David Lennon owns and operates the Norton Kayak Co. on a 530-acre man-made lake, which was created in the 19th century for hydropower and is now owned by the town. It is one of many recreational paddling options, both freshwater and saltwater, dotting the landscape south of Boston.
Pictured: Lennon led paddlers up the Rumford River, which feeds the Norton Reservoir behind it, followed by Joseph Lucas behind him, and in the rear, Lucas's mother, Terry Lucas, both of Woodstock, Conn. Next
Lennon offers instructional tours at Norton Kayak Co. in order to provide the safest way to see the massive reservoir for kayaking renters.
“It’s not a responsible thing to do, letting people go out by themselves,” said Lennon, who is also chairman of a town committee investigating ways of ridding the reservoir of invasive plants that threaten its ecosystem. “It’s just too big, too easy to get lost out there.”
Pictured: Greg Hollstein (eft,) staffer at Nemasket Kayak Center in Onset, watched kayakers pull away who had just rented from the center, which is new in Onset this summer. Next
Farther south, there is a new rental operation at Onset Beach in Wareham called the Nemasket Kayak Center, which opened June 1. The center's main location is on the Taunton River in Raynham. The Onset center is run out of a building that for many years was the Onset Beach concession stand.
Pictured: Workers Greg Hollstein (front) and Ryan Quigley pulled out kayaks at the start of the day. Next
Wickets Island in Onset Bay, Onset, a village of Wareham, is a short paddle from Nemasket Kayak Center on Onset Beach. The uninhabitated 4.6-acre island is a good spot to put in, walk around, collect shells and walk up the hilly island for great views of Onset Bay and the village.
Pictured: Wickets Island, where there is a clear view of the Onset shoreline and the distant Cape Cod Canal and wind turbine at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Next
Nemasket Kayak Center owner Roy C. Edwards Jr. runs a variety of tours, including moonlight, historic, and sunset outings. Renters line up on busy days to paddle around the boat-dotted bay . “The town was huge in helping us,” Edwards said. “The harbor master even put in markings to guide people on the water past Shell Point.”
Pictured: Kayaking past Shell Point in Onset, where kayakers often pull up on the beach for a rest or swim Next
“We see primarily recreational paddlers; the more experienced people have their own, and mostly people rent for day trips — it’s the way to check it out,” said owner John Byrne of his store, Buckles & Boards Ski and Surf in Marshfield.
The North and South rivers are home to abundant wildlife, such as great blue herons and snowy egrets, as well as natural vegetation like wild rice, said Neponset River Watershed Association executive director Samantha Wood.
Pictured: A blue heron on Norton Reservoir, watched by paddler Terry Lucas of Woodstock, Conn., on part of a tour with Norton Kayak Company Back to the beginning
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