If you’re new around these parts: Nate and I invested in some pretty sweet kayaks at the beginning of the summer! We kayaked 2-3 times a month from June through October, but now that our kayaks are all packed up for the winter, I wanted to share / reminisce about all the cool places we took them!
Charles River via Elm Bank – to the right
When you get to Elm Bank in South Natick, MA, drive around the one-way loop until you cross a small stone bridge. Park in the lot to your right and from there you’ll carry your kayaks down to the water (a one minute walk). Start kayaking off to the right! It’s a quiet and narrow part of the river and the water is calm.
Charles River via Elm Bank – to the left
If you start kayaking to your left, you will go under a small bridge in the first 5 minutes. This part of the river is wider and you’ll see pretty houses along the banks. We also saw a family of ducklings 🙂 We spent about 30 minutes kayaking away, and then another 30 minutes to come back to the shore.
Dug Pond, Natick MA
Dug Pond is very pretty and had really clear water when we visited in August. You can kayak around the perimeter in about 30 minutes so it’s easy to do twice. Dug has a little island that you can stop at and explore (we didn’t, but it’s possible). There is also a sand bar about halfway across the pond that you could stop, hop out and swim at!
Spofford Lake, Spofford NH
Spofford is a large lake; I would allot at least an hour to go around the perimeter. And I would also suggest sticking to the perimeter because there are lots of speed boats during the summer. Spofford also has a large island that you can explore and swim near (with a rope swing! you’ll see it on the east side). Summer sunrises are a dream to watch – it’s so worth it to start kayaking early! (or late, if you’re a sunset person 😉 )
Charles River via Nahanton Park
This is a great place to meet your friends if they want to join you on the water, but need to rent boats. Charles River Canoe and Kayak is stationed there, so it’s easy to rent. But they also allow owners to drop their boats in, since it’s public property. We really liked this part of the Charles. It was very wide-open and we saw so many different birds flying around. We easily kayaked out for an hour, and back for an hour. Probably one of our longest jaunts!
Charles River via Bridge St. in Dover – to the left
This tiny parking lot is immediately off the road, so be on the lookout! It comes up quickly. This was probably our least favorite outing, simply because the water was very murky and dirty when we went in early September. I have no idea if that was because of the season, or what. But we did see some heron and geese, and it was still a nice ride.
Charles River via Bridge St. in Dover – to the right
We tried the same place about a month later and the water had cleared up, plus the leaves were colorful! We started out the opposite direction and ended up liking it more because it was more interesting (aka: big, pretty houses to look at). There were some rocky parts, so be careful of that. We saw more heron! This part of the Charles is definitely where we saw the most wildlife.
Walden Pond, Concord MA
I didn’t kayak this, I swam it! But Nate kayaked by my side and then did a loop on his own. It’s a smaller pond; it only took him about 25 minutes to go around the perimeter. We were there in July, but I’m betting fall is gorgeous!
You might notice that Lake Kanasatka, the New Hampshire lake where my dad’s side of the family owns a cottage, is missing from the list. Well, that’s because we were only up there for a total of 4 days this summer, and unfortunately the car with our kayak racks on it was in the shop during that time! So we were kayak-less! 🙁 Next year, definitely.
I hope this was a helpful list for all ya’ll kayakers out there! I have sooo many places already on my list that I want to explore for next year. Do you know of any places we neeeeed to visit? Mass, New Hampsh, even Maine! We’ll take any suggestions 🙂