Cape Cod National Seashore | RANGER-LED CANOE TRIP ON SALT POND

Canoeing on Salt Pond at Cape Cod National Seashore

Canoeing on Salt Pond at Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore Rangers lead canoe trips on Salt Pond, which is located at the back of the Salt Pond Visitor Center. Trips are held from June through September and depart on various days of the week. There is no fee but reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (508) 255-3421 no earlier than one week in advance to book your spot. Exact schedules come out in May and are posted on the National Park Service’s Calendar web page for Cape Cod National Seashore (search “Salt Pond” in the By Keyword filter). Schedules are also published in a free newspaper that is available at the Salt Pond and Province Lands visitor centers.

Since the trip remains on the calm waters of Salt Pond and the channel that connects it to Salt Pond Bay, no canoeing experience is required, and children 6 and older are able to attend. Rangers lead other paddling trips, but these can be on the open waters of the bay, thus requiring some experience. You will have to wade into the water, so be sure to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.

Paddling on the channel to Salt Pond Bay at Cape Cod National Seashore

Paddling on the channel to Salt Pond Bay at Cape Cod National Seashore

The 2.5 hour trip departs from a launch area located behind the Visitor Center next to the amphitheater. Canoes and equipment are provided, though adults may have to help carry boats and paddles.

A Cape Cod National Seashore Ranger prepares for launching a canoe on Salt Pond

A Cape Cod National Seashore Ranger prepares for launching a canoe on Salt Pond

The Salt Pond Paddle is a great trip for families. It focuses on marine biology, so you learn while you paddle. A stop is made in the channel, and participants can wade into the water with fishing nets to catch critters. The Ranger will then discuss the animals that are caught.

Salt Pond Canoe trip participants attempt to catch sea creatures in the channel, Cape Cod National Seashore

Salt Pond Canoe trip participants attempt to catch sea creatures in the channel, Cape Cod National Seashore

I did the canoe trip in July and ran into a few biting flies when on the shore. Also keep in mind that the trip is out in the open, so apply sunscreen and wear a hat if avoiding the sun is important to you. The Rangers did have mosquito repellent and sunscreen for those who didn’t bring any, but I don’t know if that’s a regular thing or just my lucky day. Be on the safe side and bring your own.

View of the channel to Salt Pond Bay at Cape Cod National Seashore

View of the channel to Salt Pond Bay at Cape Cod National Seashore

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Last updated on March 4, 2024
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