Barges Beach

Local history and natural beauty come together on Barges Beach, a one-of-a-kind barrier beach on the east end of Cuttyhunk Island. Explore the remains of 14 wooden barges emerging from the sands as you explore, swim, and fish from the cobble and sand shores of this privately-owned, publicly-accessible beach.


Pieces of rusted metal and old wood emerging from the sand at Barges Beach on Cuttyhunk

Wander through the remains of 14 wooden barges, buried to stabilize Barges Beach in 1949, which are slowly being revealed as the waves wear away the shoreline.

Barges Beach lies on a spit of land called Canapitsit Neck, which stretches out from the eastern end of Cuttyhunk like a long finger reaching for the edge of Nashawena Island. Nearly a mile of mixed cobble and sand shoreline lined with dunes provides an incredible place to walk, fish, beachcomb, swim, and take in stunning views of Martha’s Vineyard and the vast Atlantic beyond.

In some places along the shoreline of Barges, you’ll notice large pieces of eroded wood and twisted metal emerging from beneath the sand. This beach gets its name from 14 wooden barges buried on this shoreline in 1949, in an effort to stabilize land damaged by a 1944 Nor’easter. These barges are slowly being worn away by the ocean, creating a stunning natural art exhibit and a unique place for nature photography. (As you explore around the barges, be cautious of sharp or rusty metal that may be exposed.)

Barges Beach is accessible by several sandy paths through the dunes. Though privately held, the owners of Barges Beach permit the public to access the majority of the shoreline. Please respect private property and do not enter the dune paths at the far eastern end of Canapitsit Neck.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is currently working to raise the funds needed to purchase this beach for permanent conservation. Learn more about the effort to preserve Barges Beach and Canapitsit Neck on the Cuttyhunk Conservation Project page.

Habitats & Wildlife

The low dunes along Canapitsit Neck form exceptional bird habitat. In addition to common shorebirds like gulls, plovers, terns, and sandpipers, keep an eye out for more uncommon visitors: birders know Cuttyhunk Island as an extraordinary place to spot rare and unusual birds. The island’s location between the Atlantic and Buzzards Bay makes it a perfect stopover for migratory species, as well as a haven for southerly birds blown north by storms.

Offshore, the waters around Cuttyhunk Island are known for spectacular fishing. Cuttyhunk is a mecca for striped bass, and Barges Beach’s dynamic shoreline is a great place to surfcast for one of these famously massive fish.

Size: 24 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: None
Dogs: Yes (under voice control), prior to 9 AM and after 5 PM May 15 – September 15; prohibited within 100 yards of posted bird nesting habitat
Facilities: None
Boat Ramp: No
Lifeguards: No
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
Gosnold County Rd.
Gosnold, MA 02713
41.423587, -70.919240

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Barges Beach
Gosnold, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride
Sun, October 04
Sakonnet Point, RI to Woods Hole,
Pumpkin Day at Bourne Farm
Sat, October 10
9:00AM - 3:00PM
Bourne Farm,
Buzzards Bay Coalition Golf Tournament
Fri, October 16
12:00PM - 6:00PM
The Bay Club,

Nearby Places To Go

Church’s Beach

Take an island excursion to Cuttyhunk and discover Church's Beach, a Buzzards Bay paradise with crystal-clear waters.

Lookout Park

See views of Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the Bay at Lookout Park on Cuttyhunk.

Penikese Island

Hike rolling hills, snorkel pristine waters, and take in a fascinating history on this Buzzards Bay island unlike any other.

Current Issues

Land Conservation

Conserving land is one of the most important ways to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay. Since 1998, the Coalition has forever preserved more than 7,000 acres of land across our region.

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