Kayaking Trips on Cape Cod

kayaking

Kayaks are the ideal craft for accessing shallow areas that are teeming with marine and avian life! We offer single and tandem kayaks perfect for traveling throughout marsh habitats on our specialized kayak tours. Whether viewing an osprey’s nest in the spring or checking out schools of juvenile menhaden during the late-summer, these trips are fantastic ways to get your feet wet and learn about the dynamic Cape Cod ecosystem.

Long Pasture naturalists provide instruction on how to properly use the kayaks as well as information about bird species and wildlife that is encountered during the tours.

On select dates, Long Pasture also runs “full moon” kayak paddles that allow participants to take in the marsh at night. With so many nocturnal species that inhabit inshore areas, these paddle trips can be rewarding for those who want to see what the shore looks like under moonlight. 

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Kayaking Locations

Vernal pool on Sandy Neck Barrier Beach

Barnstable Harbor & the Great Marsh, Barnstable

Barnstable Harbor is bordered to the north by Sandy Neck Barrier Beach and to the west by the Great Marsh. With every tide cycle, this embayment is flushed by millions of gallons of cold, well-oxygenated water from Cape Cod Bay. Species that frequent the harbor’s waters include striped bass, bluefish, Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, quahogs, razor clams, surf clams, sandworms, bay scallops, ribbed mussels, gulls, terns and American oystercatchers. 

The western reaches of the harbor transition into the Great Marsh, a 3,800-acre expanse of coastal wetland habitat that provides habitat for coastal birds as well as juvenile fish species. Several oyster growers operate aquaculture grants in the recesses of the marsh, simultaneously providing delicious oysters to restaurants and filtering the water of Barnstable Harbor.

View from Lighthouse

Select Long Pasture tours will also visit the privately-owned Sandy Neck lighthouse that presides over Barnstable Harbor. Climb the lighthouse stairs to enjoy one of the greatest views of the harbor and learn about the history of the area. 

Scorton Creek, Sandwich

Scorton Creek is a meandering tidal river that empties into Cape Cod Bay. Paddle amongst blades of Spartina and Juncus grass while watching for sandpipers foraging on the banks. Watch common terns diving for Atlantic silversides in the shallow back eddies of the river’s sandbars. 

Chase Garden Creek, Yarmouth

Located just east of Long Pasture in Yarmouth, the Chase Garden Creek embayment encompasses 93 acres of marsh habitat within the eastern reaches of Barnstable Harbor. Here, daily tidal fluctuations drain and fill the estuary making it an excellent spot for kayaking as well as fishing and bird watching. Join kayak trips to check out the famous Bass Hole, pass by the Aquaculture Research Corporation, visit osprey nests, and a view of the Sandy Neck lighthouse across the channel.  

Popponesset

Popponesset Spit & Ockway Bay, Mashpee

Popponesset Spit, providing a barrier between Popponesset Bay and Nantucket Sound, is one of the South Cape’s most unique areas for its biodiversity. In April, the dunes of the spit are colonized by breeding piping plovers returning from their winter haunts. As the waters of Nantucket Sound begin to warm, alewives and blueback herring return to spawn upstream in the Mashpee and Santuit Rivers, attracting hungry striped bass.

With such a profusion of life, kayak trips on Popponesset Bay are never dull! Follow Long Pasture naturalists into this amazing natural area to learn about its species as well as the environmental threats that currently face it. 

Sandy beach at Sampsons Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Deadneck/Sampsons Island, Cotuit

Covering 37 acres, Mass Audubon’s Sampsons Island Wildlife Sanctuary is a barrier beach ecosystem that provides important nesting habitat to least terns, piping plovers, and common terns. Long Pasture kayak tours to Sampsons Island pass through Cotuit Bay on their way to the island before landing on its sandy north shore. Trips focus on shorebird ecology as well as horseshoe crabs and other invertebrates that inhabit the area. 

Trips focus on shorebird ecology as well as horseshoe crabs and other invertebrates that inhabit the area. 

Herring River, Harwich

The Herring River in Harwich has a unique history that includes cranberry harvesting, manufacturing, ship building, and fishing. 

Group Kayak Trips 

Have a trip you’d like to do that’s not listed? Want to book a private kayak expedition? Long Pasture naturalists are happy to work with you to tailor a private trip. To schedule a group outing, call 508-362-7475.