With many interesting hiking trails, nature walks, and interesting places to explore, the North Shore has plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. So lace up those hiking boots, pack a picnic or snack, and hit one of these trails with your family (don’t forget the bug spray).

Amesbury Town Forest

LOCATION: Main Parking Lot: Follow Kimball Road to find the parking lot, which is opposite the Acadia condos. Use the address 60 Kimball Rd or Google yourself over to this location.

DETAILS: 141 acres owned by the town of Amesbury. One of Amesbury’s best-kept secrets. Red, green, yellow, and orange markers guide visitors on a few recommended routes. The red loop (Inner Loop) is the shortest. The orange trail makes a nice loop down to the swamp and back. Yellow is not a loop but instead leads down a steep hill to more trails.  The green loop is confusing to follow but will take you across the power lines to the beautiful western part of the forest. Please reference the printable and interactive trail maps to explore all of the great trails.

Appleton Farm 

LOCATION: 219 County Road Ipswich, MA 01938 (978) 356-5728

HOURS: Trails are open year-round, daily, from sunrise to sunset.

DETAILS: America’s oldest working farm. More than 12 miles of walking trails (easy level), a visitor center, farm store

Bradley Palmer State Park Trail

LOCATION: 40 Asbury St, Topsfield, MA 01983 (978) 887-5931

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

DETAILS: This former estate features 721-acres of pine needled paths and sunny rolling meadows for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. They also have a splash pad and wading pool (2 feet at the deepest spots), a great place for little ones to get wet. They have lifeguards, bathrooms, a small climbing structure, and lots of shady areas. Parking is $5 for MA residents, $20 for non-MA residents

Open Memorial Day through October 31, Sunday – Saturday: 10:00 am-6:00 pm

When pool capacity is reached all access is closed until space becomes available. Join the Bradley Palmer Parents FB group to get updates.

2020 Update: Open with reduced capacity on the splash pad, bathrooms are available. The pool is closed for the 2020 season. 


Clipper City Rail Trail

LOCATION: Between the MBTA Commuter Rail Station and the Merrimack River Newburyport, MA 01950

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

DETAILS: A 1.1-mile 10-foot wide pathway that runs between the MBTA Commuter Rail Station and the shoreline of the Merrimack River. Pet-friendly

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

LOCATION: 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA 01983 (978) 887-9264

DETAILS: 12 miles of easy to moderate trails. You can wander through forests, meadows, and wetlands. It’s a great place to spend the day or afternoon. 

PRICES: Members admitted free; nonmember adults $4; children $3. Perkins Row, Topsfield, massaudubon.org.

Maudslay State Park 

LOCATION: Curzon Mill Road, Newburyport, MA 01950 (978) 465-7223

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

DETAILS: 16 miles of hiking trails thru fields, forest, and beautiful scenic areas. 

PRICES: Daily parking fees charged year-round: MA resident $5, Non-MA resident $20 Resident and non-resident status is determined by the vehicle license plate


Old Town Hill with Ridge Trail and North Loop Trail

LOCATION: 31 Newman Rd, Newbury, MA 01951

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

DETAILS: 1.5-mile moderate level loop trail featuring wildflowers. Dogs allowed on leash.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

LOCATION: 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950 (978) 465-5753

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

DETAILS: The refuge consists of 4,662 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including sand beach and dune, shrub/thicket, bog, swamp, freshwater marsh, salt marsh and associated creek, river, mudflat, and salt panne. These and other refuge habitats support varied and abundant populations of resident and migratory wildlife including more than 300 species of birds, along with mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and plants. Take the boardwalk path through the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for an easy and fun stroll. 


Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

LOCATION: Patmos Road, Rowley, MA

HOURS: Sunrise to sunset

DETAILS: 1.7 miles of well-marked trails through coastal woodlands to several scenic spots where you can see the Great Marsh.


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