The Secret Destination In Massachusetts That’s Only Accessible During Low Tide
What if I told you that there’s a hidden spot in Massachusetts that actually makes it possible to hike out to sea – on foot – and enjoy dazzling sunset views, all without getting your feet wet? Sometimes, the coolest secrets are lying just out of view.
This hidden, underwater walkway stretches out across Boston Harbor, and when the tide is low, you can actually travel out across the water along a spectacular, glittering sandbar. Unless you’ve heard about this spot from a local, you probably don’t even know it exists.
This area is located near Nickerson Beach and Squaw Rock.
It’s actually really easy to find the start of the sandbar. Head to East Squantum Road by Wollaston Beach in Quincy and head east. The road will become Dorchester Street and eventually turn into Moon Island Road before terminating in a guard gate. Moon Island is private property, but you won’t be headed there.
There’s free parking (two hour limit on weekdays) on the right shoulder of the road, and additional free parking available in a small dirt lot (no time limit) a few hundred feet before the gate.
Head behind the American Legion building (across the street from the parking lot) to find the beginning of the trail to the coast. Make sure the water is always to the right of you, and hike for about five or ten minutes. You’ll be let out near the water, and (if you’ve timed things correctly) you’ll see a crescent-shaped sandbar stretching out before you.
Don’t start walking on the sandbar more than 90 minutes before the start of low tide, and make sure you start heading back not too long after the tide starts coming back in.
The sandbar is quite wide, so you don’t need to worry about sliding off the edge. It ranges in width from 50 to 100 feet. It is long enough that you can walk uninterrupted for 15 to 20 minutes, taking in spectacular views of nearby Moon Island and Long island. The view of the Boston skyline is truly jaw-dropping, and best seen as the sun sets. The lights of the city will be sparkling, and the reflection of the glowing sun on the water all around is an unforgettable sight.
Even if you don’t walk out over the water, this secret park is a great place to watch the sun set and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. There’s a great view of the Boston skyline from the shore. Clamber over the rocks in search of periwinkles, or just sit and enjoy the lapping waves.
The sandbar actually leads to an interesting destination: Thompson Island. This Boston Harbor island is operated by the National & State Park Service, and normally open to the public via a seasonal ferry on weekends. It is technically possible to walk to the island from the shore using the sandbar, and there are local groups that organize sunset walks to the island. However, we do need to inform you that Thompson Island does not condone or recognize walkway visitors in any way, and strictly requires people to take the ferry. Though land below the mean high water mark (out to the ocean) is always publicly accessible in Massachusetts, it’s best to be respectful and not access Thompson Island via the walkway. The sandbar, however, is certainly below the mean high water mark.
You can find the sandbar at 87 Dorchester St., Quincy, MA.