Massachusetts has water & boat ramps for paddling, canoeing, kayaking

Rent a cabin or stay with your kids and pet nearby then get on the water in and around Massachusetts. What’s available? An ocean and saltwater bays, fresh water inland lakes, rivers, and ponds, just begging to be explored. Paddle your own canoe, kayak or board. You’ll find parking, wheelchair access, paved and gravel boat ramps, piers and shelters and places to portage in and rent equipment. Friendly instructors offer individual instruction and clinics.

To see some Padding adventure videos, click here to visit Explore New England.

Paddling in Massachusetts
Rafting 2018 - Zoar Outdoor - Charlemont, MA
Zoar Outdoor

Route 2 (Mohawk Trail) Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 800-532-7483

Paddling instruction, tours, rentals for every level at outdoor center

Rent a kayak for an easy paddle down the Deerfield River in Massachusetts to get a taste of whitewater kayaking or get some lessons on how to up your advanced whitewater game: There is helpful instruction (up to a full day’s worth), a guided tour or an easy rental for every level of paddling experience at Zoar Outdoor. And there are plenty of ways to paddle, from kayaking and canoeing through Southern Vermont’s stunning lakes and reservoirs to stand-up paddle-boarding. Paddleboards are stable enough for beginners but versatile enough for you to try out those new moves. Or maybe you just want to paddle out to the middle of the lake and read a book. After a short video and a little one-on-one help with your gear, you are good to go. (In the summer, there is even paddleboard yoga!)
DAR State Forest
D.A.R. State Forest

Cape Street, Route 112 Goshen, MA Phone: 413-268-7098

Good for boating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and winter sports; pets permitted except on sandy beach; non-motorized boats only.

Bring your canoe for some smooth paddling around the Upper and Lower Highland Lakes. Ramps are available; day-use fee applies. Please ensure that your boat and equipment are clean. See DAR State Forest for full description of this park.
Cochituate State Park

43 Commonwealth Road Natick, MA Phone: 508-653-9641

Day-use park for water sports

This lake is composed of three large, north-to-south segments. A boat ramp is located on Middle Lake. Boating regulations: Alcohol is prohibited; lifejackets must be worn by canoeists and kayakers from September 15 to May 15; water skiing is allowed on South Lake only; power loading of vessels at ramp is prohibited; boating allowed only during daylight hours; swimming from boats is prohibited; boaters are responsible for their wake; no personal watercraft or ATVs are allowed on or around the lake.
Daily parking fee: $8 for Massachusetts vehicle; $10 for out-of-state vehicle
See full description of Cochituate State Park
Doane's Falls

Athol Road Royalston, MA Phone: 978-840-4446

When the tranquil waters of Lawrence Brook reach Doane's Falls, they tumble in a sequence of dramatic waterfalls. Along the way, large boulders in the streambed, small forested islands, and flat rock slabs divide the fast-rushing stream before it empties into Tully Lake. On the southern bank of Lawrence Brook, just upstream from the falls, is Coddings Meadow, a little-known clearing in the wood that offers views of the quiet waters of Lawrence Brook and is an excellent launch site for exploring the brook by canoe or kayak.
C.M. Gardner Park

Route 112 Huntington, MA Phone: 413-354-6347

Good for paddling, hiking & walking; fishing; pets allowed except on beach area

Canoe along the scenic Westfield River East for a fun work-out! Bring lunch for a picnic, too, but anything you take into the park, you must leave with.
See C.M. Gardner Park for full description of this park.
Middlesex Falls Reservation

Woodland Road Winchester, MA Phone: 781-322-2851 or

Natural refuge set on over 2,000 acres. Visitors here can enjoy biking, hiking and cross-country ski trails. Canoeing, fishing, and swimming areas are offered, as well as a visitor's center with historic information.
Douglas State Forest

107 Wallum Lake Road Douglas, MA Phone: 508-476-7872

Popular state forest on lake with many activities: water sports; horseback riding; hiking trails

Paddling, motor boating, and other water sports are done at this state park. A boat ramp and parking is available for boat trailers.
See full description of Douglas State Forest.
Peters Reservation

Farm Road Dover, MA, 02492 Phone: 508-785-0339

From the entrance on Farm Street, boaters can portage to the put-in, or canoes and kayaks on the Charles River can land along the plantation of red pines that lines much of the reservation's frontage on the river. Over two miles of trails traverse woodlands featuring a large, massed planting of Dexter hybrid rhododendrons and an oak and hickory forest, whose trails and understory plantings were laid out by landscape architect Fletcher Steele.
Connecticut River Greenway State Park

