There’s a lot to look at when you kayak Morses Pond in Wellesley and Natick, from the beach to the houses along the shore, to wildlife both above and below the water surface.
We recently rolled our kayaks right into the calm waters of MOPO from the parking lot in Wellesley off Turner Road (a ranger checked the RDF sticker on our windshield to confirm our Wellesley residency). There are a few places you can put in, and we chose a spot shortly before the ADA-compliant kayak launch outside the Morses Pond beach entrance (bear left as you get near the pond). It helps to wear water shoes or sandals at this spot, as the drop-off to the water is a couple of feet, so it’s just as easy to stick the boat in the water and walk in next to it.
We paddled clockwise, first cruising past the beach, which was nearly empty on the cloudy day we paddled (note: photos for this post were taken in summer of 2020, explaining the sun…). The water at Morses Pond was warm and pretty clear, though invasive underwater plant life such as milfoil made its presence known. The town makes its best efforts to whack weeds using its big blue harvesting machine, which is parked in the water just past the beach, but milfoil is tenacious.
From this section of the water, you can see most of what you’re getting into at the roughly 100-acre pond, though there are some nooks, especially where Pickerel Road juts into the pond, as well as near the north end of the pond where a few small islands sit and Pickle Point sticks out.
We circled a cove past the beach in which several young people were fishing and chatting in kayaks. Morses Pond is home to a good variety of fish from bass to crappie to pike.
Homeowners have all variety of watercraft from sturdy metal tracker boats to catamaran-like floating docks. I enviously spied more than one pedal board, too—these make paddle boarding less one-dimensional by giving you the option to propel the vessel using your feet. The cost is roughly $2K from what I’ve seen online. Maybe I’ll splurge one of these days.
Pre-COVID, you could rent kayaks and paddle boards at Morses Pond from the Rec Dept., and hopefully that will become a thing again next season. We can’t imagine that Rec would let its investment in watercraft go to waste indefinitely.
As we continued our cruise we saw at least 3 swan couples. An adult shepherded its signets across the lake as the 6 little ones audibly peeped in line. More swans glided about at the north end, where things are weedier and the beautiful waterfowl seem to have more protection from boaters. Mallards and their offspring, as well as the dreaded Canada Geese, also populate the water. We didn’t make any bald eagle sightings, though these birds increasingly have been spotted at the pond.
But it is noisier on that end, as you approach Rte. 9 and see a cell phone tower. The edge of pond is thicker with lily pads in this stretch as well.
We circled the 2 side-by-side islands, choosing not to explore either on foot. There is certainly evidence that others have, including chairs. We’re sure island visitors have convened for purely wholesome reasons. Nearby is Pickle Point, which includes a clearing that gives those hiking along the nearby Cochituate Aqueduct trail a way to reach the water.
Paddling our way back to our exit point, we drifted past the crowded stretch where houses on Stonecleve and Bay Roads rise several stories above the shoreline. Walls of windows take advantage of the water views. Community members living along the edges of Morses Pond are active in a Friends of Morses Pond group. Although we didn’t see many people, those who were about, whether by land or by pond, greeted us with friendly waves.
Before we knew it, about an hour in, it was time for us to end our cruise. We dragged our boats and ourselves out of the water and back onto shore, glad we’d taken advantage of MOPO, the beach within reach.