Paddling Walkers Pond (Brewster, MA)

Walkers Pond in Brewster, Massachusetts is nestled up next to a slanted dirt “road”, Featherbed Lane. This “pond”, though it’s always seemed large to be judged as a pond to me, is on the Bay Side of Cape Cod across the way from my Grandparents house and it’s where my love of kayaking was really born. This secret spot is a fantastic paddle, for whatever you’re looking for–distance, scenery, and incredible wildlife. I’ve been going to Cape Cod since I was born, and paddling Walkers Pond has been a part of that since about my 10th summer.

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There are many launch spots to Walkers Pond, at least one of which is accessible from the main road down the street from Featherbed Lane.  Paddling on Walkers Pond is enjoyable in every season, as long as you have the proper attire. For fall and winter months I’d suggest a spandex layer (Under Armour, as all athletes know, is a huge savior!) and a relatively waterproof fleece layer (my North Face Dinali has yet to let me down). In addition to that, depending on the temperature, I’d suggest a paddling jacket or a heavier waterproof coat. Don’t wear too many clothes though, because paddling is a workout that’ll warm you up fast. You can store any excess clothes in a dry bag in your boat. Neoprene gloves are also a fantastic addition that are perfect for water and gripping your paddle. I’d also suggest water-shoes, including Vibrams Five Fingers, Crocs, or Teva sandals.

Once you get on the water, you can look forward to a lengthy paddle depending on your level of energy and goals. If you want a workout, paddling around the perimeter, especially on a windy day, will certainly give you one. This kind of trip takes about an hour in my experience, and potentially more if you’re really struggling against the wind.

Leisurely paddling around Walkers is just as enjoyable, if not more, however. You can look forward to seeing beautiful foliage, crazy looking tree roots, lily pads with yellow flowers, cat tails, and even a narrow passageway to a neighboring pond. We even found a geocaching ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching )box among the reeds once!  Also, my family has a tradition of putting a giant inflatable turtle raft in the middle of the pond during the summer…so that’s a perk you won’t find anywhere else.

The wildlife is probably one of the best parts of Walkers Pond, and a big reason why we paddle all we can when we visit. Our favorite creatures are the turtles, most of them painted turtles which is one of the most widespread species of turtles in North America. They crawl out onto logs jutting out of the water to sun themselves, and they’re a little bit skittish! But luckily, kayaks are incredibly quiet vehicles and you can often observe the turtles for as long as you like.  One summer, we saw a giant snapping turtle in the water! It was a little scary, but like most creatures it doesn’t intend to harm you unless you threaten it. So we paddled farther away and got to see what resembled a dinosaur submerge itself! There is also a swan family that lives in Walkers Pond, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see their nest and the signets off the western coast of the pond. Swans are protective creatures though, so don’t get too close. We’ve seen ospreys a few times too- a rare treat!

Paddling Walkers Pond is an experience I’ve definitely had many times, and I’ll be coming back for years to come. I highly recommend it.

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