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.

Note: The beach remains open, but the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has temporarily closed the parking lot to discourage crowds from gathering. You will find nearly 60 beaches around the Bay to visit on Discover Buzzards Bay.

Features

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)

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
West Shore Road
Westport, MA 02790
41.491880, -71.039156
Horseneck Beach State Reservation: (508) 636-8816
Email: horseneck.beach@state.ma.us

Please follow all posted rules and regulations at this property.

Gooseberry Island
Westport, MA
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Upcoming Events Near Here

Vernal Pool Virtual Exploration
Fri, April 10
12:00PM
Westport Woods Conservation Park ,
Westport
Junior Bird Club – Osprey Afternoon
Tue, May 05
6:00PM - 7:30PM
Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,
Westport
Buzzards Bay Swim
Sat, June 27
6:30AM - 10:30AM
Fort Phoenix State Reservation,
Fairhaven

Nearby Places To Go

Horseneck Beach State Reservation

With two miles of sand and surf, the 600-acre Horseneck Beach State Reservation is a recreational paradise in Westport.

East Beach (Westport)

This rocky stretch in Westport offers stunning views of the Elizabeth Islands across the Bay’s sparkling waters.

Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Dartmouth protects a delicate coastal ecosystem for migratory birds.

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.

Read More ›