Rockport, MA 01966
Halibut Point is a uniquely beautiful coastal
seascape. Looking seaward on a clear day, the view stretches from
Crane Beach in Ipswich to Mount Agamenticus in Maine and the Isles
of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire.
Formerly the Babson Farm granite quarry, the park
is managed for scenic, historic and conservation purposes by the
DCR and the Trustees
of Reservations. An adjacent property, Sea Rocks, is owned by
the Town of Rockport and open for public use. Here you can explore
the park's trails and tidepools, picnic on its rocky ledges, enjoy
its sweeping views, and learn about Cape Ann's historic granite
Click here to view a map
of Halibut Point, or download a self-guided
walking tour brochure in PDF format.
Located in a renovated World War II fire-control tower near the
edge of the Babson Farm quarry, the center features exhibits related
to the park's natural and cultural history. The 60-foot tall structure
offers panoramic views that extend as far north as the coast of
Maine. The building also serves as the park's administrative headquarters.
Halibut Point itself is made of sheets of 440 million year-old granite
that now descend from rocky headland to the tidal pools below. As
a result of the shallow soil, constant exposure to onshore winds,
and a history of frequent fires, the vegetation includes few trees.
Catbriar, bayberry, blueberry, arrowwood, shadbush, and an assortment
of wildflowers grow among the ledges. Each winter, many species
of seabirds, including loons, grebes, ducks and an occasional puffin,
feed in the rich offshore waters.
Beginning in the 1840s, granite was quarried from this area, first
on a small scale and primarily along the coast, and then on a much
larger scale when the Rockport Granite Company acquired the Babson
Farm quarry and expanded its operation. Shortly after the Cape Ann
granite industry collapsed in 1929, 17 acres on the eastern side
of the quarry were purchased and given to the Trustees of Reservations.
The remainder of the area sat unused until late in World War II
when a fire control tower (now the park's Visitors Center) was constructed
to provide aiming information for the massive coastal defense guns
that guarded Boston and Portsmouth Harbors.
Things to know before you go…
The park is open 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily from Memorial
Day to Labor Day; the parking lot gates will be locked after dark; a parking fee of $2.00 is charged year round. Weekends, from Memorial
Day through Columbus Day, tours of the quarry are offered by staff
and volunteers; each Saturday morning the tour includes a granite
cutting demonstration. Other programs spotlight the park's natural
history, including wildflower walks and tidepool programs during
the summer and seabird walks during the winter. Check the bulletin
boards in the parking lot and at the Visitors Center or call the
park for information on the upcoming programs. Most areas of the
park and Visitors Center are universally accessible. Assisted-listening
devices are available for park tours.
Halibut Point State Park is located in Cape Ann in north-eastern
From the South and West: Take Rte. I-95/128 north to Rte.
128 north toward Gloucester and Rockport. After crossing the Annisquam
River bridge, go three quarters around the first rotary, following
signs for Rt. 127 north (Annisquam and Pigeon Cove). After approximately
6 miles, turn left at the park sign and the Old Farm Inn onto Gott
From Downtown Rockport: Drive north on Rt. 127 approximately
3 miles, turning right onto Gott Ave.