Kayaking on Cape Cod

Kayaking on Nauset Marsh

About Kayaking on Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a “vacation nirvana” for both experienced kayakers or those that are just learning. Thanks to the forethought of many preservation societies, we have miles and miles of protected water for you to kayak on. Our central location in Brewster allows kayakers so many options- including our picturesque kettle ponds in Nickerson State Park, Pleasant Bay and Nauset Marsh- just to mention a few of our favorites. You literally could kayak for weeks and never run out of new areas to explore.

Shown below are some of the specific areas with links to great maps for the details:

Town Cove, Orleans

The town Orleans has put together a Coastal Access  map that shows 23 access locations to put your boat in. This resource is a great guide as it also highlights parking places in each area. The easiest access is at Town Cove (#24 on the Map)  by the Goose Hummock shop, which also offers kayak rentals and guided tours or at Cove Road (#23 on the map).

If you are kayaking on your own always be mindful of our tides-  low tide can make navigating the mudflats tricky – and the currents are high tide challenging.

Picture by We Need A Vacation

 Little Pleasant Bay, South Orleans

We always recommend to our guests that they take the drive between Orleans and Chatham on 28 to see the picturesque Pleasant Bay. In South Orleans, at the end of Portanimicut Road, is a town landing with a small parking area and public dock- perfect to put in your kayak.  Islands dot both bays and offer great spots to picnic as well.

Salt Pond Bay, Eastham

If you like to explore quiet areas, check out the shores in Eastham. If you park at the end of Hemenway Road, you’ll find a nice parking lot. Check out the map first as it’s a huge body of water with Salt Pond Bay coming first and later Nauset Bay.

Harrison in Flax Pond

Nickerson State Park, Brewster

We just love our State Park in Brewster- which is filled with acre upon acre of kettle ponds. The water is so fresh and there are wonderful trails around the lakes along with boat ramps to put in your kayak. Check out this map showing Cliff Pond and the best spot to put in your kayaks.

Where to rent your kayaks?

If you are looking to rent your kayak while staying with us we have several options to recommend:  (If you have your own kayak we have plenty of secure areas for you to store your kayak while not in use)

Cape Cod Bike and Kayak– we have a wonderful rental resource in town that rents, bikes, paddle boards and kayaks. They will rent by the afternoon, day or week and will bring your kayak to whatever location you would like including single and tandem boats.

Jack’s Boat Rental has boats ready to rent in Nickerson for  a quiet and easy kayak on Flax’s Pond. This is the perfect spot to go if you are a first time kayaker. It’s also a great spot for a swim so remember to wear your bathing suit under your clothes.

Goose Hummock OutDoor Center has it all- whether you are looking for fishing gear, to buy a boat, to buy supplies or rent a kayak, they will take good care of you.

 Guided Kayak Tours

Cape Kayaking– Byron and I are not experienced kayakers- but always ready for a new adventure. We are always looking for local experiences to recommend to our guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn and our afternoon of kayaking with Jonathan on Nauset Marsh did not disappoint.

Meeting our guide, Jonathan

Our tour guide Jonathan was a wonderful guide- as he not only gave us some wonderful tips on how to kayak but also was a wealth of information about the natural history of Cape Cod and local bird and shellfish habitat.

Our guide, Jonathan

Just loved Jonathan’s hat, and we were thrilled to hear that he just purchased a new fleet of kayaks that were very comfortable and easy to maneuver. After 10 minutes on the water I was totally comfortable and enjoying the beautiful scenery- along with Jonathan’s interesting notes about our surroundings.

The bird habitat was amazing! We were very close to Fort Hill, which is a treasured bird migration area and  a previous blog is filled with information about birding on Cape Cod.


The marsh was breathtakingly quiet

We stopped on a sandy beach to stretch our legs and learn about shell fish on Cape Cod.

We learned that the bird migration and new sea grass growth is about 6 weeks behind this year due to the exceptionally cold and rainy spring.

Jonathan digging for clams

We learned about clamming…

We found a pair of horseshoe crabs nestling in the sand for protection.

Horseshoe crabs hiding in the sand

and learned of the medicinal blood of the Horseshoe crab and their bizarre mating behavior.

Razor clams

Jonathan showed us a very small pinhole where he carefully dug up a razor clam.

Once back in our kayaks, we continued on a waterway where we saw many clusters of mussel beds. Due to a cold winter several years back which inhibited birds from eating the small mussels, there has been an over population of mussels on Cape Cod.

Mussels in Nauset Marsh

Cape Kayaking has many other tours that we would highly recommend, including Full Moon, Monomoy Island, Sunsets, Pleasant Bay, Nauset Marsh, Herring River, Bird Watching  and Kayak Clamming. Check out their web site for details and always know that we are here to make your reservations for you ahead of time. It’s always easier to communicate with Jonathan via e-mail as he is out on the waters for most the summer and does not have his phone near him.

What should I wear when kayaking?

Cape Kayaking recommends that you wear clothing appropriate for being at the beach. Swim trunks and a quick dry shirt (short or long sleeved), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a bottle of water, bug repellent and a snack if you like for when we take a break. They do provide DRY BAGS for those who may want to take a camera or anything else that may be sensitive to water exposure, but take care because they are not perfect. There is a Stop and Shop and TJ Maxx in Orleans which usually has everything you will need for your adventure.

Where should we eat afterwards?

After we finished our tour with Jonathan the first thing I thought about was eating a Lobster Roll and an Ice Cream Cone. Check out a previous blog that talks about our favorite ice creams spots on the Cape.

We love to recommend the following:

JT’s in Brewster– great ice cream and lobster rolls

Sir Crickets in Orleans– the freshest of fresh lobster as they also own the fish market next door.

Moby Dicks in Wellfleet– love their fried clams!

What is the absolute Best Bed and Breakfast on Cape Cod?

We are so proud of our renovations and feel the Captain Freeman Inn is the absolute best place to stay on Cape Cod. We are central to everything, have updated, comfortable accommodations and strive to make your stay on Cape Cod PERFECT!

We are booking up very fast for the summer months with a few openings here and there. Give us a call and let us help plan your Cape Cod holiday that can include a kayaking tour and memories to last a last a lifetime.

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