Gooseberry Island

Explore nature, history, and spectacular coastal beauty at Gooseberry Island, part of Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Westport. Uniquely positioned near the mouth of Buzzards Bay, Gooseberry Island has a sandy beach, walking trails, a boat ramp, and unparalleled water views that attract visitors to its rugged shores year-round.

Discover Buzzards Bay Sponsored By primary sponsor logo
Discover Buzzards Bay Sponsored By
rocky shoreline at Gooseberry Island in Westport at sunset

Catch a golden sunset over Buzzards Bay from the rocky western side of Gooseberry Island in Westport. (Image: Alexey Sergeev)

Features

Gooseberry Island draws an eclectic mix of families, boaters, dog walkers, birders, and outdoor enthusiasts. With strong, salty sea breezes and a stunning panoramic view of Buzzards Bay, the island is a destination for anyone who loves exploring the coast. Gooseberry Island is also home to a concrete observation tower that was built during World War II as part of the coastal defense system to watch for German submarines.

The island is connected to the mainland by the short Thomas E. Pettey Memorial Causeway, which begins on East Beach Road. On the west side of the island, waves crash against the rocky shoreline. On the east side, Buzzards Bay laps gently along a sandy beach. There’s an unimproved shoreline boat ramp here, which is best for kayakers, windsurfers, small skiffs, and other small watercraft because it’s very shallow and surrounded by rocks.

Trails

The wide, sandy path at Gooseberry Island runs for about a half-mile down the length of the island. We recommend allowing about an hour to explore here, because there’s a lot to enjoy!

Beginning from the parking area, walk down a long, flat path that runs through the middle of the island. As you approach the towers, the path splits in two. Turn right to explore the towers up close; turn left to head toward the island’s gentler eastern shore. You can also loop around the tip of the island by walking along the beach.

Habitats & Wildlife

Because of its location near the mouth of Buzzards Bay, Gooseberry Island is well known as a birding hotspot. It’s a thoroughfare for migratory birds as they travel up and down the Atlantic flyway. Hundreds of species have been recorded here, from warblers and swallows to geese, ducks, and seabirds. Rare piping plovers nest on the beach, so please stay away from any marked nesting areas.

Property Owned By

Beaches, wooded parks, parkways, and reservoirs — All of these places make up the Massachusetts state parks, operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Details
Size: 73 acres
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Parking: Medium-sized gravel parking lot (vehicles and trailers)
Trail Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Dogs: Yes (on leash)
Facilities: Boat Ramp, Kayak Launch, Restrooms (seasonal)
Boat Ramp: Yes (shoreline)
Lifeguards: No
ADA Accessible: No

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Address & Contact Information
10 East Beach Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
41.491880, -71.039156

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Gooseberry Island
Westport, MA
View larger map

Related Stories

How tiny mussels tell the story of toxic pollution in Buzzards Bay

Federal programs like Mussel Watch play a vital role in the Coalition’s work to fight pollution – but threats to the future of federal science, research, and funding could rob us of the tools we need to save Buzzards Bay.

Full Story ›
12 places on the South Coast to take a Sunday stroll in 2017

Even if you have a busy schedule, making the time for a simple Sunday stroll can help improve your heart health, ease stress, and create a connection to the outdoors.

Full Story ›
How to go snorkeling in Buzzards Bay

If you’re looking for a new way to cool off from summer’s heat, snorkeling in Buzzards Bay provides just the ticket!

Full Story ›

Upcoming Events Near Here

27th Annual New Year’s Day Beach Walk
Mon, January 01
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Gooseberry Island,
Westport
New Year’s Day Beach Ramble
Mon, January 01
2:00PM - 4:00PM
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,
Westport
Snowshoeing the Shoreline
Sun, January 14
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,
Westport