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 either Eden Road or Marmion Way the best way to view the island is by going there by becoming a member of the Thacher Island Association.

New Launch Fees for 2017

$30.00 per adult and $10.00 for children under 12.

Rockport residents $10.00 per adult and $5.00 children under 12.

Fee is waived for Thacher Island Association members paid up for 2017.

Launch fees will be payable by credit card to hold your reservations.

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 or are no-shows.


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, check or credit card to the keeper on duty in the boat house.

Launch Dates and Times

Call for reservations 617-599-2590 daily from 9AM to 5PM.

Map here
Reservations for 2017 will open on May 22, 2017.

Trips begin on June 21 and run through September 2,2017 (weather permitting).
Saturday mornings 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.
Wednesdays at 9:00, 9:45 and 10:30AM returning at 11:30, 12:15 and 1:00 PM.

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 3 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, dingy 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 reliably good paddle for novice kayakers or those with limited endurance.
Dont forget to bring money for the landing fee.

Groups larger than 5 boats must call the keepers in advance to state their expected arrival time.Island closes to the public 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. Moorings are free on a first come first serve basis. A dingy is provided at the mooring for your use to land on the ramp. Only small row boats and kayaks are allowed to land on the ramp. Landing fees apply.

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.