Essex County Trail Association recently completed the replacement of a 30 year old wooden bridge that crosses the Miles River at the border of Hamilton and Ipswich. Located on conservation land owned by Hamilton Wenham Open Land Trust that abuts New England Biolabs, this bridge provides a key trail connection from Gardner St. to Fellows Rd. and is part of a network of trails through fields and wetlands used often by a diverse group of visitors including walkers, bike riders and equestrians.
Due to its degraded condition and frequency of use, the replacement of the bridge was a priority for ECTA and Carol Lloyd, our Director of Trail Maintenance. The cost to complete the project was approximately $23,000, an amount raised entirely by ECTA. The donors included New England Biolabs, Tim and Tom Ford, HWOLT, Don and Lucia Greenough, and Tig and Caroline Gregory. Carol worked with the Hamilton Conservation Commission to get permission to do the project. It was completed under ECTA’s Townwide Trail Management Plan and the contractor was R.P. Scanlon Landscaping.
Through projects like this, Essex County Trail Association helps provide access to the hundreds of miles of recreational trails that exist throughout Ipswich, Essex, Hamilton, Wenham, Topsfield and West Newbury. The trail connection made by this bridge is essential to many users, and will become vital when New England Biolabs begins their expansion project in 2021 and some trails are closed during construction. For more information on ECTA, the New England Biolabs trails, and the many others we maintain visit ectaonline.org.