Halibut Point State Park
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:5 Gott Avenue, Rockport, MA
Hours:8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day; dawn to dusk daily, Labor Day to Memorial Day
Fee: Parking: $2, Memorial Day to Labor Day

mass.gov/dcr; 617-626-1267

Bathrooms: At the visitor center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain outside the visitor center

USGS Rockport

Scrambling over rocks and checking out the many tidal pools at Halibut Point is a thrill for sea-life-loving kids.

Explore tidal pools at Halibut Point State Park.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Trails here lead around the former Babson Farm Quarry, head down to the ocean, and feature stunning views and a number of tidal pools to explore. Start your day at the visitor center, located in a renovated 60-foot World War II fire tower. Exhibits explain the quarry’s history. Halibut Point is made of sheets of 440-million-year-old granite. Starting in the 1840s, granite was quarried from this area. When the industry collapsed in 1929, owners of the quarry gave 17 acres on the eastern side to the nonprofit Trustees of Reservations, which jointly manages the area with the Department of Conservation and Recreation today.

Any kid who’s played the game Telephone can appreciate how Halibut Point probably got its name: In the 1700s, sailors were wary of the rocky shoreline and had to “haul about” to avoid wrecking the ship on the point. Eventually the two words turned into “halibut.”

After checking out the view from above, head to the beach and the tidal pools below. Kids will love looking for creatures that make their home here, such as starfish, tadpoles, and barnacles. Saturday mornings in season, rangers offer tours of the quarry and you can see a granite-cutting demonstration. Other programs include wildflower, seabird, and tide-pool walks.

Remember: The rocks can be slippery, so proper footwear is important. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

Rockport is a charming seaside town, and the waterfront area is fun to explore.

Where to Eat Nearby:

MA 127 has classic lobster shacks along the road, and Rockport’s waterfront area offers many other options.


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