BORDER to BOSTON TRAIL:
TOPSFIELD LINEAR COMMON:
WENHAM RAIL TRAIL:
GRAND WENHAM CANAL:
DANVERS RAIL TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: October 05, 2013
Length: Topsfield Linear Common; 2.3 miles (+1.6 miles north partially developed)
Wenham Rail Trail; 1.2 miles
Grand Wenham Canal; 1.9 miles (Loop; 4.9 miles)
Swamp Walk; 0.3 miles
Danvers Rail Trail; 4.4 miles
Peabody Rail Trail; 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Topsfield Linear Common/Wenham Rail Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.
Grand Wenham Canal; Easy. Flat hard packed dirt & grass path. Loop; Moderate. Paved path with some on-road sections, hills.
Danvers Rail Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.
Peabody Rail Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.
To Start from the Park Street parking lot (Northern End); From I-95 take exit 51 to Endicott Rd/Washington St east. Turn right on River Rd, then left on Prospect St. Turn left on Main St followed by a quick right on Park St. The parking lot is along your right.
To Start from the Route 97 parking lot (Central Section); From I-95 take exit 50 to Route 1 north. After about 2 miles turn right on Salem Rd. Take your first left on Wenham Rd and follow to Route 97. Continue straight on Route 97 and you'll quickly come to the parking lot on your right where the trail crosses the road.
For the Grand Wenham Canal (Central Section); See directions above. Continue down Park St, then left on Summer St. Right on Route 97. After you pass by the Route 35 junction look for Cherry St on your left. Follow Cherry St for about 1 mile and turn left up a dirt road (If you hit Old Town Way you've gone too far). This will bring you to the Canal Pumping Station. Note; I describe the this trail as a spur off the Wenham Rail Trail.
For the Hallmark Building parking lot (Southern End); From Route 1 in Peabody take the Lowell St exit. From northbound, the parking lot is off your right. From southbound, turn right underneath Route 1 and the parking lot will be on your right. Use Cross-light to access trail across Lowell St.
The Border to Boston Trail is an emerging 28-mile shared use trail linking eight communities from the New Hampshire border south to Bostonís North Shore. See; BORDER TO BOSTON TRAIL . Completed sections include the Clipper City Rail Trail and Eastern Marsh Trail in Newburyport and Salisbury which are part of the Coastal Trails Network . A gap exists in Georgetown and Boxford where the trail is partially developed. In Topsfield, Wenham, Danvers and Peabody the trail is complete. The Topsfield Linear Common, Wenham Rail Trail, Danvers Rail Trail & Peabody Rail Trail follow the rail bed of the old Danvers & Georgetown RR which was chartered in 1851. In 1855 this line merged into the Newburyport RR and in 1860 it became part of the Boston & Maine RR/ Newburyport Branch. The Grand Wenham Canal may be accessed from the Topsfield Linear Common. In Peabody you connect to the Independence Greenway . Another gap exists to the Salem Bike Path, Marblehead Rail Trail, & Swampscott Rail Trail . For more information visit; TOPSFIELD LINEAR COMMON & DANVERS RAIL TRAIL .
Starting from the Park Street parking lot (Northern End) along the Topsfield Linear Common; A map board and old RR equipment is located just north of the parking lot.
Note; Heading north the stone-dust trail crosses Main St (informational board/old RR stop/first of many bike sculptures) and passes by the old Topsfield Station. After passing by Proctor Elementary School (Porto-potty located here along with a playground) the trail comes to Washington St after a 0.3 miles. Cross-light brings you to a Map board. The hard packed dirt & grass trail continues north 1.6 miles to Boxford as of 2020. Will be upgraded. I haven't checked out this section.
Heading south the trail is paved through the parking lot until you cross Summer St where it turns to stone-dust as it travels along an open corridor. Look to your left after crossing Summer St to spot an old RR Mileage Marker reading B24/N18 (Boston 24 miles/Newburyport 18 miles). USE CAUTION as you travel across busy Route 1 at a 0.5 miles. Map board. The trail briefly travels along a stream before crossing Route 97 at 1.1 miles. Again USE CAUTION crossing this busy road. Just past the yellow gate look left to spot another old RR Mileage Marker reading B23/N17. Cross an old RR bridge over the Ipswich River where you'll find an informational sign. Another 0.2 miles and you'll pass a hidden dirt path on your left, just across from a tiered wood barn.
Note; This path leads to the Grand Wenham Canal. SEE BELOW for trail information.
Enter the Wenham Rail Trail section after 2 miles where the trail continues as stone-dust. A cross-light takes you over busy Route 97 at 2.6 miles where you'll find a small parking lot. The trail now travels through a marsh along a causeway. At 2.8 miles you'll come to a map board and the entrance to the Swamp Walk. Here you'll find a map of the regional BORDER TO BOSTON TRAIL , as well as, information on the EAST COAST GREENWAY . Bike racks are located behind this map board.
Note; A 0.3 mile hiking trail (Swamp Walk) loops around the marsh along a dirt path and boardwalk, returning to the rail trail further south.
After leaving the marsh behind and entering the woods you come to the start of the stone-dust Danvers Rail Trail at 3.2 miles. Travel through woodlands passing by the Choate Farm Conservation Area. Mileage markers have been placed every 0.1 miles along this trail. Cross Wenham Street at 4.1 miles where you'll find a parking lot, BIKE STATION, water fountain, Map board and playground. All road crossings have cross-walks and the name of the road. The trail is more open now as it follows a power line along a residential corridor. Pass by a spur to Danvers HS before crossing Chestnut St at 5.2 miles. Look left to spot an old RR Mileage Marker reading B19/N21 (Boston 19 miles/Newburyport 21 miles). The street crossings become more numerous now as you travel through Danvers. When you reach Maple St you'll need to head right to access a cross-light over this busy road. You then travel past the Hobart Street parking lot at 5.6 miles. Here you'll find informational signs about the Danvers Plains RR Station. Cross Pine St at 6.4 miles. BIKE STATION. This was the location of the old Tapleyville RR Station where you'll still find some old RR tracks alongside the trail. Cross an old RR bridge over Route 114 after 7.3 miles. Come to a Map board and the 0 Mile Marker. The Peabody Rail Trail continues south with a stone-dust surface. Travel through a tunnel underneath I-95 and you'll come to Lowell St and the end of the trail after 8.3 miles. Map board. Across the road is the Hallmark Building parking lot. From here you may access the Independence Greenway via an on-road connection. Soon you will be able to access the Independence Greenway here. Under design in 2021.
GRAND WENHAM CANAL & LOOP:
From the Topsfield Linear Common follow the narrow dirt path 0.1 miles and you'll come to the Grand Wenham Canal. An old crumbling bridge is located across the Canal. Turn right and follow the hard packed dirt & grass path alongside the canal. The path is flat and out in the open. Across the canal is the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary, so you'll spot plenty of birds along the way. After 1.9 miles you come to the Canal Pumping Station and a parking area. Here you can cross over the canal and bike along the opposite bank if you wish. To create a Loop follow the road out to Cherry St and head right along a narrow paved path that parallels the road. Just a slight uphill grade in spots. You'll come to Route 97 after 3 miles. Turn right along another paved path alongside the road. When you reach Daniels Rd the paved path ends. You may either continue on-road or cross over to a paved path along the opposite side of the street. After you reach the top of a small hill the road heads down where it meets up with the Wenham Rail Trail at 3.9 miles. Turn right and follow the stone-dust trail back to the Topsfield Linear Common and your start point after a 4.9 mile loop.
CLICK HERE FOR TOPSFIELD LINEAR COMMON MAP
CLICK HERE FOR GRAND WENHAM CANAL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR DANVERS/PEABODY RAIL TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR BORDERS TO BOSTON MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
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