Gifford Street Boat Ramp is somewhat of a local secret, hidden behind the industrial neighborhood that borders busy JFK Memorial Highway. A double ramp provides plenty of launching space for boats of all sizes. Alongside the ramp, a long floating dock serves as a convenient place to tie up, or to cast out a fishing line while you wait to launch! Launching is free, though there are daily and seasonal fees for parking. A dinghy rack provides storage space for small boats, for a seasonal fee.
Moorings are also available off of Gifford Street, in the water surrounding Palmer’s Island. To arrange for a mooring rental, contact Pope’s Island Marina, Bayline Inc. Boatyard and Transport (located next to the Gifford Street ramp), or Whaling City Moorings, depending on your desired location.
Fishermen and boaters aren’t the only people who enjoy this spot. The Gifford Street Boat Ramp is directly next to the eastern end of the Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail. From here, you can walk or cycle the scenic New Bedford HarborWalk to the end of the Hurricane Barrier and watch boats pass in and out of the harbor. For a longer trip, continue south and west on the bike path around the tip of the New Bedford peninsula to explore local beaches and historic sites like Fort Taber Park and Hazelwood Park.
Habitats & Wildlife
The skies above New Bedford Harbor are alive with seabirds like gulls, terns, and osprey. Many species of fish live below the waters. But because of toxic PCB pollution in the harbor, fishing here is strictly catch-and-release.