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Massachusetts Parks: Halibut State Park, Rockport: A Great Weekend Walk

Shady path down
Shady path down

This is pure New England coast line at its absolute best. A walk through pin oak and pine to low growth beach plum and sand rose. Then a scrabble across magnificent slabs of Cape Ann granite which grades to vibrant seaweed and rolling waves. Bring your binoculars for bird watching and beach chairs for quiet reading. For the stout of heart, it's possible, but tricky, to clamber into the ocean across the slipper seaweed....bring reef runners. On a clear day you can see from Cranes Beach in Ipswich to Mount Agamenticus in Maine and the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire.


Halibut Point State Park is the site of the former Babson Farm Quarry and a large quarry pond is a centerpiece to the park. The Park is actually three parks: The Halibut Point State Park administered by the Department of Environmental Management (DEM); the Halibut Point Reservation, administered by the Trustees of the Reservation; and Sea Rocks, administered by the Town of Rockport. (See map). There is a self guided tour explaining the workings of the quarry and gives life to the remnants of the work your see: the dead men iron staples and dog holes drilled into the granite...the huge pile of waste stone called the Grout Pile. The Visitor Center is a restored WWII fire control house.

This is an easy ramble for all ages and a perfect weekend family outing!

Directions: Take Route 128 North to Gloucester. At the first rotary take Rt. 127 towards Annisquam and Pigeon Cove. After 6 miles, turn left at the Park sign onto Gott Ave. There's a pay parking lot.

For other Massachusetts Parks see: Nature Examiner Home Page.