136 Damon Road at Route 9 Northampton, MA Phone: 413-586-8706

Use the Pauchaug, Barton Cove, Sunderland, Hatfield, and Chicopee Boat Access points to launch your canoe (find details below). Elwell Recreation Area is designated for canoes and rowing only. Paddle at your own pace up/down the scenic and historic Connecticut River.
See full description of Connecticut River Greenway State Park.
See boat ramps and river access of Connecticut River Greenway State Park.
Hampton Ponds State Park

1048 North Road Westfield, MA, 01085 Phone: 413-532-3985

The fresh water pond in this park is open to paddlers, canoeists, kayakers, and motor boats. See full description of Hampton Ponds State Park.
Crane Wildlife Refuge

Essex River Estuary Ipswich, MA, 01938 Phone: 978-356-4351

The Crane Wildlife Refuge is a patchwork of coastal and island habitats that includes a portion of Castle Neck and seven islands in the Essex River Estuary (Choate, Long, Dean, Dilly, Pine, Patterson, and Round). Surrounding the Crane Wildlife Refuge is the Great Marsh, the largest contiguous salt marsh in New England, covering more than 25,000 acres from Hampton Harbor, NH to Gloucester. The largest of the Refuge's islands, Choate Island, supports abundant wildlife, and during the 18th and 19th centuries, Choate Island and Long Island were connected by a causeway, comprising a prosperous farming community.
Mystic Lakes

Between Route 3 and Mystic Valley Parkway Winchester, MA, 01890 Phone: 617-727-5380

On these twin lakes just a stone’s throw from Boston, sailing programs are offered at the Tufts University Boathouse. Upper Mystic Lake is limited to paddling (canoes, kayaks), only. Power boat owners may use the Lower Mystic Lake. No wakes.
Bridge Village Heritage Park

70 Elm Street Berkley, MA Phone: 508-999-5231

Located at the southeast abutment to the Berkley-Dighton Bridge, this tiny park is excellent for canoers and kayakers to enter the river (motor boats and boats in tow are prohibited). Also nice for fishing, picnicking, and families.
Rocky Narrows

South Main Street Sherborn, MA, 01770 Phone: 508-785-0339

Known as the "Gates of the Charles," Rocky Narrows’ canoe landing connects to a two-mile loop trail that follows the river's edge to the Rocky Narrows Overlook. The overlook rewards visitors with views of steep, hemlock-clad rock cliffs that form a narrow river passage - the landmark that gives the reservation its name. Further south along the trail is King Philip's Overlook, named for the Wampanoag chief who warred against the early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
East Brimfield Lake / Holland Pond / Lake Siog / Quinebaug River Recreation Area

Route 20 and East Brimfield Holland Road East Brimfield, MA Phone:

This major recreation area consisting of a lake, the Quinebaug River, and several ponds includes a canoeing trail. See full description of East Brimfield Lake / Holland Pond / Quinebaug River Recreation Area.
Leominster State Forest

90 Fitchburg Road / Route 31 Leominster, MA Phone: 508-874-2303

Forested property with 2 ponds, swimming, fishing, paddling, skiing & snowmobiling. No camping

Leominster State Forest is a 4,300-acre forest with two ponds. Easy drive from Worcester and Boston. Kayakers, canoeists, paddlers and fishermen enjoy Paradise Pond. Also, Crow Hill Pond is stocked with trout. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, parking fees are charged in the paved parking lots.

See full description of Leominster State Forest.
Charles River Peninsula

Fisher Street Needham, MA, 02492 Phone: 781-821-2977

Scenic paddling along the Charles River will take you to this reservation, where the Charles River makes a nearly 180-degree twist in the valley, a wooded shoreline of birch, hemlock, and beech conceals an upland peninsula that rises gently to a 20-acre open field, which has been farmed for more than a century. A narrow footpath tracks the river along the Reservation's shoreline, while the field's highest point offers views of the Charles River.
October Mountain State Forest

Woodland Road Lee, MA Phone: 413-243-1778

Non-motorized canoeing and kayaking is done at this rustic mountainside park. Several boat ramps are available. See full description of October Mountain State Park
Dunn State Park

289 Pearl Street Gardner, MA Phone: 508-632-7897

Water sports on pond; walking trails; Nordic skiing and ice skating. Fully wheelchair accessible

This park revolves around a pond, where swimming, fishing and paddling is done. You must bring your own canoe or kayak; they are not available for rent here.
See full description of Dunn State Park.
Lowell Heritage State Park

160 Pawtucket Blvd Lowell, MA Phone: 978-458-8750

Park describes the history of this industrial city; also boating, fishing, and walking along esplanade

Boating on the Merrimack River is permitted at this park, which displays the industrial history of the city of Lowell. Boating access to the river is at the Rourke Brothers State Boat Ramp on Route 113. It has 44 trailer lots and 20 car-top lots. The entrance to the ramp is across from 1011 Pawtucket Blvd. and one-half mile west of the Rourke Bridge.
Chester-Blandford State Forest

Route 20 Chester, MA Phone: 413-354-6347

Good for walking & hiking, horseback riding, hunting (restrictions), mountain biking, fishing

Canoe or kayak down Sanderson Brook, Griffith Brook, or the Westfield River.
See Chester-Blandford State Forest for full description of this park.
Savoy Mountain State Forest

260 Central Shaft Road Florida, MA Phone: 413-663-8469

Handicap-accessible hiking and camping; water sports, picnicking, hiking, camping, paddling, pets allowed

Launch non-motorized boats only from North Pond's public ramp. Day use fees apply. See Savoy Mountain State Forest for full description of park.
Harold Parker State Forest

305 Middleton Road North Andover, MA, 01845 Phone: 508-686-3391

In-the-forest camping; miles of logging roads for hiking and mountain biking; fishing and paddling (no motor boats)

The eleven ponds on the large, forested property are open to non-motorized boating, including canoeing and kayaking. No boat rentals.
See full description of Harold Parker State Forest.
Bridge Island Meadows

South End Pond Millis, MA, 02054 Phone: 781-821-2977

Accessible only by boat, Bridge Island Meadows is surrounded by wetlands and thus a private favorite of intrepid paddlers. Kayakers can paddle on the Charles River, turning west into a stream that leads to South End Pond. Bolder paddlers can creep along Bogastow Brook to South End Pond. Landing is a challenge, as grasses grow tall and thick. A successful journey is rewarded by bushwhacking to a 130-foot tree-covered knoll at the south end of the reservation offering glimpses of the surrounding floodplain.
Mary O'Malley Park

Commandants Way Chelsea, MA Phone: 617-727-5380

Part of the Mystic River Reservation, a string of parks along the Mystic River, Mary O’Malley Park has a boat landing, granite pier, and a shelter. Nice views of the Tobin Bridge over the Mystic River. Park also has tennis courts and an open lawn. Hours: Open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Bradley Palmer State Park

Asbury Street and Ipswich Road Topsfield, MA Phone: 508-887-5931

Great for walking, picnicking, enjoying spring flowers; horseback riding. Wading pool for kids

Ipswich River runs east-west along the northern border of this park, formerly an estate. A kayak and canoe rental business is located just east of the park, on Ipswich Road.
See full description of Bradley Palmer State Park.
Tolland State Forest

410 Tolland Road East Otis, MA Phone: 413-269-6002

Good for many recreational activities including boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, and picnics.

There is a public motorized boat launch ramp along Otis Reservoir. Be aware of swimmers and fishing in season. See Tolland State Forest for full description of park.
Mohawk Trail State Forest

175 Mohawk Trail / Route 2 Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 413-339-5504

Good for year-round camping, viewing nature & wildlife, and trout fishing.

Canoe along 18 miles of rivers in this scenic hidden gem. See Mohawk Trail State Forest for full description of park.
Nickerson State Park

Route 6A Brewster, MA, 02631 Phone: 508-896-3491

Inland park offers lots of camping; fresh water swimming, fishing and paddling; hiking and biking

This park is in the pine woods of inland Cape Cod. Canoeing and kayaking are done at eight fresh-water kettle ponds, which are glacial formations, fed by rain and underground streams. The park is not located on the shore, but it is an easy walk or bike rides from Nickerson to Cape Cod Bay. See Nickerson State Park listing for full description of the park.
Robinson State Park

462 North Street Feeding Hills, MA Phone: 413-786-2877

Good for paddling, picnics, swimming, fishing, and views

Follow the paved path alongside Westfield River to reach the boat launch area for canoes and kayaks. See Robinson State Park for full description of this park.
Lake Mattawa

Lake Mattawa Road Orange, MA Phone: 978-544-2254

Two boat ramps serve this clear mountain lake. Motor boats are limited to 10 hp or less. See full description of Lake Mattawa.
Ashland State Park

162 West Union Street Ashland, MA, 01721 Phone: 508 881-4092

Ashland State Park is located on the large Ashland Reservoir. Paddling in canoes and kayaks is allowed. The park has a boat ramp. There is wheelchair access to the beach, bathhouse, picnic and hiking trails.


<B>Daily parking fee:  </b>$8 for Massachusetts vehicle; $10 for out-of-state vehicle.