Town meetings in Ipswich have voted to protect hundreds of acres of land as Open Space, making it available for the general public and preserving the land from development. The town’s investment adds to other preserved land surrounding the town, including Willowdale State Forest, Appleton Farms, Crane Beach and other Trustees of Reservations properties. In the year 2002, The town of Ipswich produced a study called the “Green Ring Report” that documents goals for preserving the nature of the outlying areas of the town. More than 50% of land in Ipswich is protected by the town, state and non-profit organizations.
The Bay Circuit Trail in Ipswich - The Bay Circuit Trail is approaching the fulfillment of an eighty-year old dream – a permanent public recreational trail and greenway, linking parks and open spaces in fifty-seven Boston area communities, 200 miles from Duxbury and Kingston on the South Shore to Ipswich and Plum Island on the North Shore. Eleven miles of marked trails … Continue reading The Bay Circuit Trail in Ipswich Crane Beach hike to Fox Creek - This 3.5 mile hike starts from the Crane Beach Ipswich residents parking lot. A trail begins from the exit road, Castle Hill and follows the Cedar Point path along Fox Creek to the confluence with the Ipswich River, known locally as known as Loudmouth. Follow the beach past Steep Hill back to Crane Beach to return to your car, … Continue reading Crane Beach hike to Fox Creek Dow Brook and Bull Brook Reservoirs - Featured image: Dow-Bull Brook Trail, from the Essex County Trail Association site Harold Bowen wrote that two downtown fires in 1894 accomplished something that numerous Town Meetings had failed to agree upon. For several years the town had tried to provide a municipal water system, without success. “The farmers up in Linebrook fought it. It … Continue reading Dow Brook and Bull Brook Reservoirs A Town Hill Hike - This a somewhat aerobic four-mile hike from downtown Ipswich to the top of Town Hill. Starting from close to sea level at Zumi’s or the Riverwalk Mural, it follows the river for a while before climbing 160′ to the top of Town Hill. It descends to Fowler’s Lane, then climbs a couple of more times, … Continue reading A Town Hill Hike Choate Island and Rufus Choate - Featured image: Painting of the Choate homestead by E. Choate Kane, courtesy of Joyce Patton Choate Island was originally known as Hog Island. In the Records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it is recorded that keeping hogs on islands or in fenced enclosures during the planting season was the law from the 1630’s, and each … Continue reading Choate Island and Rufus Choate Dogtown, its history and legends - Dogtown is an area in central Gloucester of about five square miles, or 3600 acres, stretching from the Riverdale section of the city, north of Route 128, into Rockport, and including the Goose Cove and the Babson Reservoirs. Development is banned in this protected municipal watershed. Castle Neck and the dunes - Crane Beach and all of Castle Neck are protected by the Trustees of Reservations. Warm winter days are the perfect time to hike the miles of dune trail, accessible from the Crane Beach parking lot. My loop usually begins at the green trail entrance on the far right side of the Crane Beach parking lot, first … Continue reading Castle Neck and the dunes “Pivot Rock” at Crane Castle - After living here for almost 10 years, two people told me separately yesterday about a huge rock that acts as a pivoting gate on a trail that runs between the old Rose Garden and the former Casino at the Crane Estate. Mr. Richard Crane liked to surprise his guests by turning the stone to let … Continue reading “Pivot Rock” at Crane Castle
Essex County Trail Association
The Essex County Trail Association maintains an interactive map of conservation areas and other hiking trails in Essex County:
Download maps for all public properties in Ipswich from the Essex Trails Association links below:
Essex County Greenbelt
The Essex County Greenbelt is a regional land trust that has helped landowners, farmers, cities, towns and organizations in Essex County realize their land conservation vision since 1961. Their efforts have protected over 15,000 acres of land in Essex County, including the following areas accessible to the public: