Trail Stewardship
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The North Shore area has extraordinary recreational trails. Since 1982, Essex County Trail Association has worked to protect and preserve hundreds of miles of trails in Essex, Hamilton, Ipswich, Topsfield, Wenham, and West Newbury. With the help of our team of trail stewards and many volunteers, ECTA maintains and repairs these trails in partnership with public and private landowners, land trusts and local conservation commissions. Our members provide a vital source of funding for trail projects. Come explore these incredible trails, and help us continue our work by supporting ECTA.
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May 24, 2021: UPDATE The staff at DCR have addressed the water issue at markers 13/18 in Willowdale. There was beaver activity there causing the water to overflow the trail. They removed the branches

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Now that the snow has melted it’s surprising to see how much debris is out there on the trails! This is a great time to pitch in while you are out enjoying the warmer weather. Clearing sticks

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Thank you to all our Run for the Trails participants and

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Run for the Trails 2021 results are in! Thank you to all our runners and congratulations to our winners! 10 MILE RESULTS Men Overall:  Jon Western 1:06:24 (M 39 and Under) Women Overall:

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  • West Newbury

    West Newbury

    Multiple trees down on Riverbend trail leading from the river up to hay field. Impassable.Read more
  • Willowdale State Forest

    Willowdale State Forest

    Trail 13/18 back under water and it looks like the beavers have returned. It is more than 6 inches deep in spots and water spills …Read more
  • Essex – Cogswell Grant

    Essex – Cogswell Grant

    The grass is getting TALL and full of nesting birds. Beautiful place to bird watch! They have mowed the perimeter with a nice wide walking …Read more
Find a trail with our new Trailfinder Tool*. Select from the options on the left to find trails that meet those criteria.

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*Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that ECTA does not own the listed properties and does not guarantee the information as current. We have tried hard to list the allowed activities but some are seasonal-only, weather-dependent, or require a special permit. Landowners may have changed their rules so please follow all posted signage and let us know in the comments or via an email if you notice anything that could be updated. In addition there are some trails which may not yet be listed for certain activities. If in doubt please always check with the landowner.

  • 4th Annual Thanks for the Trails 5k (26 Nov 2021)
    on November 26, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    ECTA is holding its 4th Annual Thanks for the Trails 5k and Kids Fun Run the day after Thanksgiving at Patton Park in Hamilton (November 26, 2021).  The 5k will begin at 10AM on November 26, and the Kids' Run will start at 9:30AM.  Using a scenic and challenging course and offering great prizes, this will be an event for all!  In addition to […]

  • Edible Avenue Walk (30 Oct 2021)
    on October 30, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Join us Saturday, October 30th for a guided tour of the Edible Avenue, an 8,000 sq. foot site on the Newburyport Rail trail, with its creator Jane Niebling.  Explore this site planted with trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers that are native to this area and have edible parts. Nearby and also on the Rail Trail, is a pollinator garden and a […]

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