Visiting the Hidden Gem Cape Hedge Beach
Rockport, Massachusetts is 17 square miles surrounded by reality. A scenic coastal enclave on the north shore of Massachusetts, it’s the perfect place to step back in time and decompress for a few days…or maybe a few weeks…or maybe you start looking at real estate during your vacation.
From quirky boutique shops and art galleries on Bearskin Neck, to delicious fresh seafood, and quintessential New England charm, you can be sure to fill up your phone’s iCloud storage while you hide from pesky obligations.
Of course, a relaxing getaway in Rockport is not complete without some time exploring the stunning coastline.
When you think of Massachusetts beaches, you’ll likely think of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Well don’t worry, Rockport is also known for its beautiful beaches.
While there are well-known beaches on Cape Ann like Front Beach, Good Harbor, and Wingaersheek, there is a hidden gem tucked behind a pebble wall known as Cape Hedge Beach.
In this article we will take a closer look at Cape Hedge and why it’s so special.
To start, Cape Hedge Beach isn’t your run-of-the-mill sand and water situation. The beach is tucked behind a pebble wall and it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. If you’re on the hunt for a quiet place to unwind, this could be the perfect Rockport beach for you.
Located about 2.5 miles from Rockport’s Dock Square, Cape Hedge Beach is nestled between Long Beach and Pebble Beach. It’s off the beaten path, and it’s definitely not set up to cater to tourists.
Most of the beach is made up of pebbles, but the closer you get to the water you’ll find sand. Sand is mostly seen during low tide, but the scenery of endless pebbles smoothed out by the ocean water is striking and pretty humbling.
We mentioned that you need to know what you’re looking for, so you should be prepared if you plan to visit Cape Hedge Beach.
If you’re staying in Rockport, it’s only a hop skip, and a jump to get to Cape Hedge Beach. You’ll need to take Route 127a south for around 3 miles and turn at the former Cape Hedge Inn.
Once you go down South Street, you should see the VERY limited parking area. Some travel guides mention parking along South Street for non-residents, but your best bet will be to not drive if you’re from out of town.
Here at Addison Choate, we offer bike rentals for guests and that is really the ideal way to travel to this beach. At the end of South Street, you will find a bike rack where you can lock up your bike and you can relax and enjoy the beach.
If you decide to drive, your best bet is parking in the neighborhood on South Street. You will have to park a little further away from the beach and then walk down. But the neighborhood is absolutely stunning, and the walk is a peaceful one.
Once you get closer to the beach all of the parking is resident only.
If you’re visiting Long Beach nearby, there is a footbridge that you can traverse to visit Cape Hedge Beach. The bridge goes over Saratoga Creek and will let you escape the Long Beach Crowds for the scenic views at Cape Hedge Beach.
One thing we love about Cape Hedge Beach is that it is part of a stretch of three beaches as well as a beautiful rocky coastline that includes Gap Cove, Flat Point, Emerson Point, and Loblolly Cove. It is the perfect spot to catch a sunrise or a sunset and connect with the natural surroundings.
The pebbles, the quiet, and the lack of crowds are enough to make you feel like you’re on another planet. While you’re visiting, you can get a great view of the twin lighthouses located on Thacher Island without fighting the Long Beach crowds for great photo spots. Here are some great photos of the footbridge, the pebbles and the view of Thacher Island.
Thacher Island Lighthouses
Thacher Island is a 50-acre island that has been home to twin lighthouses since 1888. You can visit the island, but the view from Cape Hedge Beach makes beach experience that much more special.
There is a pretty interesting history about the shipwrecks that occurred off the Rockport coast and about the twin lights themselves. If you are interested in learning more, you can actually go out and visit them after your day at Cape Hedge Beach or take a peek at our article on Thacher Island.
Thacher Island Lighthouses Rockport MA An Incredible History
Admire the Pebbles
If there’s one thing Cape Hedge Beach won’t run out of, it’s pebbles. Take your time getting to the beach and admiring the pebble wall and your surroundings.
We would recommend taking a quick walk over to pebble beach as well. The sound of the ocean flowing across the pebbles is incredibly cathartic. Someone could legitimately just record that sound and offer it as an ASMR download online. Forget The Sounds of Silence, how about, The Sounds of Rockport.
Before you visit, it’s important to keep in mind that this place is not necessarily intended for tourists. It’s a hidden gem and is meant to stay that way. With that being said, visitors are welcome, of course, but it’s not going to be as easy to visit if you’re from out of town.
As we mentioned earlier, parking here is very limited. The Cape Hedge Beach parking lot doesn’t have many spots for non-residents. You can purchase a seasonal pass, or there is sometimes parking available on South Street. Your best bet is going to be biking, walking, or being dropped off if you are from out of town.
Another thing to mention is that Cape Hedge Beach does NOT have restrooms. If you like a shower or a physical toilet after a swim, you won’t find them here. If you aren’t planning to stay long, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Yes, you can swim off the pebbly shores of Cape Hedge Beach. If you don’t like crowds, you will have a better time here getting your soak on since it’s typically quieter than the other beaches.
To sum it up, Cape Hedge Beach should be added to your list of “must-see” beaches when visiting Rockport. From the immaculate pebble wall, to the beautiful neighborhood, to the views of the lighthouse, there’s plenty to take in.