September 9, 2021 by the Weir River Watershed Association
Public Service Announcement: summer lasts until September 21! Kayaking is a great
way to explore our home waters while soaking up the last of summer’s official rays. Some
popular kayak expeditions in the Weir River watershed are explored below.
Across from Nantasket Beach between Hull and World’s End lies the Weir River Estuary,
where the Weir River’s waters meet the sea. For thousands of years, Native Americans hunted
and fished here. Today, the estuary’s 900 acres are protected as an Area of Critical
Environmental Concern by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It
contains pristine salt marshes as well as a unique habitat that supports over 100 different bird
species. The estuary’s calm waters provide a beautiful introduction to kayaking for beginners.
The entire area is a No Wake Zone, which shouldn’t be a problem for paddlers, and beaching is
permitted at designated areas only. Kayaks and paddleboards may be rented at Nantasket
Kayaks, at 48 George Washington Boulevard in Hull, which will be open on weekends through
More kayaking can sometimes be found on 94-acre Straits Pond. Originally the most
eastern point of the Weir River Estuary, early colonists dammed the marsh and used the reservoir
as a power source to operate a grist mill that was twice destroyed by fire. In the 1870’s, Boston’s
wealthy built Guilded Age summer estates along its shores. Today, unfortunately, Straits Pond is
often covered by large amounts of algae. The algal blooms are caused by an abundance of
nitrates entering the watershed from nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizers and from septic systems within
the watershed. Restoration efforts, including new tidal gates and elimination of septic systems
from adjacent properties, are improving water quality. Kayakers and hikers can access Straits
Pond via the Winsor Shores property in Cohasset.
Hingham Harbor is also a great launch spot for kayaking—you can easily put in your
kayak between the boat ramp and the swimming area. Pro tip: aim for high tide to avoid getting
stuck in the muck and always be on the lookout for boats. Button, Ragged, Sarah, and Langlee
Islands are relatively short (and, in that order, kid-friendly) paddles away. More experienced
paddlers can head left from the Harbor and around Crow Point over to Bumpkin, Slate, or Grape
Islands, or go right towards World’s End and the Weir River Estuary—just be aware that a higher
skill level is necessary on these longer excursions due to the possibility of swells and much
For a less salty kayaking experience, head inland to Triphammer Pond in Hingham. The
pond is formed by a dam placed on Accord Brook, a tributary to the Weir River. Look for the dirt
road between #75 and #128 Popes Lane and follow it for a bumpy quarter of a mile to the
parking lot. Be prepared for some mud as you launch, and lots of lily pads to paddle through
from midsummer on. There is a fish ladder on the river, and this time of year, you may observe
juvenile herring starting their journey back to the ocean.
Cushing Pond is another popular freshwater destination. Accessible off Cushing Street in
Hingham, the pond is formed by a dam on the Plymouth River, also a tributary to the Weir River.
There is no fish ladder at this site. Upstream, the Commonwealth stocks the Plymouth River with
trout making Cushing Pond a popular fishing spot. Both Hingham ponds provide beautiful places
to see fall colors in the Weir River Watershed—after September 21, of course!