Crane Beach

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Not to be confused with Crane Beach, Barbados.
Panorama of Crane Beach in September 2007

Crane Beach is a 1,234-acre (4.99 km2) conservation and recreation property located in Ipswich, Massachusetts, immediately north of Cape Ann. It consists of a four-mile-long (6 km) sandy beachfront, dunes, and a maritime pitch pine forest. Five and a half miles of hiking trails through the dunes and forest are accessible from the beachfront.

Crane Beach is open year-round, and is free to Ipswich residents with the purchase of a yearly beach parking sticker. Non-residents must pay a fee to enter ($25 on weekends during peak season for a car). In the summer months there is a refreshment bar, and the restrooms, showers and changing facilities are open year-round.

Crane Beach in August 2014

During low tide, it is often possible to wade out to sand bars, and during the warm months small boats often dock on these sand bars. Across the water, Plum Island and its sandy beaches are visible.

Crane Beach was established in 1945 as a gift from Richard T. Crane Jr., son of Richard T. Crane, and his family. Along with Castle Hill and the Crane Wildlife Refuge, it is owned and maintained by The Trustees of Reservations.

Crane Beach is an important nesting site for the threatened piping plover. The 2006 International Piping Plover Breeding Census estimated that only 3,884 plovers remained. According to the same 2006 census, Crane Beach was home to 19 breeding pairs and 40 total adults.[1]

The Greenhead fly is active in this area for a few weeks in July.[2]

The Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) provides summer weekend bus service on sunny days between the Ipswich MBTA train station and Crane Beach.[3] The walk-on fee is $2 per person.


  1. ^ Elliott-Smith, Elise; Haig, Susan; Powers, Brandi. "Data from the 2006 International Piping Plover Census (Data Series 426)" (PDF). U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "CATA Purple Line IPSWICH - ESSEX - CRANE BEACH". CATA. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 

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Coordinates: 42°41′15″N 70°46′11″W / 42.6874°N 70.7696°W / 42.6874; -70.7696