BORDER to BOSTON TRAIL; NORTH CENTRAL SECTION:
TOPSFIELD LINEAR COMMON:
WENHAM RAIL TRAIL:
DANVERS RAIL TRAIL:
PEABODY RAIL TRAIL:
GRAND WENHAM CANAL LOOP TRAIL:
DANVERS RAIL TRAIL; NORTHERN EXTENSION:
MIDDLETON RAIL TRAIL:
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Last Updated: August 1, 2023
Length: Topsfield Linear Common; 2.3 miles (2.1 miles north partially developed)
Wenham Rail Trail; 1.2 miles
Grand Wenham Canal Loop Trail; 3.8 mile Loop
Swamp Walk; 0.3 miles
Danvers Rail Trail; 4.4 miles
Peabody Rail Trail; 0.7 miles
Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension; 0.5 miles (Southern End) 0.8 miles (Northern End)
Middleton Rail Trail; 3 miles
Difficulty: Topsfield Linear Common/Wenham Rail Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.
Topsfield Linear Common; Easy. Hard packed dirt, grass & gravel 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.
Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension; Easy. Flat, wide, stone-dust rail trail.
Middleton Rail Trail; Easy. Flat, wide, stone-dust rail trail.
Border to Boston Trail:
To Start from the Park Street parking lot in Topsfield (Northern End); From I-95 take exit 72 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 in Wenham (Central Section); From I-95 take exit 70 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 Hallmark Building parking lot in Peabody (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.
Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension:
To Start from the Hobart Street parking lot in Danvers (Southern End); From the Yankee Division Hwy take exit 42 to High St and travel north. High St becomes Maple St. Come to a 3-way intersection and turn left on Hobart St. The parking lot will be on your left. The trailhead is just down Hobart St on your right.
Middleton Rail Trail:
To Start from the Central Street parking lot in Middleton (Northern End); From Route 1 take the Route 62 W exit and head west to the intersection of Routes 62 & 114. Turn right on Route 114, then an immediate right on Central St. Follow to the parking lot and trailhead at the end.
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 .
The Border to Boston Trail; Northern Section starts from the NH border and travels South and consists of the Eastern Marsh Trail in Salisbury and the Clipper City Rail Trail in Newburyport, which are part of the Coastal Trails Network . A gap exists South from the Georgetown Rail Trail in Georgetown and Boxford Rail Trail in Boxford where the trail is mostly still undeveloped. They all 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.
Note; From the future Georgetown Rail Trail, when complete, you'll be able to access an old Rail Spur Line that traveled Northwest that includes the Groveland Community Trail in Groveland & Bradford Rail Trail in Bradford. Also, across the Merrimack River, you can access the Brian S. Dempsey Haverhill Riverfront Boardwalk in Haverhill.
The Border to Boston Trail; North Central Section continues South and consists of the Topsfield Linear Common in Topsfield, the Wenham Rail Trail in Wenham, the Danvers Rail Trail in Danvers & the Peabody Rail Trail in Peabody. They all 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. Also, in Peabody, the Border to Boston Trail utilizes the Eastern Section of the Independence Greenway as it travels Southeast. Currently a gap exists between Peabody and Salem.
Note; From the Topsfield Linear Common you can access the Grand Wenham Canal Loop Trail to the East and from the Danvers Rail Trail you can access an old Rail Spur Line that traveled Northwest that includes the Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension in Danvers & Middleton Rail Trail in Middleton. Also, from the Southern End of the Peabody Rail Trail in Peabody you can access the Western Section of the Independence Greenway as it travels Northwest.
The Border to Boston Trail; South Central Section continues South and consists of the Salem Bike Path in Salem and the Marblehead Rail Trail; Salem Spur in Marblehead which travels East. Then, traveling South, the Marblehead Rail Trail; Swampscott Spur & Swampscott Rail Trail in Swampscott. The Salem Bike Path & Marblehead Rail Trail; Salem Spur follow the rail bed of the old Eastern Railroad Company Line built in 1839. The Marblehead Rail Trail; Swampscott Spur & Swampscott Rail Trail follow the rail bed of the old Eastern Railroad Company Line built in 1873. Currently a gap exists South in Swampscott.
