Adventures in Recreation and Exploration Await in the Greater Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts! Click here to Learn More.

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
Family Kayaking - Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club - Brewster, MA
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

2907 Main Street (Route 6A) Brewster, MA, 02631 Phone: 508-896-9000 Toll-Free: 800-343-6074

Paddle across a pristine pond or glide through the calm waters of Cape Cod Bay

Perfect paddling spots are yours for the taking at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board and glide along the quiet water at Blueberry Pond, or head for the resort’s private Bay Pines Beach to paddle in Cape Cod Bay. You can also purchase a beach pass from the town of Brewster, MA, providing access to six beaches and two freshwater ponds. The surf is gentle, the sand soft and the views from the Lower Cape waters are spectacular. After paddling, enjoy a dip in one of the resort’s five sparkling pools or a relaxing massage or facial at The Beach House spa. End your day with dinner and a cocktail on the Ocean Terrace or Beach Bah.
River Kayaking - Adventure East - Sunderland, MA
Adventure East

11 Bridge Street Sunderland, MA, 01375 Phone: 413-800-5345

River kayaking, canoeing tours provide breathtaking scenery, excitement and relaxation

There is nothing quite like a paddle down a river to satisfy both your desire for adventure and relaxation at the same time! At Adventure East, the outdoor center in the picturesque Connecticut River Valley, they offer a variety of padding excursions for all levels of ability. The low-key Barton Cove Sunset Paddle features stunning views along stretches of the quiet river. There’s also a Full Moon Paddle on the Connecticut River. And there’s the three-day kayak camping tour, where you’ll explore French King Gorge among other sights, staying overnight at the Barton Cove Campground. You can also rent a kayak or canoe at the outdoor center and paddle to Lake Warner or on a river stretch from Turners Falls to Sunderland, MA where you might see bald eagles.
Lake Swimming Area - Douglas State Forest - Douglas, MA - Photo Credit Jezabell Tang
Douglas State Forest

107 Wallum Lake Road Douglas, MA, 01516 Phone: 508-476-7872

Paddling, motor boating, and other water sports are done at this state park. A boat ramp and parking is available for boat trailers. - Trail Map (PDF)
Hampton Ponds State Park - Westfield, MA - Photo Credit MA State Parks
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.
Lake Paddling - Savoy Mountain State Forest - Florida, MA - Photo Credit Shawn Fortini
Savoy Mountain State Forest

260 Central Shaft Road Florida, MA, 01247 Phone: 413-663-8469

Launch non-motorized boats only from North Pond's public ramp. Day use fees apply.
Cochituate State Park - Natick, MA
Cochituate State Park

43 Commonwealth Road Natick, MA, 01760 Phone: 508-653-9641

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.
Hours (Summer): 8am - 8pm, bathrooms locked at 7pm.
Parking Fees (May-October): $8 for MA Residents; $30 for Out-of-State Resident
Reservoir - Ashland State Park - Ashland, MA
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.
Parking: Available mid-May to Labor Day, $8 daily for MA vehicles and $30 daily for out-of-state vehicles. - Trail Map (PDF).
Kayaking - DAR State Forest - Goshen, MA - Photo Credit Ana West Reyes
D.A.R. State Forest

78 Cape Street - MA Route 112 Goshen, MA, 01032 Phone: 413-268-7098

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.
Foliage Lake View - Dunn State Park - Gardner, MA
Dunn State Park

289 Pearl Street Gardner, MA, 01440 Phone: 508-632-7897

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.
Boat Launch - Quinebaug River Canoe Trail - East Brimfield, MA
East Brimfield Lake / Holland Pond / Lake Siog / Quinebaug River Recreation Area

Route 20 and East Brimfield Holland Road East Brimfield, MA, 01010 Phone:

This major recreation area consisting of a lake, the Quinebaug River, and several ponds includes a canoeing trail.
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.
Reservoir - Tolland State Forest - East Otis, MA - Photo Credit Anne Iverson
Tolland State Forest

410 Tolland Road East Otis, MA, 01029 Phone: 413-269-6002

There is a public motorized boat launch ramp along Otis Reservoir. Be aware of swimmers and fishing in season.
Paddling - Nickerson State Park - Brewster, MA
Nickerson State Park

3488 Main Street - 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. - Trail Map (PDF)
Lake View - Harold Parker State Forest - Andover, MA - Photo Credit Sean Murphy
Harold Parker State Forest

133 Jenkins Road Andover, MA, 01810 Phone: 508-686-3391

The eleven ponds on the large, forested property are open to non-motorized boating, including canoeing and kayaking. No boat rentals.
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.
Lake View - Middlesex Fells Reservation - Stoneham, MA - Photo Credit MA State Parks
Middlesex Fells Reservation

4 Woodland Road Stoneham, MA, 02180 Phone: 617-727-1199

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. - Trail Map (PDF)
Charles River Peninsula - Needham, MA - Photo Credit Brian Robinson
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.
Connecticut River Greenway State Park - Northampton, MA - Photo Credit Carrie Beauvais
Connecticut River Greenway State Park

136 Damon Road Northampton, MA, 01060 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.
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.
Forest in Mohawk Trail State Forest - Charlemont, MA
Mohawk Trail State Forest

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

Canoe along 18 miles of rivers in this scenic hidden gem. - Trail Map (PDF)
Westfield River - Robinson State Park - Feeding Hills, MA - Photo Credit Kurt Langheld
Robinson State Park

428 North Street Feeding Hills, MA, 01030 Phone: 413-786-2877

Follow the paved path alongside Westfield River to reach the boat launch area for canoes and kayaks. - Trail Map (PDF)
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.
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.
Rocky Narrows - Sherborn, MA - Photo Credit Ian Hersmdolf-Placido
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.
Foliage View - Bradley Palmer State Park - Topsfield, MA
Bradley Palmer State Park

40 Asbury Street Topsfield, MA, 01983 Phone: 508-887-5931

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.
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.
Paddling at October Mountain State Forest - Lee, MA - Photo Credit MA State Parks
October Mountain State Forest

317 Woodland Road Lee, MA, 01238 Phone: 413-243-1778

Non-motorized canoeing and kayaking is done at this rustic mountainside park. Several boat ramps are available.
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.
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.
C.M. Gardner State Park - Huntington, MA - Photo Credit MA State Parks
C.M. Gardner State Park

Route 112 Huntington, MA, 01050 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.
Leominster State Forest - Leominster, MA - Photo Credit MA State Parks
Leominster State Forest

90 Fitchburg Road - Route 31 Leominster, MA, 01420 Phone: 508-874-2303

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.
Lowell Heritage State Park - Lowell, MA
Lowell Heritage State Park

160 Pawtucket Boulevard Lowell, MA, 01854 Phone: 978-458-8750

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.