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Herring River in Massachusetts

Trip Overview

The Herring River runs through the 200+ acres of Harwich Conservation Lands. Putting in from the stone steps next to the Herring Ladder 4 hours after Boston high tide, we spotted the osprey couple almost immediately. It was approximately 8:30 am. A pair of swans greeted us further along near the Bells Neck Bridge. From the Herring Ladder to the Route 28 bridge, where no boat traffic is allowed, our trip through the marsh was peaceful. Blue herons fed, a kingfisher followed our progress. From the Sound, fog rolled up and over us. Below Route 28, where the river widens, curves, and flows out to the Nantucket Sound, boats were moored and boats were easing down river. Past Wixon Dock, our crossing to Pleasant Road beach was quick. We spent the day there, then followed the river back up to the Herring Ladder by 5:30 pm. Both afternoon wind and tide assisted us with the easy return trip. A last paddle on the Reservoir gave us the chance to see an astounding 23 snowy egrets, each standing alone on one of the submerged stumps, as if waiting for the convention to begin. What a great day!


This is a day trip. There are public restrooms and lifeguards at Pleasant Road Beach from July 4 until Labor Day.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip