Just past Horseneck Beach in Westport is Gooseberry Island. These gorgeous 73 acres are accessible from a narrow causeway that begins across from the Horseneck Point Life Saving Station. You can sit and relax (or play!) on the small rocky beach near the parking lot and then explore the island on foot. The trail is about a half-mile out to the tip and it’s sandy, so it’s not wheelchair or stroller friendly. However, it is flat and wide. There are numerous access points to the beach/shore along the trail. The trail splits at one point–go right to check out the two observation towers. They were built during World War II to help spot German U-boats in Buzzards Bay and currently feature some interesting graffiti… From the towers you can reach the point of the island via the beach, but it’s slow going because of the many rocks. So, after checking out the amazing views of Buzzards Bay, exploring the beach, and building some cairns, we doubled back along the main trail and headed back to the parking lot. This is a great spot for bird watching–piping plovers abound!
HOW TO GET THERE
West Shore Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
TRAIL DESCRIPTION & MAP
We don’t have a map, but you won’t need one. It’s compact and you can’t get lost.
Rated on a scale of 1 (difficult/not good) to 5 (easy/awesome!)
P – Parking & Access – 2 (There is a medium-sized lot that probably houses around 75 cars, BUT it was full when we got there. We actually left to have lunch and came back–then had luck finding a spot! Make sure you do NOT park by the Life-Saving Station–that requires a permit and they are aggressive about ticketing! )
I – Interest Level – 3 (The kids liked taking in the views, exploring the beach, and checking out the towers, but the walk itself is not terribly exciting.)
N – Navigation – 5 (You can’t get lost.)
T – Terrain – 4 (The trail is flat and wide, but sandy so pushing anything with wheels would be challenging.)
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions of this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The cool plants
2. The shoreline access points
3. The towers
The Bayside Restaurant is a great little restaurant that is less than two miles away from Gooseberry Island. It’s also right across from Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, a Mass Audubon property. We have intentions of returning to explore Allen’s Pond, but we did not do so on this trip. Rumor has it, though, that there is a lovely, secluded, and not-crowded beach here, though.
The Bayside had an adorable outdoor seating area, and the food was delicious. The kids enjoyed their chicken fingers and the adults had delicious fish tacos. Two thumbs up!
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