The Maplecroft Trail in Ipswich has reopened after several weeks of an effort to vastly improve signage and the trail itself. Due to the wet weather, there are sections of the trail that are not yet suitable for equestrian use, and construction will continue as conditions improve. The trail was opened in early October, but it became clear very quickly that there was still some misunderstanding about the regulations, the private nature of the land and the location of the trail. We ask that all ECTA members and other trail users, if planning on using the trail do their part to inform those who might not know the clearly posted regulations, which are as follows:
- Public access is only permitted on the marked trail. There is no public access across any adjacent land, all of which is private.
- The Trail is open from 8AM to sunset
- No dogs
- No Bicycling
- Make sure all gates are closed and latched behind you
Early in 2010, 247 acres of Maplecroft Farm was protected using Town of Ipswich Open Space funds, State Recreation and Agriculture funds, and private funds raised by Essex County Greenbelt in an effort coordinated by the Trust for Public Land. While funds were not used to purchase ECTA’s trail easement, it was an important element in encouraging Ipswich voters to fund the protection of the scenic and agricultural values of the land. The entire land remains in private hands, with ECTA’s trail easement being the only public access.
Maplecroft is a working farm, with cattle and crop and grain agricultural activities taking place. The trail can be closed from time to time to allow for unimpeded agricultural activites, and may also be closed due to repeated misuse of the trail. ECTA has coordinated a group of trail monitors to be on the trail every so often to reinforce the understanding that users are crossing private lands, and as such should respect those lands by staying on the trail. As a part of the trail community, ECTA asks everyone to help encourage proper trail use.
In short: ENJOY ONE OF THE MOST SCENIC PROTECTED PROPERTIES IN IPSWICH FROM THE TRAIL!