Martha’s Vineyard Kayaking – Lake Tashmoo

View across Lake Tashmoo from kayak

The English have always shown a prowess and, dare I say, preference for sports and pursuits that involve sitting down. Whether it be cycling, sailing, car racing, horse-riding, chess, star-gazing, beer drinking or my personal favorite kayaking.

Kayak on Lake Tashmoo

There are many great kayaking locations on Martha’s Vineyard and if you rent through Island Spirit Kayaking they will drop off kayaks at your desired location, for a fee of course 🙂 They also offer guided tours and sunrise and sunset kayaking on Sengekontacket Pond.

Bank of Lake Tashmoo

My personal favorite body of water to kayak is Lake Tashmoo in Vineyard Haven. Even on windy days the water on Lake Tashmoo is rarely rough so it’s almost always possible to kayak. The lake is 269 acres with a mean depth of 4.3ft and a tidal range of 2ft.
You can launch at the dock at Lake Street or at the end Herring Creek Road at Tashmoo beach. I prefer Lake Street as it’s only about a 5 minute drive from the inn, so extremely convenient. Once in the water I tend to wind my way through the myriad of moored yachts and start out on a clockwise loop of the whole lagoon. It is normally a 2 hour kayak to complete the circumference of the whole lake and usually a fairly easy paddle.

Kayak on beach at Lake Street Dock

Out towards the Tisbury Water Works (south) end of the lake you’ll come to Drew Cove where you may be lucky to see osprey, kingfishers, water fowl and egrets. You’ll see some impressive yachts and catamarans moored as you make your way back up the west side of the lake.

Southern bank on Lake Tashmoo
Yacht on Lake Tashmoo

At the north end you do need to plot your route a bit more carefully as, if the tide is out, you could find yourself stranded on the shallow bottom as depth can drop to just a few inches in sections. You’ll need to hop out into the lake and take your kayak for a short walk to deeper water. Not a big issue but does go against the whole principle of a sitting down activity. As you round Kuffie’s Point on the west side, the lake opens up and you can kayak into Rhoda Pond and get a view of the far side of Phillips Preserve. At the top end of Rhoda Pond you can kayak through marshes behind Diane Sawyer’s old house, “Chip-Chop”, and maybe catch a sight of deer on the pond’s edge or Buffleheads and Mergansers drifting by. If the tide is high then you can kayak all the way through and exit close to the inlet to Lake Tashmoo.

Looking towards Tashmoo Beach from kayak

Crossing the north end you will a good view of beautiful Tashmoo Beach. The sandy beach is a “two-for-oner” as you have a beach on both the lake side (with bath-like warm water) and a beach on the Sound side. As you kayak this section you will see yachts and boats entering and exiting the lake.

Then head back down the east side of the lake marveling at some more impressive yachts and private docks before arriving back at Lake Street.

View of Lake Steet dock and boats from kayak

A great way to spend a morning or afternoon.

Safe travels,