Archive for the 'Quarry' Category

May 2010 Programs & Events



The May 2010 schedule of programs and events at Halibut Point State Park begins on Saturday, May 1st at 10:00am with the park’s Quarry Tour.   Meeting at the Visitors Center and running every Saturday thru the end of October, this popular Halibut Point standard program features the showing of a ten minute video, a granite-splitting demonstration, a tour of the former Babson Farm Quarry and an introduction into the history of building with natural stone in America.

On Sunday, May 2nd at 12:00pm and on every Sunday thru May Halibut Point is offering The Military History of Halibut Point.  This program, taking place inside the Visitors Center, features a visit to the park’s new military history display, details about its two-centuries long military history and a climb to the top of the park’s five-story World War Two artillery fire control tower.

In May there will be four trips down to the shore for some intertidal exploration.  The Tidepools program, meeting at the Visitors Center,  will be offered on Sunday, May 9 @ 2pm; Friday, May 21 @ 2pm; Sunday, May 30 @ 9am and Monday, May 31 @ 10:00am.

On Sunday, May 16th at 8:00am Halibut Point is presenting Birding for Beginners with Peter Van Demark.  This two-hour stroll along park paths and along the rocky shore meets in the parking lot.  Note: The May Birding for Beginners program usually takes place at the peak of the wrabler migration!

Halibut Point’s May special programs begin on Sunday, May 16th at 2:00pm with The Secret Life of the Eastern Coyote.  Co-sponsored by the DCR and Friends of Halibut Point State Park, join Jon Way of Eastern Coyote Research and author of Suburban Howls who will present unique insights into these misunderstood, fascinating and highly successful predators.  This program meets inside the Visitors Center and like every program and event at Halibut Point State Park is FREE.  For more on Eastern Coyote Research, visit:

Essex County Amphibians will be at Halibut Point on Saturday, May, 22 at 12:00pm.  Join Richard Wolniewicsz and live frogs, toads, salamanders and more!  Preceded at 9:00am by a volunteer coastal clean-up, both sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park.  To get involved, go to:

Sunday, May 23rd at 3:00pm will feature Halibut Point’s first 2010 Sunday Sounds concert with the classic hits unplugged of long-time park favorites Livin’ on Luck.  Future 2010 Summer Sounds concerts will feature musical acts such as Alek Razdan and rock legend Willie Alexander.  For a flyer of Halibut Point’s May 2010 programs and events you can download and/or print out for yourself, just click here.


Coming Events – October 2009

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In October, Halibut Point State Park is offering standard programming along with one very special event.   The park has its Saturday morning Quarry Tour scheduled at 10:00am thru October 24th and Halibut Point’s Tower Tour will take place on Sundays at 12:00pm thru October 18th.  The DCR Universal Access Team is sponsoring a Universal Access Hike at at park on Friday, October 2nd at 11:00am and Peter Van Demark will again host Birding for Beginnerson Sunday morning, October 18th – meet him in the parking lot at 8:00am.  And as always, DCR programs are FREE, including this special event detailed below:

The Cape Ann Ice Age Trail

Did you know the pattern of recent Ice Ages is the defining event on Earth over the past several million years?  Do you know what defines and causes an Ice Age?  That the most recent Ice Age is likely the cause of the rise of the modern human species?  That until 12,000 years ago North America was the greatest land of predatory creatures since the Jurassic era? Or that the entire New England region was under a mile of ice that recently?  Cape Ann is one of the most significant geological areas in America and one of the best places to see and know the last Ice Age up close in front of you and on Saturday, October 11th and Sunday, October 12th the DCR and Trustees of Reservations are combining to provide The Cape Ann Ice Age Trail.  This two day special program will be hosted at the DCR’s Halibut Point State Park on October 11th and at the Trustees Ravenswood Park in Gloucester on October 12th.  Both programs get underway at 2:00pm.  For a flyer you can download with October’s Halibut Point programs and events, click here.

