Daily Kayak Tours

The Gilligan Tour

Daily | 3 hours

Our own “three hour tour” of the scenic Essex River Basin. Explore the intersection of nature and history while kayaking around islands and down the narrow creeks that wind through salt marshes. Perfect for the beginner or intermediate paddler. Our most popular kayak tour.

Custom Private Tours

Call to reserve a time | Duration varies per trip

Cost varies per trip

If you want a private trip you can choose from our standard three hour tour or work with us to design a tour that will be perfect for your group’s interest and abilities. Whether you want to get up close with sea life, observe the many birds on the basin, learn more about the history or just enjoy it all we can work with you to meet your needs. We cater to individuals, groups, corporate tours and camps.

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Weekly / Monthly Kayak Tours

Sunset Tour

2 hours | Times vary with daily sunset

Sunset is a special time on the basin. End your day with a peaceful paddle at dusk and watch the sun slip behind Hog Island. A wonderful way to unwind. Stick around town afterwards for dinner!

Moonlight Tour

3 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

Our moonlight tour is a truly unique experience. Paddle with us to Crane Beach as the sun sets over the Essex River Basin. Enjoy a beach campfire, s’mores, hot chocolate and coffee. Then as you paddle back under the light of the full moon, see the Essex River Basin in an entirely new way. Offered around the full moon each month.

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Special Kayak Tours & Collaborative Adventures

Family Tour

2 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

A leisurely two-hour paddle for the whole family. Explore the River Basin.

Father's Day Special

2 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

Treat dad to a kayak adventure. We'll hike some dunes, take some family photos, and paddle a one-way trip down river to Woodman's, where we're certain Dad will enjoy some of Essex's famous fried clams.

Crane Beach Circumnavigation

Approximately 4.5 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

Experience the beauty of the North Shore's most scenic barrier beach through kayak circumnavigation. There's no better way to experience this local gem. We'll paddle the length of the beach, navigate winding salt marsh, get pulled by gentle tidal currents, and maybe even dig a Quahog or two. Kayaking experience and some physical fitness required.

Choate Island Hike & Paddle

5 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

Combine a paddle, short hike, and picnic (with lunch provided) at the Trustees of Reservation's Choate Island. Learn about the deep natural history of the island and its former inhabitants. Hike to the top for the island's glorious views and kayak home to complete one of our favorite trips.

River to River Tour

Approximately 4.5 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

We love our tidal rivers here on the North Shore. Kayak with us from the middle of the Annisquam River, riding the tide out past Wingaersheek Beach and along the coast to the tip of Crane Beach. Then take the tide once again as we paddle home into the Essex River Basin. Some physical fitness is recommended.

Thacher Island Hike & Paddle

5 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

Sea kayak exploration couldn't be better than a paddle to Thacher Island, with its rich history and allure of the only operating twin lighthouses in America. This tour combines coastal sea kayaking with a hike along the island's beautiful trails and a spectacular view from the top of north lighthouse.

Misery Island Adventure

3 hours ​| 2020 Tour Times TBA

Misery Island is a true North Shore gem. This Trustees of Reservations property offers everything you'd want of a tiny island - a small beach with sea glass, beautiful cliff-top views, a shipwreck, and an odd history.

Osprey Tour

2020 Tour Times TBA

Did you know that Osprey mate for life? Join ERBA on a specialized tour of the basin that will focus on this amazing bird of prey that makes this rich ecosystem their home.  We will paddle in and around several salt marsh areas that are difficult to reach by land to visit some of the nests that have active Osprey pairs as we learn about this special bird's adaptations. Binoculars are recommended.

Kettle Island Tour

2020 Tour Times TBA

Historic New England Collaborative Adventures

Advance tickets required

We've teamed up with Historic New England to offer an Essex River History Tour:

Essex River History Kayak Tour

2020 Tour Time TBA

Join Cogswell's Grant Site Manager Kristen Weiss for this leisurely three-hour trip exploring the salt marshes and islands. Get up close with sea life, observe the many birds on the basin, and learn the history of four centuries of of Essex's farms and shipbuilding industry, all from the unique perspective of the water. Perfect for the beginner or intermediate paddler. 

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