Visiting Thacher Island

Thacher Island is located about a mile offshore of Rockport,Massachusetts. Rockport is a small seacoast town about 40 miles north of Boston. It can be reached via Rt. 128 north. Although the island may be viewed from the shore from eitherEden Road or Marmion Way the best way to view the island is by going there by becoming a member of the Thacher Island Association.

Landing Fee

All persons over 14 will be charged a $5.00 landing fee. This fee will be waived for all who can show proof they are Rockport residents, paid up Thacher Island Association members, holders of National Park Service America the Beautiful passes, a valid Federal Duck Stamp or arriving aboard the Thacher Island launch. Landing fees will be payable in the form of cash or check to the keeper on duty in the boat house.

Launch Fee

Seats aboard the Thacher Island Launch will cost $20.00 per adult and $10.00 for children under 14.

This fee will be waived for all Rockport residents and paid up Thacher Island Association members. Launch fees will be payable by credit card when making your reservations by calling 617-599-2590. The launch fee will be reimbursed if the trip is cancelled due to weather or rough seas. However, all passengers, including Rockport residents and paid up Thacher Island Association members will be required to pay a launch fee if they cancel their reservation less than one week prior to departure.

By the Thacher Island Launch - Map here

The island is closed to the public each year from September 15 to June 1st.

Reservations for 2016 will open on May 23, 2016.

Trips begin on June 18 through September 3, 2016.(weather permitting).

Join us each Saturday morning at 8:00,8:45, 9:30,10:15 or 11AM returning at 10:30, 11:15,12:00, 12:45 and 1:30 PM.

Travel aboard the Thacher Island launch for an exciting 20 minute ride out to this magnificent historical island.

Trips are also available on Wednesdays at 9:00, 9:45 and 10:30AM returning at 11:30, 12:15 and 1:00 PM.

Reservations can be  made by calling 617-599-2590 daily from 9AM to 5PM. (All tickets are non-refundable.)

Each trip is limited to 6 passengers so we suggest you make reservations as early as possible. Launch leaves from the Town dock (T-Wharf) next to the Sandy Bay Yacht Club.Trips to the island are not recommended for young children under 4 years of age, and because the island is a wild life refuge, is off-limits to pets. 
Donations are gratefully accepted.

By Kayak

Other ways to get there are by kayak (which you can rent in town) or by your own boat. There is no dock on the island, only a ramp, which may only be used by the Association's launch or kayaks.Distance from Rockport Harbor is about 3 miles.The Association asks kayakers to use caution, pay attention to weather conditions, turn back if you feel uncomfortable. This is not a good paddle for novice kayakers or those with limited endurance.Unless you are an experianced kayaker we do not recommend that you paddle out to the island.Dont forget to bring money for the landing fee or you will be turned away. Groups larger than 5 boats must call the keepers in advance to state their expected arrival time and plan to be there before closing at 5pm.

Your Boat

We make available 3 guest moorings adjacent to the ramp about 50 yards offshore. You must call the keeper on the island in advance to tell him you are coming at 508-284-0144. Bring along a dingy which you can land on the ramp. Only small row boats (less than 6 feet) and kayaks are allowed to land on the ramp.They must be taken up the ramp and stored behind the boat house.Landing fees apply. Call the keeper before you leave to check the weather and ramp conditions.

Ocean Reporter Private Launch Service

Rockport Harbor to Thacher Island
Bird Watching-Eco-Tours-Water Taxi
Because Capt.Lee moors 50 yards off the island he uses a dingy to ferry visitors ashore,passengers should have the physical dexterity to climb in and out of his vessel from the dingy.The return trip need not be on the same day, making the Ocean Reporter a good way for campers to reach the island. 
Captain Bill Lee
Reasonable Rates


There is meter free parking on Norwood and Atlantic Aves two streets up from T-Wharf. There is limited parking on T-Wharf for non-residents on the righthand side. The meters in and around downtown on Mt Pleasant St and Dock Square are 5 hours.

What to Bring

Water, sun screen, jacket,sandals not recommended for climbing the tower and walking the trails.Food and drinks are not available on the island.

Island Closing Times

Island closes everyday at 5pm.No one should land on the island after that time.The North tower is closed and locked each day at 4pm.Campers must arrive before 5pm.