Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
view from the water of man and child in canoe, child's hand touching the water

Paddling & Cruises

From spring through early fall, several wildlife sanctuaries give nature lovers a fresh way to enjoy local ecology—by canoe, kayak, or boat.

Meander down the Housatonic River in the Berkshires or explore the salt marshes of Cape Cod. See nesting shorebirds on Newburyport's Plum Island or the Boston skyline from the Charles River. Rent a boat to guide your own adventure or join a naturalist-led paddle program to learn about the wildlife living just beneath the surface. 

Canoe, Kayak, & Paddleboard Rentals

Wachusett Meadow, Princeton 

Canoe Rentals, May-October

Explore Wildlife Pond to see mink, beavers, otters, and at least a half dozen species of frogs and toads. A variety of woodpeckers favor the standing dead tree snags around the pond’s edges, and there's almost always a Great Blue Heron around somewhere fishing for its dinner. Learn more about canoe rentals at Wachusett Meadow

Ipswich River, Topsfield 

Canoe Rentals, June-October

Thanks to the flat topography of the surrounding silver maple floodplain forest, the Ipswich River is slow-flowing and winding, great for new paddlers and for birders. Learn more about canoe rentals at Ipswich River

Felix Neck, Edgartown 

Self-Guided Kayak and Paddleboard Tours, Weekdays, May-October

Explore the Sengekontacket Pond on a self-guided paddling treasure hunt, where you’ll uncover the story of the pond’s people, places, and wildlife. Single and double kayaks and two stand up paddleboards available for rent on a first-come first-serve basis. Learn more about kayaking & paddling at Felix Neck

Paddling & Cruise Programs

See More

Even more wildlife sanctuaries offer paddling opportunities via guided programs throughout Massachusetts.