Coming Events – August 2009

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In August, Halibut Point State Park is featuring special programs and events every weekend, kicking off with an August 2nd, 3:00pm Sunday Sounds concert of well-known R&B, jazz and swing instrumentals by Alek Razdan and A-Train.  

On Saturday, August 8th the park is hosting Nature Day with two back-to-back live animal programs with the theme of creatures seldom seen.  At 1:00 Kristen Lamb from the Center for Wildlife, Cape Neddick, Maine will present Nocturnal Animals, a wonderful introduction to the creatures of the night.  And at 3:00pm, Richard Wolniewicz will offer Creepy Crawlies with newts, frogs, salamanders and more.  Bring the family for these special presentations and receive free Park Passports for the kids.  

Peter Van Demark will offer Birding for Beginners on Sunday, August 16th at 8:00am – meet him in the parking lot. 

There will be another Sunday Sounds concert on August 23rd at 3:00pm with bluegrass originals and favorites from the Squatcho Bondo Band. 

On Friday, August 28th at 5:00pm it’ll be Shakespeare in the park with the Rebel Shakespeare Company’s Teen Intensive Program performance of Twelfth Night against the backdrop of the Babson Farm Quarry.  To learn more about the Rebel Shakespeare Company, go to –  This performance, like all programs & events at Halibut Point State Park, is FREE.

August’s standard park programs are the Saturday 10:00am Quarry Tour which includes a stone-cutting demonstration.  On Sundays at 12:00pm the park offers a Tower Tour detailing the almost two centuries long military history of Halibut Point and on Fridays, Reading the Forested Landscape, an examination of the natural history of a landscape that includes deciphering clues determining forest composition will be offered at 10:00am.  Finally, down to the sea rocks for some inter-tidal fun with Tidepools will be on Monday, August 10th at 10:00am.   All programs meet at the park’s Visitors Center.  For a brochure of August programs & events that you can download, click here.

Coming Events – July 2009

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In July, Halibut Point for the first time is featuring a number of the park’s most popular standard programs together in a single month.  The Quarry Tour will continue on Saturdays at 10:00am and there will be Tidepools programs on three dates: Friday, July 3rd at 2:00pm; Saturday, July 26 at 10:00am and Friday, July 31 at 2:00pm.  Geology Rocks! will be on Sundays, July 5, 12 and 16 at 11:00am, and Ceremonial Time: The 15,000 Years of Fifty Acres will take place on Tuesdays July 7, 14 and 28 at 10:00am

Special programs and events for July are Dragonflies in the Park, and exploration of the world of odonata, one of the oldest species of life on the planet.  This program will take place on July 10 and 24 at 11:00am.  July’s Birding for Beginners will be on Sunday, July 19 at 8:00am – meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot.  On Saturday, July 25 at 8:00am Halibut Point will host the  Essex National Heritage Photo Safari featuring Tamron and Hunt’s Photo and Video.  To register for this event, go to:  Halibut Point’s July schedule of special programs and events will conclude on July 26 at 3:00 with another Sunday Sounds concert featuring the oldies but goodies of Midlife Crisis.  For a flyer you can download with the July schedule and more information about the month’s programs, click here.

Coming Events – June 2009

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The June schedule at Halibut Point State Park is featuring several special programs.  On Saturday, June 6th at 2:00pm the DCR will undertake the first Atlantic Path program of the season.  The Atlantic Path, since beginning as a Halibut Point event three years ago, has grown to become a very popular program: a three-hour trek along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline featuring some birding, great tidepools, interesting history and what many come to the program for – the stunning geology of the blue quartz and amethyst pegmatites at Andrews Point, which is among the most significant geological areas in New England.  The Atlantic Path includes guest environmental educators and includes some caveats – this is not a “path” per se, but a rocky coastline that can be, in sections, due to bouldering somewhat challenging to negotiate; it’s best not to wear shorts due to poison ivy, hard rocks, thorny thicket, poison ivy and biting insects and please consider that  there are no amenities while we are out there.  If you can handle all that, you may find The Atlantic Path one of the most rewarding nature programs you’ll ever attend.   

