ECTA has completed town wide trail management plans for Ipswich, Hamilton, West Newbury, Essex and Topsfield. These innovative TMPs will streamline trail management decisions for the town, and help us help private and public landowners manage their trails quickly and professionally. ECTA is the only organization offering this valuable service to towns, landowners and public agencies.
ECTA has completed and printed maps for Ipswich, Hamilton and Wenham and Topsfield and West Newbury as well as our new Crosstown Map. We are currently mapping Essex trails and hope to have this published soon. If you are interested in obtaining a map, please see a list of stores that carry our maps.
ECTA responds regularly and quickly to dozens of requests to remove fallen trees and brush, and improve water crossings. We work on trails on both public and privately owned lands where landowners have allowed public access. We make extensive repairs to trails throughout our sytem and construct new trails where needed to avoid erosion or for safety issues.
ECTA is actively working with several generous landowners to place permanent trail easements across their lands. These landowners, and the many others that permit trail users on their lands, are the glue that holds our trail community together.
General Mowing and Clearing in 2015:
Trail Projects in 2015:
General Mowing and Clearing in 2014:
Trail Projects in 2014:
General Mowing and Clearing in 2013:
Trail Projects in 2013:
General Mowing and Clearing in 2012:
Trail Projects in 2012:
Many of these projects were made possible by grants from Fields Pond Foundation, REI, Massachusetts DCR Recreational Trails Program, New England Biolabs Foundation, New England Biolabs, Inc. Giving Program
Easements secured in 2012:
Brick Ends Farm (Hamilton)
Relocated Donovan/Sagamore Hill easement to provide better connectivity to Donovan Ballfields and Clark and Sears trails (Hamilton)
Trail Projects in 2011:
• Repaired Wooden Bridge in Linebrook Woods (Ipswich)
• Completed Trail Improvements in Bradley Palmer State Park (Hamilton/Topsfield)
• Cleared Trails at Harvard Forest (Hamilton)
• Cleared Beaver Deceiver Behind Doyon School (Ipswich)
• Repaired Sears/Clark Trail Bridge (Hamilton)
• Cleared/Mowed Trails at The Ski Hill (Hamilton)
• Permitted Rowley Bridge (Rowley)
• Mowed Trails Donovan Ballfields/Woods (Hamilton)
• Opened Trails at Iron Rail (Wenham)
• Repaired Beaver Deceiver at New England Biolabs (Ipswich)
• Cleared/Mowed Trail at Sagamore Street (Hamilton)
• Cleared/Mowed Trail at Gardner Street/Farrington Lane (Hamilton)
• Cleared/Mowed Trails at Pingree Woods (Hamilton)
• Cleared/Mowed Trails at Blackbrook Road/Pingree Reservation (Hamilton)
• Cleared Trails at Bradley Palmer State Park (Topsfield/Hamilton)
• Cleared Trails at Willowdale State Forest (Topsfield/Ipswich)
• Repaired Little Trail Causeway (Ipswich)
• Created New Donovan/Sagamore Hill Trail (Hamilton, Ipswich, Essex)
• Purchased $29K worth of materials for Bradley Palmer State Park (Topsfield/Hamilton)
• Cleared & maintained beaver deceivers at Doyon School in Ipswich and Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield
• Installed beaver deceiver at railroad culvert on Discover Hamilton trail (Hamilton)
Easements secured in 2011:
Donovan/Sagamore Hill in Hamilton
DePiero property in West Newbury (adjacent to Riverbend Conservation Area)
ECTA Community Trails Conservation Program
In an effort to raise awareness among community members and volunteers about our extensive 400-mile trail network, ECTA aims to engage a network of volunteers and young families from the six towns we serve to help repair existing trails, clear debris after storm events, engage in seasonal trail cleanups and participate in educational trail walks. The Community Trails Conservation Program will bring more users to our trails by: (1) hosting a series of four volunteer trail workdays; (2) organizing a series of four educational trail walks or talks; (3) designing, posting and updating trail maps on our website; and (4) improving outreach for National Trails Day, one of ECTA’s signature events.
ECTA Trail Protection Program
This program has been designed to 1) increase our capacity to negotiate trail easements on critical links thorughout our trail network, 2) complete trail mapping of all of our towns and an additional map of the core area we serve: Willowdale State Forest through Appleton Farms and New England Biolabs, 3) conduct Trail Assessments on Willowdale State Forest, New England Biolabs and the Discover Hamilton Trail, 4) complete Trail Management Plans for Essex and Wenham in order to streamline trail repairs through the conservatin commissions, saving time and money.
ECTA Essex Outreach Program
The Essex Outreach Program is designed to extend the level of service that ECTA provides to its five other member towns to include Essex as well. ECTA has already developed maps for the five other towns we serve and we have developed management plans for four of them. Our Essex Outreach Program represents ECTA’s efforts to improve the standing of Essex trails which represent an important portion of our 400 mile trail system. The outreach program includes the following: (1) outreach to landowners to increase members in Essex, (2) working with Essex County Greenbelt Association, volunteers and landowners to secure new trail easements in Essex, (3) collaborating with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Essex Conservation Commission to complete a town-wide Trail Management Plan, and (4) producing comprehensive maps for Essex and bordering trails in Manchester.
Trail Projects in 2010:
Constructed a 180′ boardwalk through a wetland area in Willowdale State Forest (Thanks to a grant from REI)
ECTA and its incredible trail team of volunteers and contractors cleared downed trees, cut back brush, mowed trails, fixed culverts, built up trails, installed beaver deceivers, and fixed erosion in these locations in 2010:
Willowdale State Forest (Ipswich)
Bradley Palmer State Park (Topsfield/Hamilton)
Pingree Reservation (Hamilton)
Harvard Forest (Hamilton)
Sagamore Hill/Air Force Radar Base (Ipswich/Hamilton)
Black Oak Farm (Hamilton)
Miles River Rd to Gordon College (Hamilton)
Riverbend Reservation (West Newbury)
Ledyard – Myopia (Hamilton)
Ipswich River Watershed Association (Ipswich)
Myopia Schooling Field/Devon Glen (Hamilton)
Bay Circuit/Marini Farms (Ipswich)
New England Biolabs (Ipswich/Hamilton)
Dow Brook (Ipswich)
Collarbone Field (Hamilton)
County Rd to Julia Bird Reservation (Ipswich)
Winthrop St. Causeway (Hamilton)
Trail Projects in 2010:
Bradley Palmer State Park. (Hamilton, Topsfield) ECTA received a $30,000 grant from Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation to complete much needed trail work throughout Bradley Palmer. We focused on the swamped trails near the Asbury Street Parking Area.
In addition, we completed over $60,000 in trail improvements for 2009. These included:
Blackbrook/Pingree network (near Winthrop St, and Cutler Road – Hamilton)
Moulton, Sagamore, Gardner and Fellows trail network (Ipswich and Hamilton).
Earlier this year, we repaired an old farm road and opend up a new trail along Waldingfield Road at Appleton Farms (Ipswich).
We funded the repair of two bridges for the Topsfield Rail Trail off of Route 97 (Topsfield)