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  Paddling off Magnolia
Paddling off Magnolia

What to Bring

PFD   Gloves
Hat   Watch
Binoculars   Water
Whistle   Sunscreen
Flashlight   Snacks
Sunglasses   First aid kit
Compass   Knife
Boots or old
  Plastic bag for
Extra dry clothes
and shoes to
leave in the car
  Waterproof pouch or plastic bag for
Clothing suitable
for the conditions


From Boston, take I-95 north, or Route 1
north, then I-95 north at exit 44
Take Route 128 north at exit 45
Take exit 15 to Manchester-by-the-Sea
In Manchester, turn left on Route 127 north (don't miss it at a left turn in front of the train station)
Turn right on Raymond St when you arrive in Magnolia
To rent your kayak from Charles River
Canoe and kayak (2401 Commonwealth
Avenue, Newton MA 02466):
From Boston, take I-95/route 128
Take exit 24 and follow sign for route 30
east on right at end of ramp
This is the first building on the left
  Good to know in advance
Charles River Canoe & Kayak in Newton
rents plastic or composite sea kayaks, plus sit-on-top kayaks: $65 per kayak per day
with PFD and gear to strap kayaks on your roof. Open daily April 1 - November 13:
weekdays 10 am - sunset, weekends &
holidays 9 am - sunset. See directions

Get instruction first if you have never

Kayaking is a dangerous sport. Always
check the weather before going out
paddling, and allow ample time before
sunset to come back.
Remember that paddling against the wind is strenuous – plan your trip accordingly
Always bring back your trash and minimize your impact whenever you go ashore
Avoid getting ashore on private beaches

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 3/5
  Time from Boston: 1 hour
  Duration: Full day

$65 / rental kayak

  Main activity:


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The quaint harbor of Magnolia is one of the most picturesque places to launch a kayak on the entire North Shore. With its beach and its nice coastal road, it is also a great place to bring friends of family even if they do not go on the water with you.

Park your car on the main parking lot right over the harbor, and carry your gear on the beach via the small ramp. You will then need to park your car elsewhere on the street. Tip: A good spot is on the small ocean drive that hugs the shoreline past the ramp, in front of a small pier that juts into the harbor – arrive early, as there are only two places…

Start your excursion by paddling straight out of the harbor towards Kettle Island. You can easily go ashore and explore the place, or find a corner for you and have a snack. From there, you can paddle southwest to the small island visible in the distance, but you will not be able to go ashore, as steep rocky ledges prevent disembarking. From there, paddle north directly to the shore. White Beach is a nice place to stop and get some rest before your trip back to Magnolia. White Beach is nested in a quaint cove, with often crystal clear water. Beach parking is restricted to local residents, and even in summer the beach is sparsely used.

From there, you can continue on back to Magnolia by visiting the next cove, Kettle Cove, where boats take anchor in the summer. As its name implies, Black Beach is not terribly attractive there, but the rocky coastline is worth the extra distance. You can also have a glimpse of the Ocean Lawn, part of the Coolidge Reservation (the seawall prevents you from accessing the Lawn from the sea). The Ocean Lawn is a great place to relax - see our related destination, The Ocean Lawn at Coolidge Reservation.

This trip is for intermediate paddlers used to the open sea and able to paddle at least two hours. If you have no or limited experience paddled, we suggest the following destinations to build your experience first:
Kayaking at Hingham
Taking instruction
Paddling Biking Mountaineering