The next special program at Halibut Point in June is Follow the Full Moon.  This program, which follows the full Moon over a period of months at Massachusetts northeast region state parks takes place at Halibut Point on Sunday, June 7th beginning at 8:00pm and offers evening activities related to scientific and cultural interpretations of the full Moon. 

On Friday, June 12th at 8:00pm the park will host a special event – Mars in 3-D.  Sponsored by the DCR and Gloucester Area Astronomy Club, this program is about Mars, a planet of mystery and imagination and in recent decades a series of robotic explorations have stripped away much of the unknown.  Sky & Telescope magazine Editor-in-Chief Robert Naeye will  present recent images of Mars in spectacular 3-dimensions and provide an update about ongoing Mars missions.  Red-and-blue 3-D anaglyph glasses will be provided for all attendees.  Besides his affiliation with Sky & Telescope magazine, Robert has worked on the editorial staffs of Discover and Astronomy  magazine as well as being senior science writer for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Astrophysics Science Division.   He has written two books: Through the Eyes of Hubble: The Birth, Life and Violent Death of Stars and Signals from Space: The Chandra X-ray Observatory.  Following Robert’s presentation, there will be public stargazing (weather permitting) with telescopes provided by the Gloucester Area Astronomy Club.

Snakes of Massachusetts and the World is the next June special program at Halibut Point.  Licensed herpatologist Rick Roth of the Cape Ann Vernal Pond team will bring over twenty live snakes for viewing and handling on Saturday, June 27th at 2:00pm.  This is perenially one of the popular programs every season at the park and is sure to bring a crowd.  Bring the young ones and a camera!

Halibut Point’s monthly Birding for Beginners will be on Sunday, June 21st at 8:00am.  Meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot.  In May, Peter and others reported an extraordinary amount of warblers in the park.  Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Black-throated, Black & White, Yellow-rumped and Magnolia warblers were some of the ones spotted at Halibut Point in the later part of May. 

On Sunday, June 28th at 3:00pm the park will host its  second  Sunday Sounds concert with the original and well-known R &B, jazz and swing instrumentals of Alek Razdan and A-Train.  Sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park.

Besides the above schedule of special events and programs Halibut Point in June is also offering its standard Quarry Tour on Saturdays at 10:00am and Tower Tour on Sundays at Noon.  There are also two Tidepools programs, on Monday, June 15th at 11:00am and on Friday, June 19th at 2:00pm.

As always, every program and event at Halibut Point State Park is FREE.  For a flyer of June’s events you can download, click here.


Coming Events – May 2009







Programming for May 2009 at Halibut Point State Park begins on the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd with the premiere of an art installation created by students from the Montserrat College of Art.  The displays, situated inside the Visitors Center as well as out & about in the park, center around the interpretive themes of Halibut Point.  The installation will remain on view at the park until May 17th and all are invited to meet the students, who will be onsite from 1-4 p.m. on the 2nd & 3rd.

On Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m. Halibut Point State Park’s Quarry Tour will begin and run every Saturday.  Meet at the Visitors Center and join us for this ever-popular program which entails a video, granite-splitting demonstration and tour of the former Rockport Granite Company’s Babson Farm Quarry.

Beginning Sunday, May 10th at 12:00 p.m. and continuing on every Sunday thereafter the park’s Tower Tour will commence for another season.  This program, taking place inside the Visitors Center, details the two centuries of military history at Halibut Point and features a trip to all five levels of the park’s artillery fire control tower, one of very few that are open to the public. 

Halibut Point’s Tidepools program will be featured twice in May 2009 – on Sunday, May 17th and Sunday May 31st at 9:30 a.m. meeting in the Visitors Center for a trip to the rocky shore and some inter-tidal exploration.

