I will be going to the cape in 2 weeks and am looking for places to paddle in or near West Dennis. I will be staying right on the Bass River, I also hear that Swan River is a good spot. Any recomendations will be greatly appreciated.
If you can take a trip over to
Barnstable harbor. It is a nice paddle just be carefull of the boat traffic.
Other Spots for Cape Yaking
Nauset Marsh in Eastham/Orlean is Nauset Marsh. Eastham is probably 20 minutes at most from W. Dennis east on Route 6 just past the Orleans Rotary. Put in near Salt Pond Visitor Center.
This is a HUGE salt marsh that has a lot of calm protected water.
Lot of Trips out of Welfleet Harbor area, but that Welfleet HArbor is probably 35 minutes from West Dennis east on Rt. 6. Great Island I hear is a nice paddle.
Pleasant Bay and Little Pleasant Bay in Orleans. Again, roughly 20 minutes from W. Dennis just south of the Orleans Rotary on Rt. 6. Several launch sites are on Rt. 28, just east of intersection with Rt. 39. Protected water.
Big yaker HOW DID I FORGET about
nauset that is a nice place also just watch out at low tide it does get shallow. Also believe it or not there are a lot of nice fresh water kettle ponds to paddle on also. If you go to a book store while you are there or a paddle shop there are a couple of books on paddling the cape.
Thanks for the replies. I will look into them. I can’t wait to get out there.
If you want more interesting water…
…paddle out of Nauset Harbor. The inlet can be a fun play spot at times, as can the outer coast of the Cape. There’s a sandbar just north of the inlet where waves kick up. We were there last weekend and there were lots of seals along the beach north of the inlet.
We recently did Washburn Island in Falmouth (not too far away from where you're going. It was a nice trip and a good time. You can unload your boats and gear a few feet away from the water, and there's free parking.
Some discussion, including map and directions
Trip report with photos
Washburn Island / Waquoit Bay…
.. is indeed very nice. But some tips...
Stay away from the channels out to Vineyard Sound this time of year. They are literally choked with recreational powerboats. Besides that, the channel from Waquoit is tricky any time but near slack, with the powerboats complicating things. In fact, if you are solo, you may have even more trouble crossing the very busy channels safely, as you'll be a very small blip.
Go into Sage Lot Pond (southeast corner of the bay) within and hour or two of high tide. It's beautiful and peaceful and has a flock of swans -- a nice respite if you did encounter the powerboats. There's another pond on the southeast corner of the Bay that looks nice too, but is probably even more tide-sensitive.
Bottom line... if you're in West Dennis, the whole Cape is your oyster. Nothing is much more than an hour's drive away, and lots is quite close. The thing to watch out for is not to get caught heading in the off-cape direction on Rt 6 or Rt 28 when the place changes over, like mid-day Saturday or later Sunday afternoon. 6 especially can be a looong parking lot.
When we went through the channel,
We actually had very little trouble. There is a beach along that channel where powerboats are moored. The boats going through the channel keep at a pretty slow speed, if for no other reason other than consideration to their brethren along the beach.
We kept relatively close to one side and made it without any problems. The water right at the mouth was interesting - a mixture of natural ocean waves and powerboat wake. Very unpredictable.
However, djlewis' word to the wise should be heeded.
The main body of Waquoit Bay - further than 100 yds from shore - was an absolute no-man's land for paddle boats. Lots of water-skiiers and nutjobs with far more Budweiser than brains.
Depends on what the current is
In the Waquoit channel, it is routinely 1.5 kts max flood, and can be 1.8; a bit less ebb. Combined with a narrow, oblique channel, chop, power boats, rocks and fishing lines, that can be ~very~ hard to negotiate safely, with or against it. So, check your current tables carefully (not tide tables!)