Some of Scituate’s greatest and most exciting history comes from its being a coastal town in Massachusetts. Since the first colonial establishment in the 1640s to the present, Scituate has relied on its location on the water for its economy, culture, and recreation. In the 19th century, the majority of Massachusetts’ ship-building industry existed in Scituate Harbor, the North River, and Herring Brook. Scituate Harbor became one of three destinations along the Massachusetts coast to have a “house of refuge” for lost mariners and their ships. The rocky coast and very eastward position along the coastline proved to be extremely dangerous and deadly for ships traveling northward towards Boston Harbor. Storms have completely altered Scituate’s geography.


Two general, but very important, factors to take into consideration before paddle these routes are the tides and the weather. The ever changing nature of the tide can make a rather easy kayak trip very difficult in a very short period of time. The tide will affect how hard you must paddle against or with the movement of water.  A few of the routes described on this website are only accessible during at least mid-tide, three hours from high or low tide. Weather also has a great impact on the difficulty and enjoyment of a paddle trip. Wind can either make a trip faster or slower, depending on whether you paddle upwind or downwind. Wind can also have an effect on water conditions. Out in the ocean, greater gusts of wind can increase the size of the swells and waves crashing on the shore. Always be aware of any fog in the area you plan to paddle. Fog is very disorienting as you can lose all sense of direction once trapped in a fog bank. Understanding the tides, weather, water conditions, and general small watercraft safety is paramount for your paddling plans. Below are a few links to website that offer tidal, weather, and safety information that you might want to check out before your water adventure.


  1. NSRWA Website

  2. Scituate, MA Tide Chart 2013

  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Website- Scituate Weather

  4. Scituate Harbormaster Website- Radio Channels and Emergency Info

  5. Boat Massachusetts Website- Paddle Safety

The Scituate Historic Trails project formed from a partnership between Scituate Historical Society, People for Active Transportation & Health (PATH), and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary to create and promote walking paths and bike routes connecting historical sites, beaches, downtown businesses and other fun places to relax, learn, eat and enjoy Scituate, a charming New England seaside town founded in 1636. Scituate is a coastal town located 25 miles south of Boston with nearly 17 square miles of history and centuries old character to be enjoyed on foot, on a bicycle or from a boat! From out of town? Hop on the Greenbush Train from South Station with your bike and enjoy a healthy, historical adventure to Scituate Massachusetts.

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