Wind through shallow channels, salt marshes, tidal creeks, and ocean bays at sunset; explore quiet nature reserves and bustling barrier beaches; view an array of migrating birds, nesting plovers, ospreys, herons, or a lonely lighthouse. You’ll find these sights throughout the abundant kayaking spots on Cape Cod, making it a travel hotspot for kayakers and nature-lovers from all over the U.S.
Choose one of the many tour options, or rent a kayak without a guide and explore on your own. Either way, remember your lifejackets, check the tides and have fun!
Recommended Kayaking Spots
Barnstable Harbor, Barnstable: Launch from Blish Point State Landing on Millway Road and head across Barnstable Harbor to Sandy Neck Beach. The seven-mile long barrier beach offers views of the 4,000-acre Great Marsh and the old lighthouse on Beach Point. This trip is of moderate difficulty level due to winds and waves at high tide.
Bass River, Dennis/Yarmouth: This is the longest river on Cape Cod with many places to launch. Kayakers can admire beautiful riverside homes, windmills and beaches.
Herring River, West Harwich: Travel through the protected marshlands of the Bells Neck Conservation Area. This bed of bird and wildlife activity offers a four-mile trip through easy waters.
Nauset Marsh, Eastham: This kayak trip is through one of the most productive salt marshes in the world. Known for an abundance of bird and marine life, as well as panoramic views of low-lying islands and towering green bluffs, Nauset Marsh is full of serene splendor. Paddle trips range in difficulty from easy to more strenuous, and extend up to 15.9 miles in length. Make sure to check the tides before you go. Launch from Salt Pond, beside the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center on the corner of Nauset Road. & Route. 6 in Eastham.
Scorton Creek, Sandwich: This site offers a pleasant paddle trip through salt-water marshlands. Try exploring one of the many smaller creeks that meander through the marshes off of the main creek. Launch from the State Wildlife Reservation off of Route 6A in East Sandwich, right before the Scorton Creek Bridge.
Waquoit Bay, Falmouth & Mashpee: A national research reserve, kayakers can explore the undeveloped Washburn Island (330-acres with primitive camping available), then paddle across the channel to South Cape Beach State Park. For beginner kayakers, shallow Waquoit Bay offers miles of easy paddling. For the more advanced kayaker, try the challenging waters around Washburn Island through Nantucket Sound. Launch from the Great River Boat Landing on Great Oak Road, Mashpee.
- Upper Cape:
- • Cape Cod Kayak, Falmouth: www.capecodkayak.com
- • EcoTourz, Sandwich: www.ecotourz.net
- • Cape Cod Sea Sports, Hyannis: www.capecodseasports.com
- • Explore Cape Cod, Orleans: www.explorecapecod.com
- • Howie’s Kayaks, West Dennis: www.capecodkayaking.com
- • Great Marsh Kayak Tours, Yarmouth: www.greatmarshkayaktours.com
- • Rail Trail Bike Shop, Brewster: www.railtrailbikeshop.com
- Lower Cape:
- • Adventure Chatham, East Harwich: www.adventurechatham.com
- • Goose Hummock Shops, Orleans: www.goose.com
- • RideAway Kayak, Eastham: www.rideawaykayak.com
- • Flyer’s Boat Rentals, Provincetown: www.flyersboatrentals.com
- • Fun Seekers, Wellfleet: www.funseekers.org