The park’s monthly Birding for Beginners program will be on May 17th at 8:00 a.m.  Meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot for this two hour stroll around the trails & shore in search of the sights and sounds of local birds.  You can download a checklist of the species of birds one may see and/or hear around Halibut Point State Park by clicking here.

Sunday, May 31st at 3:00 p.m. is the kickoff to Halibut Point State Park’s Summer Sounds concert series.   Our opening show features a return prerformance of classic hits unplugged by Livin’ on Luck.  The concert takes place outside the Visitors Center and is sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park.

All programs and events at Halibut Point State Park are FREE.  To download a flyer with the park’s May schedule of programs & events, use this link.

Coming Events – September 2009

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The September schedule of special programs & events at Halibut Point State Park begins with the park’s final Sunday Sounds concert.  On Sunday, September 6th at 3:00pm it’ll be Willie Alexander and the Persistence of Memory Orchestra.  Don’t miss this long-time Boston rock legend and enduring icon.  Willie Alexander’s career spans the 1960’s “Bosstown Sound” as a member of The Lost and Bagatelle, thru a stint in The Velvet Underground, onto ground-breaking 1970’s punk as leader of Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band and in recent decades noteworthy solo projects in music, art and literature.  For more on this musician and his resplendent body of work, go to:  This concert is sponsored by the Friends of Halibut Point State Park and like all programs & events at Halibut Point, it is FREE.  Yes, it’ll be Willie Alexander at Halibut Point! 

On Sunday, September 20 at 8:00am the park will host its monthly Birding for Beginners program.  Meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot.

The Center for Wildlife of Cape Neddick, Maine is once again offering a special program at Halibut Point, this time on Saturday, September 26th at 1:00pm.  New England Birds of Prey features live ambassador raptors such as hawks and owls along with a presentation detailing the lives of these amazing creatures and the challenges they face today.  Please have a look at their website – – to learn more about their mission of strengthening regional capacity to protect wildlife through rehabilitation, conservation and education.  This program is sponsored by the Friends of Halibut Point State Park. 

Standard programming for September at Halibut Point include the Quarry Tour every Saturday morning at 10:00am which entails a video, granite-splitting demonstration and a walk around the Babson Farm quarry.  The Tower Tour, every Sunday at 12:00pm, details the military history of the park, including a climb-up the five stories of its artillery fire control tower.  Tidepools will be offered twice in Spetember – on Monday, September 7th at 8:00am and on Monday, September 14th at 2:00pm.  And Dragonflies in the Park, an exploration of the life of odonata, is scheduled for Friday, September 4th & 11th at 1:00pm.  Click here for a flyer you can download containing Halibut Point’s September schedule.

Coming in October – The DCR and Trustees of Reservations present The Cape Ann Ice Age Trail – a two day event at Halibut Point State Park and Ravenswood Park in Gloucester.

2008 Programs – September

In September, Halibut Point State Park is featuring a full schedule of standard programs and special events.  The park’s Quarry Tour will continue every Saturday at 10:00am, the Tower Tour remains on the schedule every Sunday at 1:00pm and the popular Geology Rocks! program will be featured on two Mondays, September 1st & 8th at 1:00pm. Special events for September include Halibut Point’s final Sunday Sounds concert for the season on Sunday, September 7th at 3:00pm with perennial park favorites the Squatch Bondo Band and their bluegrass renditions of popular music.  On Saturday, September 13th at 2:00pm the park will host Cape Ann Beneath the Sea, with diver and underwater photographer Dave Milhouser presenting images of marine life off Cape Ann.  On Saturday, September 20th at 2:00pm Halibut Point and The Trustees of reservations will once again offer The Atlantic Path.  This three-hour, moderately challenging trek along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline from Halibut Point to Pigeon Cove and back features extraordinary geology, tidepools, birding and more.  Sunday, September 21st at 8:00am Peter Van Demark will once again be leading Birding for Beginners – this program meets in the parking lot.  Also on Sunday, September 21st at 5:00pm Halibut Point will present natural light photographer Leslie Bartlett’s A Stonecutter’s Tale: Stories of the Quarry.  A silhouette puppet-play for the entire family, this program takes place outside overlooking the Babson Farm Quarry.  And on Saturday, September 27th at 2:00pm the park will offer Birds of Prey.  Sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park and presented by The Center for Wildlife from Cape Neddick, Maine, this program will explore, via birds, posters and hands-on materials the different kinds of raptors that live in New England.  Unless otherwise noted, all programs begin in the park’s Visitors Center and are always FREE.  For a flyer you can download with Halibut Point’s September programs & events, click here.

