Monomoy Islands

Chatham, Massachusetts

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is the only federally designated Wilderness Area in southern New England. Paddling Monomoy brings kayakers in touch with a uniquely beautiful and ecologically invaluable place. The trip is one of the best in the state for unspoiled vistas, wildlife, birds, and challenging waters. The expansive beauty of Monomoy’s sandy islands, bathed in Chatham’s diffuse light, is inspiring in a region characterized more by runaway development than by natural phenomena. The islands are home to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of seals which provide unforgettable viewing by kayak. Bird-watchers can delight in the 285 species of birds that frequent the islands. The clear waters of Nantucket Sound reveal treasures and its fresh breezes breathe life into the body and psyche of all road-weary paddlers. The richness of this trip’s challenges and the unfathomable depth of its beauty always make it worth the drive, again and again. Attractions: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, harbor and gray seals, shorebirds, unspoiled barrier islands, sandy beaches, lighthouse, swimming areas.
Sea Kayaking Coastal Massachusetts

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Sea Kayaking Coastal Massachusetts

by Lisa Gollin Evans (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is the only federally designated Wilderness Area in southern New England. Paddling Monomoy brings kayakers in touch with a uniquely beautiful and ecologically invaluable place. The trip is one of the best in the state for unspoiled vistas, wildlife, birds, and challenging waters. The expansive beauty of Monomoy’s sandy islands, bathed in Chatham’s diffuse light, is inspiring in a region characterized more by runaway development than by natural phenomena. The islands are home to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of seals which provide unforgettable viewing by kayak.

Bird-watchers can delight in the 285 species of birds that frequent the islands. The clear waters of Nantucket Sound reveal treasures and its fresh breezes breathe life into the body and psyche of all road-weary paddlers. The richness of this trip’s challenges and the unfathomable depth of its beauty always make it worth the drive, again and again. Attractions: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, harbor and gray seals, shorebirds, unspoiled barrier islands, sandy beaches, lighthouse, swimming areas.

©  Lisa Gollin Evans/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Chatham
Distance: 15
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Day trip
Season: Best spring thru fall, weather depending
Local Contacts: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
Local Maps: NOAA 13248, 13246, 13229, 13237, 13248
Driving Directions: Directions to Monomoy Islands

Recent Trail Reviews

5/25/2008
0

A great trip. We saw a couple of seals. Remember this area is extremely affected by the tide. Local fisherman say the islands change with every tide. If you find yourself on the backside of the island at low tide you may end up pulling your kayak.


11/26/2007
0

At last! a properly marked and maintained trail on Cape Cod! Of course the trail and section are newly opened and sponsored by the Wequasset Inn, but at least there were nice, new, clear signs showing the way through the bulk of the 42 acre property via the main trail, and the spur leading to two new observation benches overlooking a steep declivity to the estuary variously known as 'Monomoy River' or (less euphonically) 'Muddy Creek'. This short river is surprisingly wide, a good place to kayak, and brilliantly blue on ths chilly morning I visited it. The trail leads through sparse but attractive second-growth woodland, a short stretch of power-line easement, and is essentially level and easy. It has been nicely demarcated by small tree trunks alongside. The whole hike takes under an hour and is pleasant, though not especially challenging. Congratulations, Harwich. By the way, the introduction talks about Monomoy Island, which is nowhere near Monomoy River. The River is reached by taking the Bay Rd. exit just east of the intersection of Rtes. 39 and 137 in East Harwich, crossing Church St., and looking for the small, signed parking area on the right a few hundred yards beyond. The River opens into Pleasant Bay, a large estuary on the eastern shore of the Cape.



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Apr 2018