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Paddling in Salem?


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I'm thinking about paddling in the Salem area on Sat. Since this will be my first time kayaking in that area and most likely alone, does anyone have any trip route suggestions that might be interesting for one not familiar with the area? Any useful information on put-ins would be gret as well. From our put-in list I came up with:

Winter Island is operated by the City of Salem from May 1-Oct. 31, parking is $5.00. There are camping, restroom and shower facilities here. This is a good location if you're a solo or beginning paddler, providing shoreline viewing of Beverly and Marblehead depending on your direction. Take Route 128 to exit 25, 114 to Salem continue to intersection with 1A and turn right. Follow signs to Salem Willows and Waterfront. When 1A turns left, continue straight onto Fort Avenue. Continue to its split at Winter Island Road and turn right. Follow signs for Winter Island Park. Boat ramp is at the south end of park. Alternatively you can launch from the beach near Fort Pickering light.

Is Winter Island at least accessible from Nov to April?

Many thanks for any advice offered...

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My preferred put-in is Tuck Point in Beverly. It is reached by taking the road at the base of the Beverly-Salem bridge on Cabot/Rantoul Streets (they merge). From Salem it is a right, from Beverly it is the other right. At the end of the road is a "drive on the beach if you dare" launch and you park on the street. I don't expect there to be parking issues.

Across the way you will see Salem Willows and beyond that Marblehead Neck. As you scan to your left from Marblehead Neck you will see Children's/Cat/(insert your favourite name) Island. Further still you will see the Gooseberries and then Misery Island. The harbour provides a wide variety of terrain and conditions within a short distance.

I have headed up the coast to Misery Island and followed the string of islands as far as time and inclination served me. Near Misery Island there is Chub Creek where you may find a standing wave and eddy to play in. Someone at Misery Island may charge you to land but there is a privvy on the large island. The Breakers are behind the Gooseberries and tend to have seals, especially as the stink boat noise recedes into the off-season.

There is also Riverhead Beach, park on the north/east side of the causeway for free! From here you can go out to Children's island to play among the rocks, across to the islands mentioned above, or around the Neck to land at Devereaux (French for dumping) Beach and portage across the causeway. If you see an old guy in a pickup ask him for a ride across, tell him "Budman" sent you.

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Winter Island is open all winter and the parking is free. It is the favorite winter diving site of a friend of mine, although I generally don't consider it a very interesting site for diving. If you carry your kayak down the boat ramp, be careful, the algae at the bottom makes it very slippery.

Ralph Cohn

Elaho DS, blue & white with yellow trim

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Bob has offered you good advice. But, why paddle alone? Post a private trip and you may get some others familiar with the area to come along. There are many places in Salem sound that are great for all skill levels.

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>But, why paddle alone?

>

I'm considering a private trip, but I'm not sure if it's going to be last minute given my schedule. If I can be assured that I'll have Sat. free, I'll post a trip.

Actually, to that end, does anyone have any suggested level 2/level 3 trips for that area?

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A good 2/3 trip would be to put in at Tuck Point Beverly and head up the coast towards Manchester Harbor. From there you can scoot out to Misery, and then Bakers and the Gooseberries. Bakers and Gooseberries definetly make it a level 3. Of course wind and conditions could make any paddle in Salem sound a level 3/4. I have done the above trip a bunch of times, it's a nice paddle.

I would definetly post a private trip even if it's last minute. I have posted Saturday trips on Friday nights and had lots of people show...you never know.

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