I think I know how Magellan felt. When I arrived at Cape Hedge Beach in Rockport, Massachusetts about one hour before sunrise yesterday it was exhilarating to think I discovered a new little gem of a beach. I suspect this is not much news to the residents of Rockport that guard their beautiful spots with “residents only” parking signs – but that did not stop me. I am an explorer after all.
To be fair, I can’t take all the credit for finding it. This great little website http://www.capeannmass.com/rm/secret.html has several places like this that I will be talking about.
I am sure you are safe if you go as early as I did, as no one would notice that you are parking there in the dark. So here are the directions – head north on Route 128 till it ends – then bear left onto Bass Avenue and then bear left again heading North on Route 127A (Thatcher Road) towards Rockport and take a right turn on Seaview Street. If you get to Laurel Acres Road you went too far. It also looks like in the summer, there is a footbridge from Long Beach in Gloucester that connects the two beaches, but today only half of the bridge was in place.
The beach at low tide is fairly long and wide and spoils you with a nice view of the Thatcher Island Lighthouses. There are several pretty rocky outcroppings that give the beach some real character. Also there is a little Island (really a peninsula) called Cape Hedge Island that sits between Long Beach and Cape Hedge Beach that is fun to explore with some really interesting granite boulder formations. I was fortunate that there were great views of the clouds and sunrise this morning.
So why is it called Cape Hedge Beach – well I am assuming that it is because of this huge hedge of Cape Ann colored rocks. Here are some photos that should give you the feel.