your paddlesports destination

Plymouth Harbor in Massachusetts

Trip Overview

My wife and I launched at Nelson Field along the Plymouth water front. We traveled straight to the point of Plymouth Long Beach. This was only our second time in the ocean so we learned a lot.

The total trip to the beach point is about 1.5 miles - so about 3 miles round trip. The first half mile out was pretty easy. Only slight chop and boat wakes no larger than 1 foot. Even a little 1 foot wake looks high sitting so low in the kayak, but they are really easy to paddle over providing you have a good bow. I also recommend a skirt in case you get hit with a bigger wake.

Once through the boat travel way we went around the point to the east side of the end of the beach. There were now waves to deal with but still very small, no larger than 1 foot or so. We pulled the boats up onto the shore and ate lunch we had brought. No facilities this far out on the beach. As we were looking out onto the path we traveled we saw a Captain Johns boats coming through the boat travel way. This boat was rather large and left a 2 plus foot wake that came all the way to the beach. We were glad we didn't encounter this type of wake on our first time across the harbor, lol.

Noticing the tide dropping we got back in and headed back. It was a much rougher ride due to all the boat traffic heading back to shore also. We had a couple wakes crash over the bows which was a lot of fun. Also got caught sideways in some wakes. This made us a bit nervous but the boats easily handled the 1-2ft wakes. I was fearing the secondary stability might not be too great in these boats due to their excellent primary stability, but they did very well when things got a bit scary.

One important fact to note is that about halfway across from the beach point to Nelson Field there was a very shallow sandy section where my boat scraped bottom. So I mean very shallow, lol. With still 3/4 of a mile to shore we feared dragging our boats through 3 inches of water back. But luckily it got deeper within 10-15 minutes of paddling in sand, and we had a good 3-4 ft of water which brought us within a couple hundred feet of our truck. This was at about half tide or a little later. Lesson learned was pay even closer attention to the tides crossing to the beach.

Another spot to launch is the boat ramp behind East Bay Grille along the waterfront. I bet there would be much less of a problem with the tides since it appears to be channeled out. But you will have to wait your turn and I believe pay a small fee because all the power boats use this ramp. I chose to avoid that.

Beginner to intermediate trip. Best to wear skirts and have a boat with a decent bow. Also 13'+ boat length recommended since it is the ocean, although protected.


Bathrooms near launch. None at landing.


None required.


From Rt.3 get off exit 6 towards the water (East). Take Rt.44 all the way to the end and take a left around the rotary onto Water Street (along water front). At the end of Water Street take a right into Nelson Field (recreation area with big soccer field and seawall). Launch on the far end of the parking lot.


I always carry my GPS Garmin 60CSX with topo maps. It lays tracks of our travel in real time so we can follow the tracks back and load them into the computer later.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Open Water/Ocean
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip