Boston Kayaker

Kayaking on Saugus River - in Saugus MA

Rating: Two Stars - I missed the Vitale Park and instead used the David Penny town landing. On this route, one needs to mind the high tide (one hour on each side) as the Boston Road Bridge clearance under becomes impassable for kayakers. I started at 2:46pm and on a high tide scheduled at 5:32pm. I got to the Saugus Iron Works where the water level is barely letting me float. I can not find a good spot to land other than a muddy spot that I can not reach (too shallow) so I just turned around after taking some photos of the National Park viewed from Saugus River. I have to portage myself on my way back when the tide is still and landed back at 4:58pm when the tide will be rising for another half hour. During the whole paddle trip when the tide is rising tide, the Saugus River is flowing inwards. A lot of river debris (branches/dirt) are floating on the river as I imagined they need a big rain to be flushed out.

  Put in at Vitale Park on Ballard
  Street in Saugus MA.
Paddle up into Saugus
  River and return.
Estimated round trip
  distance = 5+ miles
Portage south bank during high tide
  as bridge is impassable under.
Saugus Iron Works
  National Historic Site

Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to determine the legality, suitability and safety of this route for yourself.

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Kayaking on Saugus River - in Saugus MA

Other resources:
US Harbors: Lynn MA Harbor Tide Chart
Salem Sound Coastwatch: Vitale Park on Saugus River Saugus River Kayak Trip Report
National Parks Service: Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Number of original photos on this page : 92
All photos in this website are original and copyrighted.

At David C. Penny Memorial Landing on Ballard Street in Saugus MA.
Trip date is September 2015.

The Boston Kayaker just launched into Saugus River.
This picture is looking to my right eastwards to the mouth of the river.

Veered to my left up into Saugus River.

I should have turned left at this point instead I got a bit lost and continued.

I mistakenly pursued this northeast dead-end corner . . .

Just turned-around.

I will turn right into Saugus River main stem past these birds.

I am now on the right direction in Saugus River.

Two kayakers on Saugus River. Chatted with them briefly and they said they did not paddled past the Lincoln Bridge as they are worried getting stranded by the high tide (exactly what will happen to me later).

On my left is the big oxbow loop that I will not paddle. Will follow the shoreline on my right.

The Lincoln Avenue / Boston Street bridge coming up.

There is enough clearance for me to go under so I did.
Current is strong and going inwards with me under the bridge.

Now west of the bridge.

Maps label this wide section of Saugus River west of the bridge as Shute Pond.

The abandoned rail bridge.

Passing under the rail bridge.

Big rock hill on Saugus River.

Hamilton Street bridge.

Under the Hamilton Street bridge on Saugus River.

Water (or sewerage?) pipe.

I can see the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Park directly ahead.

Geese in flight over the Saugus River.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Park viewed from Saugus River.

There is a potential landing spot but water level is too low.
Afraid to get out of my kayak and step into the mud.

The water wheel of the Iron Works harnessed the power of flowing Saugus River.

Just turned around and now paddling back.

The current on Saugus River is still running inwards with the tide rising for another 1+ hour.

Hamilton Street bridge.

With the water flowing in, I was wondering when these river debris will be flushed out . . .

There is that rock hill.

Passing under the abandoned rail bridge.

Approaching the Lincoln Avenue / Boston Street bridge.
It is about 30 minutes before high tide.

There is about 6+ inches of clearance under the bridge.
Definitely impassable underneath.

I looked around for a good spot to take out and chose the south bank next to the bridge. I have to paddle against the strong current coming in from under the bridge.

Checking out put in spots, there is this park on the north bank of Saugus River east of the bridge.

There is this restaurant private parking lot that I found easier to launch.

At the informal access from the Spud's Restaurant parking lot.

Back on Saugus River now east of the Lincoln Avenue / Boston Street bridge.

Veering to my right . . .

Landed back at David C. Penny Memorial Landing.
Paddle time was 2 hours and 12 minutes.