UMass Lowell Kayak Center

Local Shuttle Services

Kayak trailer

NOTE: The Kayak Center will be close June 28-29 due to the Festival Regatta.

The Merrimack River Shuttle takes you six miles upstream of the Kayak Center launch. Once you make a shuttle reservation with our program, you will meet us at the Kayak Center to get outfitted with gear, then we will drive you 15 minutes (6 miles) upstream to another kayak launch where we will put you on the water. Once on the water you have two main options:

  1. Paddle Upstream

    To make a half-day out of this trip, paddle further upstream on the Merrimack! You will pass some farmland and wetlands along this winding path. When you're ready, turn around and float back downstream all the way back to our boathouse.
  2. Paddle Downstream

    Paddle or float downstream and it's six miles back to the boathouse. This float lasts 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on your pace. You will pass the Tyngsboro golf course and choose to paddle a narrow channel between island and mainland. You will pass by Chelmsford on the right bank and Tyngsboro and Lowell on the left bank.

Once you paddle under the second bridge (Rorke Bridge) you will see the boathouse on the left side of the river. Return your kayak and other equipment there before heading on your way.

Cost: $10 per person, plus the cost of a rental. Those who choose the traditional downstream option will be charged for a 2-hour rental, making the totals:

  • $40 for a 2-hour single kayak rental with shuttle
  • $70 for a 2-hour tandem kayak rental with shuttle

    Those who wish to paddle longer need to notify us when they make the reservation.

Cost includes: kayak, life jacket/pfd, paddle, map, basic safety instruction and transportation to kayak launch

Availability: Shuttles are available any day of the week, except during instructional programs. Advanced reservations are required! Call at least one hour ahead of time:978-995-2362.

Shuttle Service on the Nashua, Concord, or Squannacook Rivers

We are at a great central location to a number of scenic waterways. We can provide a shuttle service to these other local scenic rivers.

Nashua River

The Nashua River forms the core of the Bolton Flats Wildlife Management Area and the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. It winds through marshy areas and forms a pond above the Pepperell Dam. Home to wildlife such as egrets, beavers, and large mouth bass, there is something for everyone to see.

Squannacook River

The Squannacook River is a narrower, winding river. River depths are mainly shallow, making it best to paddle in spring and early summer. It provides a surprisingly remote paddle through Groton and Shirley before it empties into the Nashua, about 2 hours paddling from the launch. There is also a pond that comes off the Squannacook to explore. All together, it's a splendid paddle through a whole lot of conservation land - a perfect way to relax.

Concord RiverConcord River

The Sudbury and Assabet Rivers join to become the Concord River. The river is fairly slow moving and easy to paddle in this section, so you can appreciate the rich natural and cultural sites along the way. Pass by the Old Manse, home of Emerson and Hawthorne, and paddle under the famous Old North Bridge, a part of Minute Man National Historical Park. The River enters the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and you can land your boat to explore the impoundments, home to a diversity of waterfowl. From here, the river continues to slowly meander through rich greenery until you reach Route 225. Take the straightest route for a 2 hour paddle, or explore all the scenic spaces along the way and make it a full day on the water.

Cost: $15 per person, plus the cost of rental. (Minimum 2 hour rental for any shuttle) See totals below:

  • $45 for a 2-hour single kayak rental on any river
  • $80 for a 2-hour tandem kayak rental on any river
  • $60 for a 4-6 hour single kayak rental on any river
  • $100 for a 4-6 hour tandem kayak rental on any river

Payment must be made in advance for any shuttle service outside of the Merrimack River.

Cost includes: kayak, life jacket/pfd, paddle, map, basic safety instruction, and transportation. The drop-off and pick-up locations are different for most location so that you can choose to paddle downstream only for the duration of your trip.

Availability: Weekdays 9am-4pm and some weekends. Call ahead to reserve a time! Exceptions apply on days with instructional programs.

Launch Locations

We have outlined our available launch locations on this custom Google Map.

For any of these locations, after we get you on the water we will meet you at a designated take-out at an established time.