Offering unparalleled views of Ipswich Bay, including Crane Beach and Plum Island, Harvey Reservation is one of the best spots on Cape Ann to sit and watch the sunset. This small reservation offers a short trail, a granite bench, and a terrific spot for a seaside picnic.
Long before there was a breakwater here at Lane’s Cove, Indigenous people fished from the rocks and scavenged the tide pools for crabs. Caches of fishing gear, stone sinkers and net weights dating to the Late Archaic Period around 5,000 years ago, were discovered nearby.
The Eastern Woodland people who later occupied this area harvested all parts of the staghorn sumac growing here in different seasons for different uses, from medicinal tea to vegetable dye. From the unusual volcanic rocks you see before you, Indigenous people pried out phenocrysts and crystals, such as purple feldspar and olivine, and carried the polished nuggets as magical stones. The people also carved petroglyphs into slabs of bedrock and outcrops here, all but invisible now as they became submerged in sea level rise and overgrown with seaweed.
Lane’s Cove, the main public access point to Harvey Reservation, is perhaps the smallest harbor in the Northeast. The area rose to prominence in the 1800s for fishing and later for granite quarrying. The massive breakwater creates a cove designed specifically for loading granite onto sloops. The cove also provided a landing place for ships that brought coal in to fuel the steam operation at the quarries. Coal was hauled to the quarries from the cove via a carriage path that is still accessible today.
0.2 miles of easy terrain
Flora & Fauna
A typical coastal mix of sumac, locust and cherry, with grasses and brambles along the trail edge.
Observe winter waterfowl like eiders, scoters and loons. Summer brings gulls, terns and fish such as striped bass close to shore. Low tide creates inviting tidepools.