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Hiking on Cape Cod National Seashore

What to Bring

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


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 safe and easy-to-use sit-on-top kayaks: $60 per kayak per day with PFD and gear to strap kayaks on your roof. They do not have many of them, so call in advance to reserve for off-site rental at (617) 965-5110. Open daily April 1 - October 31: weekdays 10 am - sunset, weekends & holidays 9 am - sunset. See directions above.

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.

Get instruction first if you have never paddled.

Always bring back your trash and minimize your impact whenever you go ashore
Avoid getting ashore on private beaches
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Paddling off Magnolia

ID Card

Overall rating: Five-Star Rating Five-Star Rating Five-Star Rating Five-Star Rating Five-Star Rating
Difficulty: 3/5
  Time from Boston: 1 hour
  Duration: Full Day
  Cost: $60 / rental kayak
  Main activity:


  What do our ratings mean?
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



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