Essex County Trail Association exists to protect access to the trails and open lands throughout Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Topsfield, Essex and West Newbury. We partner with both public and private landowners to ensure that the experience of open trails is positive for them as well as the trail users.
We work with private landowners to grant permanent trail easements to ECTA. ECTA often maintains these trails at the landowners request, ensuring safety and protection of the resource.
ECTA quickly responds to requests to clear and maintain over 450 miles of trails throughout our communities. We clear downed trees, fix holes and muddy areas, mowing, and mark trails.
ECTA completes major repair and construction projects each year. We spend over $35,000 annually on trail work, including clearing and constructing new trails, installing and repairing culverts, improving trail surfaces, and installing water flow devices to mitigate beaver impacts.
ECTA has developed Trail Management Plans for the 6 towns we serve. These TMP’s allow us to manage trails throughout the town on a streamlined basis in order to save ECTA money and time.
ECTA holds many athletic, educational, and social events throughout the year designed to promote the outdoors and to bring in funds for the organization. Our five major annual events are listed below.
- Equine Expo, a tack/paraphernalia sale with equine demonstrations at the Topsfield Fair Arena in April
- Spring for the Trails Half Marathon, 13.1 mile run on the trails in Willowdale State Forest, part of the North Shore Trail Series, in May
- Summer Solstice Party, a lovely fundraiser held under the tents at Groton House Farm in June
- Run for the Trails, a 5 or 10 mile trail run, held in Hamilton in September.
- Thanks for the Trails 5k and Kids’ Fun Run, a 5k, held in Hamilton the day after Thanksgiving.