Stage Fort Park

42.604599, -70.677428  
9 Hough Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 281-8865
Essex County

Stage Fort Park is located at 9 Hough Avenue in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Two beaches are located within the park, Cressy’s Beach and Half Moon Beach. Cressy’s Beach provides a wide open view of Gloucester Harbor and is the larger but less crowded of the two beaches.  The beach is extremely rocky, filled with seaweed, has limited hard packed sand, and is surrounded by a large rock seawall. Conditions on this beach may not ideal for children, and the beach does not have a lifeguard on duty at anytime of the year. Cressy’s Beach has smaller waves, an easy entry to the water, and is also a great option for those looking to relax away from crowds and lie out on the nearby grass. Half Moon Beach is the busier of the Stage Park beaches; it’s small, enclosed by rock formations and a rock seawall, with trees providing a barrier of shade. The space on this beach is limited during high-tide; the sand is hard packed, debris-free, with a gradual decline to the water. Half Moon Beach is near the old fort cannons and provides a spectacular view of Western Harbor and the boats passing by. Stage Fort Park offers much more than the beaches mentioned. During summer months fireworks, concerts, children’s storytelling, and fishing are all activities that occur at Stage Fort Park.

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Hours Of Operation

8am to 9pm

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$10 weekdays, $15 weekends and holidays with handicap spaces available

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Life Guard Schedule

Lifeguards are on duty only at Half Moon Beach, Memorial Day to Labor Day 9am to 5pm daily.

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Campfires are not allowed on beaches, grilling is allowed in the park area.

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Stage Fort Park is a carry in/carry out location that allows grills and has a “Snack Shack” on-site. Additional food is available within 5 minutes’ driving.

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Motels/hotels and rentals are within 5-10 minutes driving.

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Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1st through September 30th. Dogs on a leash are allowed from October 1st through April 30th.  
Another option to the beach is the on-site two acre off-leash dog park, offering large and small dog areas.

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Picnic Area

Picnic tables are situated throughout the park with grilling allowed. Reservations can be made for group events. For more information, call (978) 281-9785.

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The playground is located near the Visitor Center. Additionally the park has a basketball court, tennis courts, baseball fields, and a volleyball court.

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Public Transportation

The Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) is another option for transportation.

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Restrooms / Showers

Restrooms and showers are located in the Visitor Center; an additional shower is located near Half Moon Beach.

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Surfing/Kayaking/Paddle Boarding

Surfing is not allowed Memorial Day through Labor Day 9am – 5pm, without permission of the life guards. No other floatation devices are allowed.

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Walking Trails

Walking paths are available throughout the park which offers scenic views of Western and Gloucester Harbor.

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Water Quality

Water quality is monitored from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more information please call (617) 626-1250. The accepted standard is 104 CFU/100mL in a single day or an average of 35 CFU/100mL over five days. The link below is the test results from 2003 to the current year.

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Water Temperature
(Click on “View more buoy data” to view water temperature.) 

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