World Class Kayaking from our Backyard

The Minot Beach area of Scituate, Massachusetts has some of the most enjoyable kayaking and standup paddle board options on the South Shore.  Whether you are a guest staying at the Salt Marshes at Treasure island or a Scituate resident launching from the Minot Beach kayak launch, you can enjoy a variety of paddling environments; flat-water paddling in the labyrinth of surrounding salt-marsh estuaries and harbors (Briggs, Cohasset, Little), whitewater paddling (tide dependent) at the entrances to the Gulf River & Little Harbor as well as unlimited ocean kayaking opportunities in Cohasset Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Much of the kayaking and standup paddle boarding is suitable for beginners with challenging options for more experienced kayakers. The red arrows in the chart clip below represent some of my favorite routes, ranging in duration from 30 minutes to several hours.

**It is important to note the tide (Apps like are very useful). Whichever tide website you use, look up Cohasset – WhiteHead.  Due to the 8 ft to 9 ft tide swing you have about a four-hour window (two hours either side of “high” tide) to easily access the estuary. Outside of that window it’s possible to end up with little or no water from Bassing Beach to the Minot kayak launch. In this section of the coast, the time between high tides is a little over 12 hours. This cycle shifts forward about 30 minutes a cycle so if high tide one morning is 9am, the following morning high tide will be at approximately 10am. For longer paddles you will have to keep an eye on your time so you don’t end up having to hike across the marsh from Bassing Beach.

From the photo above (looking southeast) you can see the Salt Marshes at Treasure Island, the short inlet of the estuary we usually launch from, Bassing Beach, and Minot Beach kayak launch (upper left of photo

Follow along as I take you along some of my favorite paddles and enjoy the incredible scenery of North Scituate and Cohasset.

For beginning kayakers, the section of waterway between the Salt Marshes at Treasure Island inlet and the Minot public kayak launch to the right, is the most protected and easiest route to try. 

Turning left out of the Salt Marshes inlet, Bassing Beach is another easy paddle.  Pull up your kayaks, keep away from the Piping Plover nesting areas and you can walk all the way to Cohasset Harbor, beach combing as you go.

View of the Adam’s Estate & Minot’s Light from Bassing Beach Cohasset jetty

View of Cohasset Harbor from Bassing Beach

There are numerous scenic routes through the salt marsh estuaries.  On these paddles, it’s not uncommon to see flocks of American egrets, Great Blue & White herons, cormorants, as well as many other species.  Deer and the occasional coyote can also be seen grazing or hunting in the marshes, particularly around Horse island.

Paddling north out of the inlet, leave Bassing Beach behind and paddle out towards the open water.  There are some large rocks on the east side, and if you like, there is a flat area towards the top of the rock, shaded by vegetation, making it a nice picnic spot (I call this picnic rock).  If you have kids along, the rocks and secluded beach are a blast to climb & skip rocks.  North of “picnic rock” at the tip of Scituate Neck is the Glades Club, aka the Adam’s Estate.  The Adam’s Estate is privately owned, please respect their privacy.

If the tides work out, lunch at the “Olde Salt House” in Cohasset Harbor, with its lovely outdoor (and indoor) seating areas is a lot of fun and the food and drinks are delicious!   You can pull your kayak or paddle board out at the floating docks adjacent to the restaurant.  I usually carry my kayak and either leave it in the grass at the small park, or just outside the restaurant. 

For more experienced paddlers, ocean paddles to Cohasset Little Harbor, Minot Light or around the Adam’s Estate are a great workout with breathtaking scenery.  Closer to the Salt Marshes at Treasure Island, but more technically challenging, is a paddle into the Gulf River.  The entrance to the Gulf River can be fairly demanding.  It’s best if you time your entrance for about an hour after high tide at WhiteHead.  You’ll then have about an hour on the Gulf River before needing to return to the harbor.  This allows you to avoid the whitewater conditions and numerous rocks that are exposed earlier or later in the tide cycle. 

Entrance to the Gulf River

Whether you are new to kayaking and SUP, or have experience, we hope you’ll enjoy the sheer beauty of the northern tip of Scituate and the amazing scenery.