Halibut Point State Park

The view from Halibut Point stretches from Crane Beach in Ipswich to Mount Agamenticus in Maine and the Isles of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast. The rocky shore is populated by various tidal pool organisms. In the Visitor Center, one can view exhibits on the park’s natural and cultural history and then climb the Center’s 60-foot tall World War II fire-control tower for a more panoramic view. The reservation is the site of Babson Farm Quarry, now filled with water, which was active until the early 1900s. Today, the park is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Trustees of Reservations.


16 Gaffield Avenue Rockport, MA 1966

Driving Directions

From the end of Rt. 128 at the traffic light, go left (north) on Rt. 127 (Eastern Ave.) for 3 miles to a five-way intersection. Stay on Rt. 127 as it goes left and becomes Railroad Ave. Continue 2.4 miles to Gott Ave. on the right. Halibut Point parking area is immediately on the right; nominal fee charged weekends and holidays, Memorial Day to Columbus Day; otherwise free.

Notes & Advisories

Viewing Information: State park visitor center/museum tells history of Cape Ann granite industry and has year-round restrooms. Wide trails wind throughout both the state park and adjacent TTOR reservation. Tidal pools are great for children. Swimming and snorkeling are good in summer, but there are no lifeguards. Walk to shoreline is about half a mile from parking lot. Picnicking allowed on rocks, but no picnic tables. BEWARE SLIPPERY ROCKS BELOW HIGH-TIDE LINE! Species of Note: One of the best places to watch seabirds from land in Massachusetts. Northeast storms at any season, but especially fall and winter, blow seabirds into Ipswich Bay, which they exit by turning into wind and flying past Halibut and adjacent Andrews Points to return to open ocean. Gannets, kittiwakes, terns, alcids, jaegers, shearwaters, phalaropes, storm-petrels, and others can be seen in sustained easterly winds; fall migrant loons, grebes, and diving ducks stream past regardless of weather. Many of these birds winter, along with purple sandpipers. Site is also the best in Massachusetts for wintering harlequin ducks. Vegetation pulls in wide variety of migrant songbirds; Halibut Point is a coastal “migrant trap.” Habitats: Granite headland overlooking Atlantic Ocean at northern tip of Cape Ann from as high as 50 feet. Part state park and part TTOR reservation, with old quarry, tidal pools, spectacular surf in northeast storms, and thick shrub habitat backing into oak forest. Size: 68 acres Special Recognition: Massachusetts Important Bird Area; Massachusetts Wildlife Viewing Site


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  • Historic Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Parks
  • Swimming & Boating
  • Walking & Hiking


  • Appropriate for all ages
  • Parking Available
  • Restrooms Available