Best Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing in Massachusetts

This list represents the most popular flatwater kayaking & canoeing in Massachusetts. Use this list to plan your next Massachusetts flatwater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Connecticut River: Riverview Picnic Area to Barton Cove


The trip between Riverview Picnic Area and Barton Cove is an especially nice paddle, in part because the river changes moods, from wide and lazy to deep and narrow. Along the way you will pass between…
From the guidebook "Water Trails of Western Massachusetts"
Northfield, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 5.3 miles Best Trail in ma - Click to view allBestFlatwater Kayaking & Canoeing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#2. Concord River and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge


Paddling this section of the historic Concord River, although not a wilderness experience, transports us back to the time of Emerson and Thoreau. This slow-flowing river can be paddled in both directi…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Bedford, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#3. Tully Lake and East Branch Tully River


If you paddle the East Branch of the Tully River in the evening, you are guaranteed to see beaver in this wonderful marshland. Tully Lake, with its numerous islands, offers hours of exploration amid…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Athol, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#4. East Brimfield Lake, Quinebaug River, Holland Pond, and Long Pond


Quinebaug River Water Trail represents one of the finest quietwater resources in Massachusetts. With virtually no current, it wends its way for more than 4 miles through a wildlife-filled swampland. L…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Brimfield, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#5. Sudbury River


The Sudbury flows lazily through Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, making it easy to paddle both directions. Revel in the abundant birdlife. Interesting aquatic plants abound, as well.…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Concord, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#6. Connecticut River: Pauchaug Boat Ramp to Riverview Picnic Area


If you like mysteries and stories of ghosts and phantom ships, this is the trip for you. But, of course, there is more to look forward to than spectral delights. The journey from Pauchaug Meadow to Ri…
From the guidebook "Water Trails of Western Massachusetts"
Northfield, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 8.5 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#7. Nashua River and Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge


This protected section of river is a wonderful paddling resource, filled with ducks and other birdlife. Look for deer, muskrats, and painted and snapping turtles under the branches of silver maple th…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Harvard, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 9.5 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#8. Nashua River and Pepperell Pond


We include two sections of the Nashua River, with this, the northern one, backed up behind a dam in Pepperell. The numerous channels and coves provide hours of paddling and habitat for numerous wildli…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Groton, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 5 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#9. Stockbridge Bowl (Lake Mahkeenac)


Henry David Thoreau knew the value of a pond. While he lived at Walden Pond, Thoreau found many ways of enjoying the lake’s various charms. During warm evenings, after darkness claimed the sky and fir…
From the guidebook "Water Trails of Western Massachusetts"
Stockbridge, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4.3 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#10. Whitehall Reservoir


Whitehall Reservoir harbors several islands and protected bays, making it seem larger than it is. It takes half a day or more to explore all the various passageways surrounded by gorgeous forests. Isl…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Hopkinton, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#11. Quaboag Pond, Quaboag River, and East Brookfield River


The rivers, connected by Quaboag Pond, are extraordinary paddling resources, passing through largely undisturbed habitat. Look for deer, beaver, muskrat, painted and stinkpot turtles, osprey, wood d…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Brookfield, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#12. Charles River


The upper Charles River carves a narrow, undulating path through generally wooded shores, proffering up solitude and beauty. You should see muskrats and myriad bird species. If you’re quiet, you may…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Dover, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 13.4 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#13. Nauset Marsh and Salt Pond Bay


Nauset Marsh provides hours of paddling through hundreds and of salt marsh acres. Shorebirds and other birds occur in profusion. Not many people paddle here, and it can be a bit tricky. Low tide can…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Eastham, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#14. Goose Pond and Upper Goose Pond


Time machines are things of fiction, but when you paddle Goose Pond and Upper Goose Pond it is easy to believe that these magic contraptions actually exist. Goose Pond is a handsome lake tastefully de…
From the guidebook "Water Trails of Western Massachusetts"
Lee, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 5.2 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#15. Pottapaug Pond and Quabbin Reservoir, North End


Nestled among the hillsides of central Massachusetts,Pottapoag Pond presents a rare opportunity to paddle in stunning, pristine surroundings. Here and on the North End, hand-paddled craft have their o…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Hardwick, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#16. Ipswich River and Wenham Swamp


The Wenham Swamp offers one of a few opportunities in Massachusetts for an on-site canoe and kayak camping trip. This pristine swamp is a favorite of bird-watchers.…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Hamilton, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#17. Ashland Reservoir


Ashland Reservoir offers a few hours of pleasant paddling along wooded shorelines over deep, clear water. The scenic shoreline harbors many tree species, with white pine and red oak in plentiful suppl…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Ashland, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#18. Bog Pond and Burnett Pond


These small mountain ponds are a great place to paddle when the surrounding valley floors suffer from summer heat. They lie within the Savoy Mountain State Forest, the best place to look for moose in…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Savoy, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#19. Housatonic River: New Lenox Road to Woods Pond


All of the Housatonic River trips take you through areas rich in wildlife and scenery. This section is especially beautiful and is the stretch of river selected by the Massachusetts Audubon’s Pleasant…
From the guidebook "Water Trails of Western Massachusetts"
Lenox , MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4.3 miles
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books

#20. Assabet River


This slow-flowing section of the Assabet River flows through an extensive marshland with inlets, islands, and multiple channels to explore. Look for typical wetland species, especially great blue hero…
From the guidebook "Quiet Water Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island: AMC's Canoe and Kayak Guide, 3rd Edition"
Maynard, MA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Published by Appalachian Mountain Club Books