Paddling the Slocums River, MA

By Tom Richardson; Videography by Nikki Camardo

If you and your family are looking for a relatively easy daytrip paddling option in Massachusetts, consider the Slocums River in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The river runs for roughly three miles, from its headwaters at Russells Mills to its mouth at Demarest Lloyd Memorial State Park, on Buzzards Bay, where you’ll find a nice, sandy beach and good swimming. Midway is the Slocums River Reserve, where you can beach your vessel and explore walking trails through forest fields. Most intermediate-level paddlers can tackle the round trip in three hours, although a stiff westerly or northerly wind can make for a long slog upriver through the wider stretches.

Birdlife abounds along the river, and you are likely to see osprey, herons, sandpipers, kingfishers, oystercatchers, egrets, hawks, and more, especially during the spring and fall migratory seasons. The river also hosts a robust population of blue crabs and offers good fishing for striped bass in the spring and fall.

A white, sand beach perfect for picnics awaits at the mouth of the Slocums River.