From swimming to walking to fishing to bicycling, Fort Taber Park in New Bedford offers it all. With more than a mile of shoreline, the park is an ideal destination for families who want to play in the sand, picnic by the water, or practice bike riding on the paved walking paths.
One of Fort Taber Park’s standout features it its panoramic Buzzards Bay vista. Sparkling blue waters stretch in nearly every direction, from New Bedford Harbor east around to Clarks Cove west. On a clear day, gaze across the Bay and try to point out the five largest islands in the Elizabeth Islands chain: Naushon, Pasque, Nashawena, Cuttyhunk, and Penikese.
The centerpiece of Fort Taber Park is Fort Rodman, a coastal fortification that was built in the mid-1800s and hosted troops from the Civil War through World War II. History buffs will love the fort’s military museum and living history programs, including encampments and battle reenactments that take place throughout the summer.
Fort Taber is home to a network of paved paths that snake through the park. The paths, which stretch for nearly a mile in total, take visitors past the beach and fort to the stunning views of Buzzards Bay. These wide paths are perfect for all ages to go walking, jogging, and bicycling.
To continue your journey, hop on the Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail, which connects with the paths at Fort Taber Park. The bike trail runs along both sides of the South End peninsula, passing West Beach, East Beach, and the New Bedford Harbor Walk.
Habitats & Wildlife
Clark’s Point juts out into the open waters of Buzzards Bay, separating New Bedford Harbor from Clarks Cove. Because it’s so close to the Bay’s open waters, Fort Taber Park is a great spot for fishing – and the park’s bustling fishing pier is proof of that! But before you catch anything here, we recommend reviewing the harbor’s fish consumption guidelines – due to toxic PCB pollution, you shouldn’t eat bottom-feeding fish like scup, tautog, and flounder caught in the outer harbor.
At the Fort Taber beach, the mix of sandy shoreline and rock jetties makes a fun place for kids to search for critters. Among the rocks and seaweed, look for periwinkles, hermit crabs, and small fish that live here along the shore.