Published on June 17, 2022

Paddling Trips Focus on Memorable Moments in Nature

Ian at Lighthouse - Kortis_resized

With its extensive shoreline and scenic embayments, Cape Cod offers a wide range of options for kayaking. Mass Audubon Cape Cod adult programs coordinator Sean Kortis says when leading a kayaking program, the goal is to give participants a chance to view the abundant wildlife in the Cape’s waterways, and to share the experience with others.

Trip Highlights

Mass Audubon kayaking trips take place in some of the Cape’s most beautiful spots, such as Barnstable Harbor, where Sean says the water can be so clear you can see horseshoe crabs moving below. Nesting American Oystercatchers, known for their orange chisel-like bills, provided many opportunities over the course of the breeding season last year. “We watched their three chicks grow and develop on every trip,” Sean recalls.

Other charismatic birds, such as Belted Kingfishers and Green Herons, can be found in Pleasant Bay, often at eye-level from a kayak. Paddling around Wellfleet’s Great Island offers a chance to see turtles. “Sometimes you can see swimming Diamondback Terrapins raise their heads above the water,” Sean says.

Journey Over Destination

Sean says unlike kayaking programs that may focus on reaching a particular location, his trips are based on the potential for discovery and exploration. “We know our locations well and which tide heights allow us to get higher up into meandering creeks to see things you simply can’t by land.”

Sean also places importance on group experiences. “Our programs are designed to encourage participation and to ask questions. Special moments in nature are enhanced by sharing them with others." Sean adds that some previous participants in a multi-day kayaking program have even kept in touch and taken more trips together.

View the full schedule of upcoming kayaking trips. You can also review descriptions of our kayaking sites on the Outer and Lower Cape and on the Mid Cape.

Please note: Kayaking programs are limited to 10 participants, 18 years of age or older. All participants must have previous kayaking experience. Older teen-agers with previous paddling experience may be permitted to join by prior arrangement. Call 508-349-2615 to learn more and to register.