Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA


View of the ocean from Halibut Point

It’s been a wet couple of days or three or five, but still August, and still pretty warm. We needed to get out, and the North Shore promised some cooler temperatures, so we headed for Cape Ann, destination Halibut Point State Park in Rockport. Little did we know that just a short distance from the highway, towns right along the way were nearly underwater from torrential rain. Lucky for us, we were able to get through, and found in Rockport misty weather, some sprinkles, a little rain,


Ducks and raindrops at the largest quarry site at Halibut State Park

but mostly a lovely day (for ducks, and us!) at the shore.


Wide, packed dirt path, covered in mulch, led out to the quarry

We paid a small charge for parking, and found broad, level, well-marked walking trails (no bikes allowed) out to the shoreline.


Spoils pile, filled with water, next to the trail

Along the way we spotted scrap heaps of granite that had been quarried and rejected, then left in place. Here and there were small pools of water where quarrying activity had taken place.


Large quarry within sight of the ocean. Sounds of pounding waves filled the air.

An easy loop took us around a large quarry within sight of the ocean. Throughout our walk around the quarry, the crash of waves sounded, and salt smell filled the air.


Large drill holes show evolution of equipment used to extract rock form the quarry

A numbered, self-guided walk explained the evolution of rock quarrying technology, from hand chisels to rounded drills, to much larger drills.


Smaller drill holes on this rejected piece of stone, perched on edge of the quarry

Strangely shaped chunks of stone stood in random spots throughout the walk, with short explanations of their significance.


Large flocks of swallows soared overhead near the shoreline

This park offers not only grand views of the ocean just below the rocks, it also offers  trails down to the rocks along the shoreline. As we made our way through the somewhat narrow path to the shore, we stirred up clouds of swallows, clearly drawn to the area by the multitude of insects they could feed on.


Best place to be on an August day, at least for me!

Surprisingly, we did not get many bites, but with all the standing water in this area, it would be odd if mosquitoes did not take advantage of the landscape. But never fear, the swallow are ready and waiting.


WWII era watchtower next to the visitor’s center, presently undergoing renovations

The visitor’s center is presently undergoing renovations, but the WWII era watch tower is still visible. It appears to be intact, and hopefully when renovations are complete, we will be able to return and enjoy the views from this structure, a reminder of darker times in our country’s history. And lucky for visitors, the park has several port-a potties in place while the visitor center bathrooms are closed.


Lunch by the sea

We found a shoreside lunch spot just north of the park, and enjoyed some tasty seafood overlooking a quiet, rocky cove. After lunch, we continued the circuit of Cape Ann, and encountered Annisquam,


Footbridge over Annisquam River

where we found a cool footbridge over the Annisquam River. The river was forced through a couple of constrictions.


Tides are changing along the Annisquam River

The change of tides was clear in these restricted flow areas.

While this was a long ride from where we live, near the Rhode Island border, it was a lovely break from hot weather. For those who love summer, the days are surely going quickly. For those of us who struggle with the heat, fall cannot return soon enough!


beech cliffs 2018

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA

  1. This would be beautiful in Fall,I’ll bet. I haven’t been to Cape Ann in forever!

    • marjorie561

      Yes, it’s been quite a while since I was on Cape Ann in the fall as well, Mary, but it is indeed, a lovely area. We will get back.

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