Bradley Palmer State Park is located at 40 Asbury St. in Topsfield. All programs are free and open to the public. Bring water. Wear sturdy closed toe shoes. Consider sunscreen and insect repellent. An adult must accompany children. Inclement weather cancels outdoor programs. Reasonable accommodations upon advance request. For more information send an email to Neal.Trubowitz@mass.gov or visit the website link here. Parking fees apply in the Main Parking Lot between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
From Country Estate to State Park: Bradley Palmer’s Gift
Sunday, September 5, 12, 19, & 26, 10:30 a.m.-Noon
Hear how wealthy attorney Bradley Webster Palmer donated his 721-acre estate, now Bradley Palmer State Park, to the Commonwealth. Experience his extravagant early 1900s world as you take an outdoor tour of the stable, a once-celebrated formal garden, and other surviving buildings. The walk is moderately paced for 3/4 mile. There is a gentle uphill slope which may pose difficulty for those with limited mobility. Best for ages 8 years and up. Meet at the Main Parking Lot, 40 Asbury St., Topsfield.
Willowdale Mansion Tour
Monday, September 6, 13, 20, & 27, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Here’s your chance to go inside Bradley W. Palmer’s “Willow Dale ” mansion for a unique interpreter-guided tour. Now a venue for events and weddings; visit willowdaleestate.com. This over 100 years-old Arts and Crafts style building has been beautifully restored. Original woodwork and stained-glass windows are highlighted. Learn how the building was remodeled during Palmer’s lifetime, and how its curators returned it to its former splendor. The second floor is not accessible to those with limited mobility. Best for ages 8 years and up. Meet in front of the Mansion at 24 Asbury St., Topsfield.
Station: Explore the Pond
Friday, September 3, 10, 17, & 24, drop-in anytime 9:00-11:00 a.m.
What kinds of fascinating creatures live in or visit the ponds? Come and visit with the Park Interpreter to see if any creatures are stirring and if any plants are flowering. For ages pre-K and up. Come to the ponds next to the Main Parking Lot, 40 Asbury St., Topsfield.
Station: The Equestrians
Friday, September 3, 10, 17, & 24, drop-in anytime 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Bradley Palmer was an avid equestrian. He laid out bridal paths and a 3.5-mile steeplechase racecourse on his estate. Come see photographs and maps of these historic activities. Best for ages 8 years and up. Meet at the Main Parking Lot, 40 Asbury St., Topsfield.
BP (Before Palmer): The Lamson Farm, 1680-Present
Saturday, September 4, 11, 18, & 25, 10:30 a.m.-Noon.
Before Bradley Webster Palmer bought the land that became this Park, it was the Lamson Family farm for over 200 years. Take a stroll to see the remaining farmhouse exterior and other features of the farm that survive in the Park. Best for ages 8 years and up. Meet at the Main Parking Lot, 40 Asbury St., Topsfield.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jim Montgomery, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr.
Regional Interpretive Coordinator
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Bradley Palmer State Park
40 Asbury St.
Topsfield, MA 01983
In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.
Baba Dioum, Senegalese environmentalist