Coming in October Halibut Point will offer more standard park programs, the Masschusetts Department of Public Health’s Keep Moving program, an autumn Nature & Wildflower Walk with Ed Jylkka and more Birding for Beginners.

2008 Programs – May

Before checking out our May schedule, take a moment to learn about the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Great Park Pursuit. Part of the DCR’s No Child Left Inside initiative, The Great Park Pursuit is a team challenge adventure activity meant to connect families with over four hundred outdoor places across the Commonwealth to be discovered, treasured and shared.  Teams are challenged to visit different sites during a six week period as part of a Massachusetts State Parks Family Adventure.  Hike to amazing views, learn to fish, pitch a tent, discover secrets of the past, ride a horse-drawn wagon, see birds of prey and even learn hows cows are milked.  Complete tasks at all six state parks and be deemed a semi-finalist eligible to compete for grand prize packages.  To find out more about The Great Park Pursuit, go to    

In May, Halibut Point will feature its Quarry Tour every Saturday at 10:00am and Tower Tour on Sundays at 1:00pm.  The park’s Tidepools programming will commence on May 26 at 11:00am and continue with another trip down to the rocks for some intertidal exploration on May 30 at 1:00pm.  Special programs in May are the DCR’s Park Serve Day on Saturday May 17 from 9:00am to 2:00pm.  This statewide volunteer effort to beautify and protect Massachusetts state parks, forests and reservations will conclude with a presentation of The Frog and Salamander Show sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point State Park.  To register to participate or learn more about Massachusetts Park Serve Day, go to  On Sunday, May 18, Peter Van Demark will lead another Birding for Beginners, meeting in the parking lot at 8:00am.  On Saturday, May 24 at 2:00pm Ed Jylkka will lead a Wildflower Walk around the park and on Saturday, May 31 The DCR will parnter with The Trustees of Reservations for The Atlantic Path.  This 2-3 hour walk along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline from Halibut Point to Pigeon Cove entails negotiating some moderately challenging terrain and features some extraordinary geology, tidepools and birding.  Unless otherwise noted, all Halibut Point programs leave from the Visitors Center and all of them are always FREE.  To download a copy of the Halibut Point May schedule, click here.

Upcoming 2008 programs and events at Halibut Point State Park will include standard programs Geology Rocks!, Ceremonial Time: The Fifteen Thousand years of Fifty AcresReading the Forested Landscape and more!  Special events this year will include another season of Sunday Sounds concerts sponsored by The Friends of Halibut Point (kicking off with Livin’ on Luck on June 1 and followed by Alek Razdan and A-Train on June 22), Stargazing, Birds of Prey, Dragonflies in the Park, a special family program from natural light photographer Leslie Bartlett, monthly Birding for Beginners, Snakes of Massachusetts and the World and more to be announced.

