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Where to Kayak in Andover, Massachusetts

Harold Park MA

Andover, Massachusetts is a town in Essex County, 20 miles north of Boston. It is divided from Lawrence by the Merrimack River and is home to several of its tributaries and one of Massachusetts’s Great Ponds. With a rich history and a an even richer natural landscape, you can easily see why it’s a great place for kayaking.   

Andover, MA Kayaking Destinations

From rivers and ponds to the ocean shore, there are many excellent places to kayak and canoe near Andover, MA in the beautiful Essex County.

Shawsheen River

Andover, MA

The 27-mile tributary to the Merrimack River runs northward through Bedford, Billerica, Wilmington, Tewksbury, Andover, and Lawrence, before joining the Merrimack. The Shawsheen is the most popular river for kayaking in Andover, offering several wonderful locations for enjoyable recreational paddling. You’ll enjoy a wilderness like experience with plenty of opportunities for spotting wildlife. Great sections for a paddle on the Shawsheen River in Andover include Dale St – Central St / Abbot Bridge Drive and the Shawsheen Pines.

Merrimak River

Franklin, NH to Newburyport, MA

The Merrimak River is one of the region’s largest and most important watersheds, flowing from Franklin, New Hampshire to the ocean at Newburyport, Massachusetts. This stunning river offers many excellent options for kayaking and even has an annual paddle challenge. The dramatic floodplain of the Merrimack River Outdoor Education and Conservation Area offers oxbows, back channels, and high terraces. This area is a dynamic collection of overlapping natural communities including a native silver maple forest and a wooded swamp that offers a natural sanctuary for birds and other wildlife.

Plum Island


Just 45 minutes from Andover, where the Merrimak River enters the Atlantic Ocean is Plum Island. This 6-mile barrier island offers two very different kayaking experiences, depending on which side you paddle. A full circumnavigation is approximately 19 miles. You’ll find a quiet paddle along the protected inland marsh side with an abundance of wildlife. Ocean-side, you’ll experience a thrilling adventure with rough waves and steep drop-offs.

Harold Parker State Forest

North Andover

Harold Parker State Forest lies in Andover, North Andover, North Reading and Middleton. It is a 3,000-acre forest filled with Central Hardwood-Hemlock-White Pines. The forest has 35 miles of trails, 11 ponds for kayaking and canoeing (no motorized boats allowed) and dozens of campsites. It’s the perfect place for anyone who’s looking to get lost among the trees on a quiet secluded paddle.

Lake Cochichewick

North Andover

At 560 acres, Lake Cochichewick is the largest lake in Essex County. It is also one of the oldest Great Ponds of Massachusetts. The lake serves as the drinking water for North Andover, so swimming is not allowed, but it offers peaceful oasis for township residents to kayak and canoe.  The shoreline is heavily forested with about 40 percent of it conservation land.

Essex Country Kayak Storage

With so many rivers, lakes and salt marshes dotting Essex County, you’ll want to make sure your kayak is ready for adventure. Our exquisitely crafted kayak, canoe and SUP racks are the perfect solution to your kayak storage needs. Made from durable, naturally weather-resistant 100% norther cedar logs, they’ll keep your shoreline looking great and your kayaks protected and ready for your next Andover, Massachusetts paddle. Shop our kayak racks online now and enjoy free shipping anywhere in Massachusetts or contact us online for a custom kayak storage solution to meet your specific needs.