Lake Gardner Beach  Amesbury, MA

Beach Project Update

For over a decade we have been working with Town and City officials, boards and departments to stabilize the water runoff problems that have been continually problematic. Several years ago a swale was installed on the uphill side of the walkway, in hopes of intercepting the water coming off the hill before it got to the beach. While it did work to an extent, we found that a large amount of water was still traveling underground and actually extruding from the beach itself. That meant that the only solution was to put in a drainage system. Working with our DPW, City Hall, Municipal Council, the Quality of Life Committee, and the Conservation Commission, work was begun to design a solution. Historic granite was sourced from the Whittier Bridge project, which was used to build a strong retaining wall, behind which a structure of pipes and crushed stone carries water away from the sand, to filter back into the lake in a controlled way. We are glad to see that the design appears to be working as hoped.
This spring the soil behind the wall seeded, with further seeding anticipated in the fall.

Once this work is complete the hope is for the beach to receive attention next. You may follow the progress on our Facebook page, and watch for Conservation Commission meetings where the next steps will be decided.

About Our Lake

Tucked away, yet convenient to downtown Amesbury, Lake Gardner beach is busy most summer days with sunbathers, swimmers, and boaters.  During the summer, the town provides facilities and lifeguards.
This is a City facility, managed by the Department of Public Works. Lifeguards are provided by the Department of Youth Services.
The Lake Gardner Association has nothing to do with the management or operation of Lake Gardner Beach.
We invite you to visit but please be respectful of both the space and other guests. Thank you.

Seasonal Swimming
  • When lifeguards are not present you can swim at your own risk.

Beach Information

Access: Open to Amesbury residents only at this time, due to space restrictions, and currently only open Friday through Sunday from 10 AM -6 PM.

Getting there: Driveway is off of High St.

Parking: Large lot provides ample parking, but due to COVID-19 is currently limited to 35 vehicles.
Swimming: Allowed inside of swim area only (strictly enforced.) See below for details.
Dogs: Please know that dogs are not allowed during the summer swimming season per the Health Department.
Fires: Fires and grilles are prohibited by the Board of Health and the Amesbury Fire Department
Town Services
    Sanitary facilities are provided by the City, cleaned daily
    Lifeguards not on duty. Swim at your own risk.
Fishing/Canoe/Kayak Launch: Allowed outside of swim area. More Info.

Beach Details
Lake Gardner Beach on a beautiful summer day.
The Lake Gardner Beach Area is accessed by car from an entrance on High Street. Pedestrians can also enter on the foot trails at the northern end of the beach area, where there is a narrow strip of land that links the Beach to the to trails of the Powow River Conservation Area.

Public access to the lake is only available when the facility itself is open (see above) and is obtained by launching canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, small sail craft, and other car-top boats from the northern end of the Lake Gardner Beach Area. 
It should be noted that Jet-skis are strictly prohibited and the use of powerboats is limited to those who live on the lake.

Our beach is a no-smoking facility.

Please remember that this is a family beach and behave accordingly.

We love dogs too, but they must not be on the beach during the summer season per the Amesbury Health Department. There are other locations in the area, including Battis and Woodsom Farms,  where you can take your dog for a swim.

Please, no fires or grilles may be used at any time per the Amesbury Board of Health and the Amesbury Fire Department. 

We are always looking for new ideas and feedback and we encourage anyone interested to email us.

  Beach History
The lake and beach area were historically used by local families, essentially unknown and under utilized for decades.  However in 1989 a full restoration project was undertaken. The project was a collaboration between the Amesbury Conservation commission and the Office of Community and Economic Development, it was funded with a combination of local, State and Federal funds. Dedicated in 1990 it was a modern, attractive facility, with a long sanded beach area, bath and concession facilities, and paved parking for 100 cars.  However years of neglect, poor maintenance, and closure of the facility during the last five years, left it a hollow shell of its former self. We are hopeful that the beach can be stabilized and the beach restored again to exceed its former park-like beauty.

As construction to the dam was beginning the Lake Gardner Improvement Association began its work to advocate for the revitalization of the Beach Area.  It was our goal to see that the facility be brought into good working order for its scheduled re-opening in the spring of this year.  Among priority items were drainage, landscaping, repairs to fixed structures, and various safety issues.   With the assistance of town employees, association members, and volunteers these goals were met.  On July 1st the beach reopened to the public looking much like the attractive facility it was when it was first dedicated in 1990.
In 2020 we undertook efforts to control runoff with the construction of a drainage system contained within a granite retaining wall, which utilized some of the granite recovered from the Whittier Bridge project on nearby Interstate 95.

Now our association is looking to the future of this facility with ways it can be improved.  For example, the construction of the boardwalk and bridge has allowed year-round access to the network of trails throughout the greenbelt alongside the lake. As we worked on the beach revitalization during the last year our members overwhelmingly heard requests, which have now become the focus of our current efforts.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, beach attendance must be strictly managed through Beach Health Monitors.
Guests must maintain 12 feet between groups, which severely limits possible attendance.  
This summer, the City received permission from the Attorney General to restrict the beach to Amesbury Residents only for this season, and for that reason, parking is limited to 35 vehicles.
Plans are being developed before next season that will involve improved management of parking that will involve resident parking stickers for those living in Amesbury and charging a small fee to out of town guests. By placing a value on the beach, funds will be raised to help care for and manage the facility.