2007 Programs – September


In September, Halibut Point is featuring more of its popular standard programs: the Quarry Tour, Reading the Landcape, Tidepools, and one more presentation of Ceremonial Time: The 15,000 Years of Fifty Acres.  Special events for the month include The Atlantic Path, a walk along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline with The Trustees of Reservations interpreter Ramona Latham on September 8th and another Sunday Sounds concert on September 16th with an encore performance by Livin’ on Luck.  On Sunday the 23rd, Halibut Point will host another Birding for Beginners with Peter Van Demark.  And on  September 29th, the park will present The Military History of Halibut Point, an event to honor those who have served and featuring the debut of a new interpretive display inside the Visitors Center.  This event, the culmination of three years research and including contributions from the DCR, Friends of Halibut Point, Coast Defense Study Group, Sandy Bay Historical Society, MIT, Lincoln Lab, the US Army Center for Military History, MITRE, the US Navy Historical Center, the Computer History Museum and others promises to be a special day at the park and all are invited.  See below for September’s schedule.  If you want to download a flyer with September’s calendar of programs dates and times, just click here.

Quarry Tour                                                   Saturdays  10:00am  

Attend our weekly granite walk around the former Babson Farm Quarry.  Beginning with the showing of a short film, this program features a stone-cutting demonstration, explains how rock is quarried, details the unique geology of Cape Ann and presents the history of building with natural stone in America.  Later, the Visitors Center will be open for a climb to its five-story World War II observation tower.  This program lasts approximately 90 minutes and entails a one mile moderately paced stroll around the quarry.  The Babson Farm Quarry, in operation from the 1840’s until 1929 (though stone was cut at the site from the 1790’s, perhaps even earlier), is an excellent place to view evidence of progression in stone-cutting techniques and learn about the role stone harvesting, transporation and building played in the development of technology that led to the Industrial Revolution. 

Reading the Landscape                                  Sundays  11:00am

This program is an examination of the natural history of a landscape.  Using the life and land of Halibut Point as an example, participants will learn how to read the clues that determine palnt and tree composition as well as the topographic, substrate and social factors that shape a landscape.  This program meets at the Visitors Center and entails about two miles of walking over 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

Tidepools                     September 3 @ 11:00am; September 22 @ 2:00pm

Halibut Point has wonderful tidepools.  Come explore its intertidal life and learn about coastal splash zones.  This program lasts about 90 minutes and there is some climbing about on rocks that may be slippery.  You need to watch your step, but the trip os worth it!


Ceremonial Time: The Fifteen Thousand Years of Fifty Acres             

Wednesday, September 5th                                        6:00pm

A “psychological” history and the “spirit” – past, present and possible future of a place gleaned via history, anthropology, architecture, geology, intuition and more.  Inspired by John Hanson Mitchell’s book. 

The Atlantic Path                                Saturday, September 8th  1:00pm

A walk along Rockport’s resplendent public coastline from Halibut Point to the Emerson Inn – and back.  Featuring extraordinary geology, tidepools and birding, this two-hour trek entails negotiating some challenging terrain.  Sponsored by the DCR and The Trustees of Reservations.

Sunday Sounds            Livin’ on Luck            September 16     3:00pm

An encore concert by Livin’ on Luck, featuring their traditional, country and classic rock sounds in an inventive “unplugged” style.  Brought to you by the DCR and Friends of Halibut Point.

 Birding for Beginners                           Sunday, September 23     8:00am

Meet Peter Van Demark in the parking lot.  In August, Peter reported seeing: chickadees, catbirds, cliff swallows, herring and great black-backed gulls, common eiders, goldfinches, house wrens, double-breasted cormorants and a pheasant.  September should bring some interesting sights as birds begin their movement along the coastal migratory path.

The Military History of Halibut Point    Saturday, September 29   1:00pm

With contributions from the DCR, Friends of Halibut Point, the Coast Defense Study Group, Sandy Bay Historical Society, MIT, Lincoln Lab, the US Army Center for Military History, MITRE, the US Naval Historical Center and others, this program, a thank you to all those who have served,  features the debut of the park’s new interpretive display inside the Visitors Center.


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