Massachusetts: Cape Ann

Powered by

Return to Harborview Inn B&B website | Attractions Home

The Unique Beauty of Halibut Point State Park

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 industry.

Visitors Center
: 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. History 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.

For directions and distance from your inn or hotel to Halibut Point, click here.

Halibut Point photograph by Leslie Bartlett - Follow The Gleam

If you have comments about this trip or article, please write to us at: