Coolidge Reservation

Coolidge Reservation
561 Summer Street
Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944
978-526-8687

Perched on the peninsula known as Coolidge Point in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Coolidge Reservation showcases an unusual variety of natural settings in a relatively small area. Within its 66 acres, breathtaking vistas await as you explore rocky outcrops, woodlands, wetlands, a sandy beach, and the open expanse of the Ocean Lawn. This notable collection of diverse habitats harbors an assortment of plant and wildlife species. Part of historic Coolidge Point, Coolidge Reservation is named for the family who came to own the peninsula. At the tip of the Point is the magnificent Ocean Lawn. At one time the site of the family's “Marble Palace,” a Georgian-style mansion, it is now an open, grassy expanse edged by rocky headlands, with sweeping views of the coastline. The highest point on the Reservation, Bungalow Hill, also provides a panoramic view of the sea. The surrounding woodland is a characteristic New England and home to an array of birds and other wildlife, including fisher, fox, and coyote. Beyond the woodland, a trail leads past Clarke Pond. This former salt marsh was cut off from the tide nearly a century ago when its inlet was filled, leaving a predominantly freshwater pond. Saltwater periodically washes in during high tides and storms, bringing crabs and small fish from the ocean. The pond provides habitat for ducks and geese, and heron and shorebirds feed here. Several acres of wetlands surround the pond with cattail, bulrush, and cordgrass standing distinctively among the varied wetland plant life, also marked by colorful displays of trout lilies, jack-in-the-pulpit, and swamp buttercups.

Hours: 

Ocean Lawn: year-round, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 8am to sunset. Gray (Magnolia) Beach: May through September, 8am to sunset for walking only. Remainder of the property: year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.

Admission: 

FREE to all.

Driving Directions: 

From Rt. 128 Exit 15, take School St. south for 0.5 mi. Turn left onto Lincoln St. and follow for 0.5 mi. to stop sign at intersection with Rt. 127. Turn left onto Rt. 127 and follow for 2.2 mi. to entrance and parking (10 cars) on right.

Site Notes & Advisories: 

A one-mile trail runs from the parking area to the top of Bungalow Hill, around Clarke Pond to Magnolia Beach, and to the Ocean Lawn. Easy walking, though moderate in places. Dog walking is not permitted on the Ocean Lawn. Deer ticks here may carry Lyme disease; take precaution by using bug repellent and wearing long pants. Mountain biking is not allowed.

Flags: 

  • Family Friendly
  • Parking
  • Self guided

Categories: 

  • Birding
  • Winter Sports
  • Historic Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Early Settlement Trail
  • Great Marsh
  • Parks
  • Scenic Vistas

Property Owner/Organization: 

The Trustees of Reservations