Plan An Aquatic Adventure on Cape Cod Ponds
There's more to the Cape than the beach, discover Cape Cod's beautiful ponds
Whether you enjoy laying out in the sun, playing in the sand, or diving into the ocean waves, Cape Cod’s beaches have it all. But, did you know that Cape Cod has more options for aquatic adventures besides the ocean? Stray off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that are the Cape Cod ponds.
I spoke with Julie at Rideaway Adventures, which has been renting out paddleboards, kayaks, and bikes, along with offering guided tours, on the Cape since 2008. Rideaway Adventures has three locations. The first is Mashpee, where you can experience Popponesset Bay or take a trip down the Mashpee River. The second location is Sandwich Creek, where you can cruise along the tidal flats and marshes before heading into Cape Cod Bay. The third option is Sandwich Lawrence Pond, the ideal location for beginners, families, and large parties.
Rideaway Adventures offers tours for both kayak and paddleboards out of their Sandwich Creek and Lawrence Pond locations, which offers calm waters and scenic views of the wildlife.
These unforgettable tours include Cape Cod Explorer Tours, Lazy River Nature Tour (on The Popponesset River), Cape Cod Sunset Tour, Walk on Water Nature Tour, Full Moon Adventure Tour (including headlamps), and private lessons.
“Rideaway creates an unforgettable, educational, and conservation-focused memory for all of its tours. Tours range in size and nature and include an ACA certified guide to ensure the safest experience for both kayaking and paddle boarding,” says Julie. “Our guide’s goal is to provide instruction and information about the surrounding area, all while refreshing the soul.”
Cost for tours ranges between $55 - $70 for children and $70 - $85 for adults. If you’d prefer to skip the tour and venture out on your own, several rental options are available for a single hour up to a week or longer. For more information, visit the website at rideawaykayak.com or call 508-247-0827.
Lawrence Pond, home to Rideaway’s Sandwich Creek location, is a 138-acre Great Pond with an average depth of 25 feet. Located about 2 miles south of the junction of Route 6 and Chase road, there is a dirt ramp where you can launch your boat, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. Although small, you can still spot plenty of fish swimming around in the pond beneath your boat, plus there’s always an opportunity for birding.
“We love to watch the birds, especially the osprey, hunt for fish. The way that ospreys dive into the water is truly incredible. We’ve even had the opportunity to see them dive right in front of us - no fear!”
There is no formal parking lot at Lawrence Pond, so park along the road’s shoulder. For the most accurate details on parking, contact MassWildlife at 508-389-6300. And, after you’ve enjoyed a lovely day on the water, consider stopping by the Rideaway Adventures Canal Bike Shop location in Sandwich to experience one of the Cape’s best bike paths with amazing views, delicious restaurants, and unique attractions.
“For a more parking-friendly location, my suggestion is Nickerson State Park,” says Julie. “This state park has several glacial kettle ponds. Our favorite is Cliff Pond, to explore and can be found while hiking one of the many walkable trails.” Nature conservation is essential, and Rideaway Adventures has made it a part of its mission from day one.
"The Cape Cod environment is fragile and needs our attention, which is why we partnered with Save Poppy Bay to protect this amazing place we call home,” says Julie. “We aim to create conservational awareness for Cape Cod and create Ocean Guardians to protect this environment.”
Salty because you prefer to swim in saltwater over freshwater? No worries! The Cape also has some saltwater options for those still looking to enjoy the ocean without necessarily hitting the usual coastal beach locations. Ryan Burch at Supfari Adventures recommends his favorite places on the Cape, including Arey’s Pond, where you can rent equipment out there for the day and travel to your destination or park and paddle out from the Arey’s Pond Boat Yard located at 45 Arey’s Ln, Orleans.
“The area is really beautiful,” Ryan said. “You can expect to see plenty of fish, horseshoe crabs, and during certain times of the year, we’ve spotted osprey, red-tailed hawks, and herring.”
Supfari Adventures has a lot to offer, including standup paddle sunset glow tours (1 hour and 45 minutes), sunset kayak tours (2 hours), standup paddle eco-tours or family tours (2 hours and 1.5 hours, respectively), Namequoit river nature tours (2.5 hours), or custom adventure seekers tours (2 hours). They even have standup paddle full moon tours available, and prices range between $45 to $70, depending on the tour of your choice. Tours explore Arey’s Pond, except for the standup paddle family tour. The family tour is on Upper Mill Pond in Brewster, a tiny pond without sand but with an excellent view from the deck located at the boat launch on Old Run Hill Road, Brewster.
When preparing for an excursion, be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water shoes since it can be a slippery business getting in and out of your rental. Supfari Adventures also offers night trips, so on those excursions, you’ll want to swap the sunscreen out for bug spray and a longer top so you don’t catch a chill out on the water. The number one tip? Be respectful of the area around you.
“We try to educate people on how our decisions can impact the environment,” Ryan says. “Everything that happens on land eventually makes its way to the water, whether that’s through littering, fertilizers, or chemicals that we use, it all affects the natural world around us.”
Understanding how water quality works and the different ways it can be affected by our choices and, therefore, affecting how we live our lives in the future is extremely important to Supfari Adventures. They’ve conscientiously partnered with local land trusts and pond coalitions to fundraise and give back to the community.
“I love being able to spread the message of valuing our open spaces and preserving undeveloped land,” Ryan says. “The fact that I get to talk to people from all over the country and learn about where they’re from, then teach them about the Cape, it’s truly an amazing way to connect with visitors and grow our message.”
By Digital Content Coordinator, ARIANA JENNELL
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