Going Ashore

The shoreline surrounding Quissett Harbor can be roughly divided in to 3 parts. To the east is a wooded and widely spaced residential neighborhood with substantial houses overlooking the water. At the head of the harbor is the compact lot of the Quissett Harbor Boat Yard, with its classic marine railway. And to the left, forming the west side of the harbor, is a collection of land now owned by various private and non-profit groups interested in wildlife, land conservation and water access.

Much of this western shore was owned from the 1880's through the 1970's by the Carey family. Among other things, they ran a summer resort hotel known as the Quissett Harbor House in a big complex of buildings by the harbor's northwest corner. When Cornelia Carey died in 1973 she left the Knob and its peninsula as a public bird sanctuary.

The benefits of this to a visiting sailor are nice wooded paths out to the Knob, panoramic views across Buzzards Bay, and accessible beaches on both the harbor and Bay sides. To protect the Knob, and the harbor, from storms off the Bay and incessant love from the public, the outer stretches of the property were surrounded with a massive stone revetment in 2005.

A more complete story of this part of the harbor along with some nice older images is at the Quissett Harbor Preservation Trust website.

wooden picket gate
Geoff Rand
A gate on Quissett Harbor Road at the head of the harbor. This stretch of road looks across to the old Quissett Harbor House and out to the harbor itself. The views are popular with photographers and painters late in the day.
swamped canoe on beach
Geoff Rand
This one looks like an unsolved mystery. A beached canoe tied to the tree, paddle ready to go. With a month's worth of leaves and rainwater aboard.

One Hour Ashore

Whether you walk to the Knob around the harbor from the boatyard or dinghy in straight to the beaches on the west shore doesn't matter much for time. The Knob and the rest of its sanctuary closes at sunset.

Off the Beaten Path

You can take a right out of the boat yard lot and walk down the streets on east side of the harbor. The village of Woods Hole is about a mile and a half away.

Rainy Day

There are no public buildings or facilities ashore here.


  • Dinghy
  • Trash

The dinghy dock is around behind the left side of the boat yard wharf. Or you can dinghy over to the beach on the harbor's western shore.

There's a dumpster in the boat yard parking lot.