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Kayaking on Charles River

Kayaking Charles River Boston Skyline

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Zoe Mitchell

What started out as an adventurous shore excursion during a cruise, turned into a lifestyle hobby. I started Kayak Info Center to share my passion and knowledge about this exciting sport with others. I hope you enjoy the information on this website and that it helps you enjoy kayaking as much as I do.

When the temperatures and humidity are high, there is no better place to enjoy your summer than outdoor doing water activities. Renting a kayak or canoe for a leisurely paddle on Charles river, which begins in Hopkinton through several towns and cities until it ends in Boston, is one of the great and exciting things to do. Kayaking is a recreational sport that uses a kayak, which is a narrow, small boat propelled by double-bladed paddle for moving across water. Kayaking is different from canoeing by the paddler’s sitting position and its more recreational than competitive. Hop into a kayak and paddle your way along the Charles River to experience the unique adventure.

Where to Launch Kayak On Charles River

When going kayaking on Charles river, you can rent kayaks in several rental locations because Charles river runs alongside various neighborhoods. Paddle Boston previously known as Charles River Canoe & Kayak is one of the options that provide kayaks and canoes rentals in several locations. These include; Cambridge; Kendall Square, Boston (Brighton/Allston), Medford (Condon Shell), Newton; Historic Boathouse and Nahanton Park, Waltham (Moody Street Dam) and Somerville (Blessing of the Bay).

The rates vary depending on the place you are heading out from, but typically, the charges are on an hourly basis, $10 for kids and $16 for adults on kayaks. An ordinary canoe for about three adults goes for $22 per hour.

The Esplanade is a big park alongside Charles River, which also hosts Hatch Shell, where you can enjoy concerts throughout the summer. Why is this a good location? This is because it serves as a home to community boating, which is another location where you can hire stand up paddleboards and kayaks. From April to October, the cost of renting a kayak is $45 per day. If needed a quick kayaking tutorial is given, and then you are good to go.

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Where to Go

Once you get into a kayak, its up to you to decide where and how far to go. If you prefer Community Boating along the Esplanade, you will be paddling between the Longfellow Bridge and Mass Ave. This is where you can  view the city sights and Hatch Shell. You can also begin either in Kendall Square and paddle to Hancock and Prudential Buildings, Esplanade Museum of Science and North Point Park, or from Allston to city’s colleges and Magazine Beach.

If you take your kayak from Waltham’s Moody Street Dam, you can paddle six miles on open water to the Forest Grove Park, or Newton’s Auburndale Park, it has beach ball fields and picnic areas. Newton’s Nahanton Park will give you a unique experience on Charles River, with about twelve miles of flat water surrounded by parks that lead to Dedham Ave.

Safety on The River

It is essential to check at the safety regulations for every boat rental company before you head out for kayaking on Charles River. Apart from all the rental companies providing and requiring strict use of life jackets, every company has different requirements in regards to a minimum age of renting canoes or kayaks.

Community Boating indicates that children must be above nine years old, and forty inches tall when kayaking with a parent. Paddle Boston permits children, including infants and dogs, to ride in a kayaks.


Charles river will give you memorable and unforgettable water adventure. Whichever direction you take, the river provides an excellent vantage point to see Boston skyline, BU, Museum of Science, and Hatch Shell. You can take a snack and lunch breaks along the way, and you can observe  amazing fish and birds while you are out on the water.



Photo by Blake Kelly on Unsplash

Kayaking Charles River Boston Skyline

Kayaking on Charles River

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