Willowdale mountain biking
Willowdale has 40 miles of trails for all levels, and great fire roads to learn on. The Forest exists as two separate parcels divided by Route 1. The eastern block of the Forest abuts Bradley Palmer State Park and the Ipswich River; the western section includes 100 acre Hood Pond. Access the trails from Topsfield Rd. between Topsfield and Ipswich MA, or from Linebrook Rd. in Ipswich. Willowdale Trail Map
Start: Linebrook road in Ipswich MA, across from the Marini farm field on the right hand side parking lot. Coming from Rt. 1, this is on the right, well before Doyon school. map to start
Directions: From the South: Take I-95 to Exit 50 to Route 1. Take Route 1 North heading towards Topsfield. Travel 4 miles to Ipswich Road. Take a right onto Ipswich Rd. Follow Ipswich Rd for approximately 2 miles. Ipswich Road will turn into Topsfield Rd once you are in Ipswich. There will be two turnouts on the right hand side for parking.
A bicycle ride with historic houses and ocean views
From the Ipswich Visitor Center on South Main Street, this bicycle ride takes you through the Historic neighborhoods of Ipswich, out to Great Neck and Labor in Vain Creek before returning.
To the Windmills and about Ipswich
Ipswich to Cape Ann
Essex and Crane Beach
The Ipswich River Sanctuary and Topsfield
Ipswich River and Topsfield
Jeffreys Neck and Crane Beach
Ipswich to Newburyport out and back
tart Location: Ipswich Middle and Senior High School, Ipswich MA., We start from the parking lot behind the school).
This ride takes recently-repaved Rt. 1A from Ipswich through Rowley to Newbury, and then offers options to continue to Newburyport for a 22 mile round trip, or out to the Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island for a 32 mile round trip. Turns are kept to a minimum. The unofficial NSC ride is not arrowed.
Take Rt. 1A from Ipswich through Rowley and Newbury and into Newburyport. One block before reaching the traffic light at State St., turn right on Fruit St., then right on Liberty St. to take you to Market Square. Depart Newburyport on State St., and turn left on High St. (Rt. 1A) to return to Ipswich.
Ipswich-Newburyport 34 mile loop
This 34-mile road bike ride begins at the Hammatt St. parking lot in Ipswich, MA and follows Rt. 1A along the coast to Newbury and Newburyport. The return is along quiet wooded roads west of Rt. 1, then taking newly-reconstructed Linebrook Road back to Ipswich. There is a short extra loop on Pine Swamp Road with a brief section of private driveway on town right-of-way.
Ipswich to Salem
This ride departs from downtown Ipswich MA, taking local roads to Beverly where we cross the bridge to Salem. After riding through the historic neighborhoods in this well-known city, we return to Ipswich through historic downtown Beverly and Hamilton.
Merrimack River ride from Ipswich
Start Location: Ipswich Middle and Senior High School, 130 High St., Ipswich MA. (we start from the parking lot behind the school). (Map to Start)
This ride takes recently-repaved Rt. 1A from Ipswich to Rowley, then continues on pleasant roads past two reservoirs to the Merrimack River in West Newbury. The ride is not arrowed.
Ipswich-Merrimack River Ride 35 miles
Merrimack River Ride from Ipswich, 50 miles
A ride from Ipswich Massachusetts through the state forest area to West Newbury MA, along the Merrimack River, returning through Newburyport and the Great Salt Marsh. (map to start)
Ipswich 15 mile ride
Start: YMCA, 110 County Rd. (Rt. 133 east and 1A south ), Ipswich Massachusetts. map to start and driving directions
Directions: Take Rt. 133/1A heading east from Ipswich. Before the highways split, the YMCA will be set back on the left. The driveway is between the two sets of new apartment buildings. We have permission to park at the YMCA .
What to expect: Ride along the quiet roads between Ipswich, Essex and Hamilton. Short ride 12 miles, Long 15 miles, Extra long 18 miles. A few short easy climbs. The road mark is a white upside down capital letter T for North Shore Cyclists.
Start: Cove Elementary School, Beverly, MA map to start
Directions: Exit 18 off of Rte 128 and take Rt. 22 into Beverly. In 1.1 mile turn left on Corning St. After .7 miles turn left on Rt. 127. Take the third left on Eisenhower Ave. (after green crosswalk and crossing signs), and the school will be straight ahead.
What to expect: This Beverly-Ipswich loop travels quiet woodland and open roads near Cape Ann area, including North Beverly, Centerville, Essex, Ipswich, Wenham and Hamilton. Long and medium rides go out to Jeffrey’s Neck loop from the town wharf in Ipswich. After the ride, many participants like to have lunch at the Scotty Dog in Beverly
Ipswich River Watershed ride
Cycling tour of the Massachusetts North Shore
This cycling tour of the Massachusetts North Shore is based in Ipswich and Newburyport, Massachusetts and visits some of the most beautiful and historic coastal areas in New England. GPS Files for Garmin cycling computers can be downloaded from the RideWithGPS route links provided below.
Jeffreys Neck (8-14 miles)
This 10 mile ride to Jeffrey’s Neck, cross the Great Salt Marsh and enjoy a spectacular view of Plum Island, Cape Ann, and the Atlantic. On our return into town we enjoy a nice out and back ride on Labor in Vain Road. (When we get to the bridge, you’ll know how the road got its name). Turkey Shore and Labor in Vain Roads take us out to Gould’s Creek, which runs in opposite directions depending on the tide. Our return takes us along the Ipswich River and some of the oldest parts of town. Ride time is about an hour.
Full day ride to Salem, 32 miles
Full ride: Historic Salem. Crossing the harbor to historic Salem, we stop for a break at the Salem Visitors Center, run by the National Park Service. Have lunch at Red’s Sandwich Shop, and spend a couple of hours in town so that you have the chance to walk in the historic Chestnut St. neighborhood, visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the Friendship (a reconstruction of a 171-foot three-masted Salem East Indiaman built in 1797), the Salem Witch Museum, or the House of Seven Gables. The return takes us through Beverly and Hamilton on our return to Ipswich.
You may take the commuter rail from Salem to Ipswich for a nominal price. Bikes are allowed except during rush hours.
Essex, Crane Beach and Cape Ann (17 or 32 miles)
Short Ride: Essex and Crane Beach. This relaxed ride takes us along wooded back roads to historic Essex, one of colonial America’s first ship-building towns. While in Essex we often stop by the Essex Historical Society’s Shipbuilding Museum. Our ride turns back toward Ipswich and continues to Crane Beach, where you can enjoy a gorgeous hike in the dunes, returning along the pristine beach. Have lunch at the Beach or back in Ipswich.
Long Ride: Cape Ann. This faster-paced full day ride takes participants to Manchester by the Sea. After a short break, ride along the rocky Atlantic shoreline in quaint Magnolia, then circle back past glacial erratics in West Gloucester for lunch at Lobsta Land in Gloucester or Farnham’s in Essex before returning to Ipswich.
- View the 17 mile option (includes Crane Beach)
- View the 32/37 mile route with Crane Beach option
- Download the full Cape Ann ride cue sheet (PDF)
- View the dune trails at Crane Beach.
The Ipswich River Sanctuary and Topsfield
Canoeing on the Ipswich River: You may wish to stop at Foote Brothers Canoes to enjoy an hour or two of self-guided canoeing or kayaking on the Ipswich River.
Topsfield-Danvers Rail Trail: After the Ipswich River Sanctuary, you may chose to take the stone dust trail from Topsfield to Danvers through the Great Wenham Swamp, then return through Topsfield, and back to Ipswich for a total of 30 miles for the day.
The Parker River Wildlife Refuge and the Merrimack River
Tthe Merrimack River. The rural roads outside of Newburyport in Newbury and West Newbury are some of the most beautiful and less-travelled in the North Shore area and are wonderful for cycling.This beautiful ride begins on High Street in Newburyport and continues through Maudslay State Park and along the Artichoke Reservoirs. The full version includes a gorgeous section along the Merrimack River to West Newbury.
- View the 16-mile Plum Island route
- Download the Plum Island cue sheet (PDF)
- View 23-mile Merrimack River Ride
- View the 12-mile Artichoke Reservoirs short ride
- Download the full Merrimack River Ride cue sheet (PDF)
Newbury and the Great Salt Marsh. (8 or 17 miles)
This 8-mile ride takes us through historic neighborhoods to the South Green in Newbury. We continue past Old Town Hill into the heart of the Great Salt Marsh. A longer option adds 7 miles, continuing along Historic Route 1A to Rowley and back.
This Perfect Place: A Natural History of the MA North Shore was created by Ipswich naturalist Kristina Lindborg.