Halibut Point State Park - A Must-See When Visiting Rockport

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Continuing with my series on Rockport, today I invite you to come along with me as I take you on a walk around the most scenic Halibut Point State Park, just two miles from the center of Rockport. And yes......it's this beautiful from every perspective!

According to Wikipedia, the granite that makes up Halibut Point is estimated to be 440 million years old.  It was quarried here as early as 1840.  The scale of these operations grew when the Babson Farm quarry was acquired by the Rockport Granite Company. Those operations ended with the collapse of the Cape Ann granite industry in 1929. Halibut Point Reservation was created when the Trustees of Reservations acquired a parcel on the east side of the quarry in 1934. In the last years of  World War II, the remaining quarry area saw new usage with the construction of a 60-foot fire control tower that was intended to assist in aiming the coastal weapons defending the harbors at Boston and Plymouth. In 1981, the state of Massachusetts purchased 56 acres of land, resulting in the creation of Halibut State Park.

The quarry is filled with fresh water, with the maximum depth being 60 feet at its deepest point. Halibut Point State Park and Halibut Point Reservation are parallel parcels of conserved, oceanside land located on Cape Ann in the town of Rockport.  

That's enough technical stuff....although interesting, facts don't begin to give you an idea of what awaits you when you wander through this awe-inspiring place.  The first thing you'll notice is the wide, well groomed paths that guide you all around the quarry, as well as to the ocean which sits just beyond the quarry.  You can see that in some of the photos, like this one......

Not only are the paths pretty evenly groomed, they are wide enough to accommodate a good number of hikers as well as families with strollers - and we saw a couple of those.  All along the way, weary hikers will happily find plenty of places to sit a spell and enjoy the view.  There are even picnic tables tucked along the route.  I am not sure of the distance around the quarry, but I will say that I was able to walk the entire circumference, despite the heat and blazing sun, and  I am not what anyone would call physically fit.   Just being honest here......;)

Note the once Fire Tower, now the Visitor Center.

This was our third visit to Halibut Point State Park and although our previous visits were not as sunny, Halibut Point was just as beautiful when laden with fog.

Map taken from Park Brochure
I hope that if you visit Rockport, you make it a point to spend an hour or two checking out Halibut Point.  It's filled with wildlife and all sorts of horticultural specimens. In fact, their programs offer wildlife walks, seabird walks in the winter, and tide pool programs in the summer.  The park is open daily.  Admission is $5 a car if you're a resident of Massachusetts; otherwise it's $6 per car.  For more information, the links are included at the end of this post.

Thanks for reading and be sure to come back soon.  I still have at least three more posts to share with you featuring Beauport-The Sleeper McCann Estate, our cruise on the Thomas E. Lannon Schooner, and our tour of the Schooner Adventurer and the Maritime Museum.  I might also wrap up the series with a list of our favorite Rockport/Gloucester things to see, places to eat and more.  Don't forget to share this post using the links at the end of this post and if you like what you've read, consider following by email so you never miss a post.  

For more information on Halibut Point State Park, you can use these links:

To read previous Rockport posts:

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