Ipswich Bay: Circumnavigation of Castle Neck from Pavilion Beach Professional Review and Guide
"The marshes on this trip are beautiful, the surf created by sand shoals off Crane Beach is challenging, and the view of Castle Hill and Hog Island never wears. The route is about 9 miles, starting and ending at Pavilion Beach, which joins Little Neck to Great Neck, two summer communities in Ipswich. You put in at Plum Island Sound, and with no stops the trip takes about three hours for the average paddler.
It provides an interesting contrast of open water and quiet estuary. In lively surf off Crane Beach, you can pick and choose the waves’ steepness and intensity depending on how near you get to the sandbars. Then paddle through the quick current at the mouth of the Essex River, down the back side of Crane in protected water. On the final stretch through the Hay Canal, you’re eye level with waving green wands of marsh grass."