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Northeast

Crane Beach on the Crane Estate

Ipswich

1,234 acres

Soak up the seaside fun at one of the Northeast's most spectacular beaches, and follow trails and boardwalks through a spellbinding landscape of sand dunes and salt marsh.

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Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions
  • What You'll Find
  • Facilities
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories

Overview

Visited by more than 350,000 people annually, Crane Beach remains a national model for balancing conservation of diverse natural habitats and wildlife—more than 1,200 acres of beachfront, dunes, and maritime forest grace the property—with the management of active public recreation. Whether you want to take a refreshing plunge, play in the sand, or bask in the sun, this unparalleled seaside experience has provided fun and lasting memories for generations.

Crane Beach is among the world’s most important nesting sites for piping plovers—a threatened bird that was nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century for its eggs and feathers—and has been nationally recognized for its successful shorebird protection program. To protect threatened shorebirds during your visit, we ask that you avoid the fenced nesting areas and the wrack, the line of washed-up organic debris where the birds feed and hide.

Parking Passes are currently available for Members, including Crane Beach Permit Holders. All Members, including Permit Holders, must obtain a parking pass prior to arrival at Crane Beach.

Ideas for Your Visit

While swimming and sunbathing are the main draws, don’t miss more than five miles of trails that wind through coastal dunes and shield the inland areas from storm waves and flooding, and Castle Neck, site of the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest.

Beachfront

Lifeguard 8AM-5PM daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day

Snack Shack

Open daily 11AM-4PM

Beach Shop

Open daily 9AM-5PM

Trails
5.5 miles of trails traverse dunes and track the beachfront on both the Ipswich Bay and Essex River Estuary sides of the Castle Neck peninsula. Moderate hiking. These trails are part of the Bay Circuit Trail.

Admission & Hours

Hours and fees

New for 2020: Timed Entry Passes

  • As part of our response to COVID19, everyone needs a Timed Entry Pass to enter Crane Beach this summer, even our Permit holders. Learn why and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions here.
  • Passes are released at Noon on Mondays (for Tu/We/Th/Fr) and Thursdays (for Sa/Su/Mo).
  • GET PASSES

Directions

310 Argilla Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
Telephone: 978.356.4354
E-mail: cranebeach@thetrustees.org

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Rt. 128 North Exit 20A, take Rt. 1A north for 8 mi. to Ipswich. Turn right onto Rt. 133 East and follow for 1.5 mi. Turn left onto Northgate Rd. and follow for 0.5 mi. Turn right onto Argilla Rd. and follow for 2.5 mi. to entrance and parking (1,300 cars) at end of road.

What You'll Find

All Members, including Permit Holders, must obtain a timed pass prior to arrival at Crane Beach. Click here for more information and to get passes.

Every car receives a free introductory pamphlet to Crane Beach.

Literature about events at the Crane Estate, other Trustees properties in the region, and Membership in The Trustees is available from the bulletin board and the beach office.

We recommend that you download a trail map before your visit.

Facilities

In-season: Lifeguards and rangers, bike rack, bathhouses (with toilets and changing area), outside showers, picnic tables, Crane Beach Store (refreshments and merchandise), drinking water fountains (located outside the bathhouses), information kiosk, transportation for mobility-impaired and challenged visitors.

Off-season: Family restrooms and visitor access to floating beach wheelchairs

Property Map

Every car receives a free introductory pamphlet to Crane Beach.

Literature about events at the Crane Estate, other Trustees properties in the region, and Membership in The Trustees is available from the bulletin board and the beach office.

We recommend that you download a trail map before your visit.

Regulations & Advisories

Rules & Regulations for Crane Beach (PDF).

Horseback Riding Fee Schedule & Application (PDF).

Dog Policy and Regulations (PDF) – Please note that dogs are not allowed at Crane Beach from April 1 – September 30.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a boogie board at Crane Beach?
Boogie boards are allowed in the short surf, with the discretion of the lifeguard. Boogie boards can not be used as floatation devices (patrons floating on board). View regulations for all other floatation devices.

Q: Can I use a mask and snorkel at Crane Beach?
No, visitors using snorkels and masks are unable to hear the commands of lifeguards, thus posing a risk to themselves and others.

Q: Can I use a skim board at Crane Beach?
At the discretion of the lifeguard and in an area away from other people, skim boards are sometimes permitted.

Q: Can I launch a water craft from Crane Beach or the Crane Wildlife Refuge?
Water craft may not be launched from Crane Beach or Crane Wildlife Refuge. This includes canoes, kayaks, and sailboards.

Q: Can I fish at Crane Beach?
Fishing is permitted outside the designated swim areas and away from any and all swimmers.

Q: Can I metal detect at Crane Beach?
No. Metal detecting is prohibited on Crane Beach and everywhere on the Crane Estate.

For frequently asked questions regarding the ticketing system for summer 2020, please click here.

Hunting Advisory
Authorized bow hunting, only with written permission, is allowed on this reservation for a limited number of hunters, according to MasssWildlife regulations from mid October through December each year, from ½ hour before sunrise all day until ½ hour after sunset, Monday through Saturday. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions, requirements, and rules for the benefit of all visitors. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties.

The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Find the full policy here.

Before Setting Out
More to Explore

Passes | COVID-19

To provide safe access to our most popular properties, advance passes are required for all, including members, non-members, and permit holders.
Passes
Upcoming Events

History

In 1910, Richard T. Crane, Jr., purchased 800 acres on and around Castle Hill – the first of many family land acquisitions that eventually formed the 2,100-acre Crane Estate. Following Mr. Crane’s death in 1945, the family gave 1,000 acres, comprising most of Crane Beach and the dunes of Castle Neck, to The Trustees. When Richard’s wife Florence died in 1949, her bequest added another 350 acres, the Great House, and most of Castle Hill. A quarter-century later, her daughter-in-law, Miné S. Crane, added the 680-acre Crane Wildlife Refuge.

The View From Here
See What People Say

Still pristine and beautiful after all those years.... Beautiful white sand beach with ever changing seascape, pristine and away from everything. Just the beach, birds and the ocean. I am still visiting this beach since my first time in 1975 and every time I stand on the top of the boardwalk I think, WOW this is really beautiful place and I want to come back here again and again.....

Michaela R, TripAdvisor Review

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