates are convenient I’d be happy to accompany you any place.


Depending on the tides
and skill level, you could think about woods hole. Six knot localized curents and hour knot widespread currents are everyday things there. South shore is really nice wiht some great play spots at small rips which will not take you radically out to sea if you dump, but which have rows of standing waves, and picturesque harbors.

E-mail me. BTW I am nowhere near as good paddler as Sing or Sanjay but I do know woods hole a bit. Happy to paddle with them any time! Happy to discuss your local plans.

Thanks all
I’ve been invited to give a talk at a scientific conference but am still waiting to get permission from my company. I’ll make firmer plans when I get the offical word.