Located in the southern part of Westport, Massachusetts is the wonderful Horseneck Beach State Reservation. Horseneck Beach State Reservation is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Massachusetts and regularly attracts over 100,000 people (including thousands of RV lovers) who are looking to enjoy themselves on their road trip. The modern history of the area dates back to the early 20th century after a causeway was built from Horseneck Beach to Gooseberry Island. It was also part of the US Army Coastal Defense, and it has been used as a casino and campground. After two severe hurricanes, the land was turned over to the state, and it was officially opened in 1956.
Horseneck Beach State Reservation is made up of 800 beautiful acres along the Atlantic Ocean, including around two miles of soft sand coastline. With plenty of activities from swimming, sailing, and basketball, there are a variety of things that are suitable for visitors of all ages, no matter their skill level.
Just down the road, you will find camping if you want an extended stay right next to Horseneck Beach. There are 96 RV-friendly campsites available for you to enjoy, including some that even have ocean views. The campsites can make for a great getaway from the city and have plenty of nature surrounding them. Peak season at Horseneck Beach State Reservation is during the summer months.
Located in one of the southernmost areas of Massachusetts, traveling to Horseneck Beach State Reserve will mean that you will drive on either MA-88 or E Beach Road as these are the only ways to reach the area. The most popular out of the two entrances is via MA-88, since this way will take you through the main entrance. If you need to stock up on any supplies or amenities before your visit to Horseneck Beach State Reserve, there are plenty of places that you can visit, including Westport (around five miles away), Dartmouth (around 12 miles away), and New Bedford (about 14 miles away). Besides New Bedford, the city of Fall River is also close by if you want to access more services. It can be found approximately 17.5 miles to the northwest. The roads in and around the park are kept in great condition as they are operated and maintained by the state. The campground can accommodate RVs up to 42 feet in length, but anything over this size will have some difficulty. During the wintertime, the park is still open; however, the winter weather may impact driving conditions. Are you visiting the park for the day? There are two extremely large parking lots opposite the beach where you can park your RV.
Horseneck Beach Campground is the perfect place for you to set up camp for your stay within the park. Some campsites overlook the ocean, while others have the view of whoever is camping next door. No matter where you stay in the campground, it is known for being a quiet and clean campground that is suitable for families.
There are 100 RV-friendly campsites for you to choose from, all of which are primitive with no electrical or water hookups. Other amenities within the campground include water collection points, a playground, restrooms, and a dump station. Pets are allowed at the campground, and you should be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks. Walk-ins to the campground are welcome, but campsites can be hard to come by in the popular summer months. Because of this, we recommend that you book a reservation in advance. Check-in is at 1 PM, and check-out is at 11 AM.
If you’re not the biggest fan of crowds, but you love to take in the scenery and the beauty of the beach, watching the sunset over the water in the winter is a highly recommended activity. The crowds won’t be there, and you can bundle up with a blanket and even bring a warm beverage. The sunsets at Horseback Beach State Reserve tend to be more colorful, and you can watch the sun sink beneath the water of the Atlantic Ocean.
There is plenty of wildlife around Horseneck Beach State Reserve. You might think that the cold winter months will cause wildlife to disappear, but it is a great opportunity to see what species of birds are around in the wintertime. Be sure to bring your bird book and a pair of binoculars to see which types of birds you spot during your visit. Some birds you may see during the winter include snow bunnies, field sparrows, and short-eared owls.
For visitors interested in getting out and exploring more of the area, there are some great trails available for you to use. Known as the Gooseberry Neck Trails, this is a multi-use two-mile paved trail that can be used for walking, running, and biking. The trail is available all year round for you to enjoy, so you can still bundle up in the winter and enjoy the views. Since you are at the beach, you can also take off your shoes and go for many relaxing beach walks. Since it will be off-season, you’ll be able to take it all in without a large crowd on the beach, which is a huge bonus.
The Gooseberry Neck Trail is also a great place to break out the pushbike and go for an easy ride. The roughly two-mile paved trail will be a chill experience that is suitable for visitors of all skill levels. Though it is not a designated bike trail and there will be pedestrians, it’s a beautiful area that is great to see on a bike. If you don't bring a bike to the park, you will have to rent one privately as there are none available at the park.
If you love to fish, you will be pleased to know that there are some unique fishing opportunities at Horseneck Beach State Reservation. Since the location of the park is right on the beach, you can get out and do some surf fishing, which is a rarity for state parks. Depending on the tides, the best fishing spots will vary, but some of the species you could catch include stripers and blues. There is also some great river fishing to be done, including a boat ramp just off the MA-88 bridge.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy your time at Horseneck Beach State Reserve is to get down to Horseneck Beach and dive right into the Atlantic Ocean! Swimming is great fun for the whole family, and it's even more fun with water toys. Since it is the ocean, personal flotation devices on children are always advised, even when there is a lifeguard on duty.
Horseneck Beach State Reserve offers things like sailing and windsurfing, as well. Whether it’s your first time or you consider yourself a pro, this can be a great summer activity that’ll cool you right off. There are areas for motorized boats to be on and a space for non-motorized boats. Be sure to check the map before getting out on the water. Feel free to bring your kayak, paddleboard, or canoe to the water for some great summer fun in the sun.