The Border to Boston Trail; Southern Section continues Southwest and consists of the Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation and traveling West, the Northern Strand Community Trail .
The Border to Boston Trail is part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY , a planned biking & hiking route stretching 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. When complete it will traverse 15 states with a mostly off-road path.
Border to Boston Trail; Central Section:
For more information visit; TOPSFIELD LINEAR COMMON & DANVERS RAIL TRAIL .
Topsfield Linear Common Section:
Starting from the Park Street parking lot in Topsfield (Northern End) along the Topsfield Linear Common; A Map Board and old RR equipment is located just north of the parking lot.
Heading North; The stone-dust Topsfield Linear Common 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 & gravel trail continues north following a power line corridor. Straight as an arrow. Pass by old granite RR Mileage Marker N15 B25 (15 miles to Newburyport/25 miles to Boston) at 0.8 miles. After 1.3 miles the trail travels down and across Bare Hill Rd (cross-light) before heading back up to the rail bed. After 1.7 miles the trail turns to single track. Cross into Boxford at 2 miles. Pass by a yellow gate and come to Pye Brook Lane where you'll find a Map Board at 2.4 miles. The rail bed continues across the road but soon dead ends as you encounter I-95. To access Boxford's undeveloped section requires an on-road detour.
Note; Boxford's 4 miles of rail bed are currently in the design phase as 2022. Boxford, along with Georgetown (north of Boxford) will be developing their sections of the old rail bed as part of the BORDER TO BOSTON TRAIL .
Heading South; The Topsfield Linear Common 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 Loop Trail. See Below for trail information.
Enter the Wenham Rail Trail after 2 miles.
Wenham Rail Trail Section:
The stone-dust Wenham Rail Trail continues South. [Continuing Mileage] 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 Danvers Rail Trail at 3.2 miles.
Danvers/Peabody Rail Trail Sections:
The stone-dust Danvers Rail Trail continues South. [Continuing Mileage] You'll 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 old RR Mileage Marker 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.
Note; To your left is WESTERN CYCLE .
You then travel past an old RR Freight House before coming to the Hobart Street parking lot at 5.6 miles. Here you'll find a Map Board, picnic table, Porto-Potty and informational signs. At 5.8 miles you'll come to the start of the Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension on your right. This is where another rail line crossed.
Note; On your left is an old white building where the rail line traveled past heading Southeast. Right is the start of the stone-dust Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension heading Northwest. See Below.
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 2023.
Grand Wenham Canal Loop Trail:
The Grand Wenham Canal Loop Trail follows alongside the old Grand Wenham Canal, also known as the Salem-Beverly Canal is an Aqueduct Canal. The canal was built in 1917 to provide water for Beverly and Salem. The canal carries water from the Ipswich River to Wenham. From there, a pipeline also constructed in 1917 carries it to Wenham Lake.
From the Topsfield Linear Common follow the narrow dirt path 0.1 miles and you'll come to the Grand Wenham Canal. A bridge crosses the canal here. Turn right and follow the hard packed dirt & grass Grand Wenham Canal Loop Trail alongside the Southern Side of 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 cross over the canal and travel back along the Northern Side of the canal. Reports that after heavy rains and spring flooding this trail can be impassable. Come to the bridge and cross back to the Topsfield Linear Common after a 3.8 mile Loop.
Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension-Middleton Rail Trail:
In Danvers, the Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension travels north from the Danvers Rail Trail and connects to the Middleton Rail Trail. Currently, as of 2023, there is a gap between the two trails. Both trails follow the old rail bed along the former 1846 Essex RR; Lawrence Branch which ran from Salem to North Andover. In 1884, this RR line was taken over by the Boston & Maine RR until 1927 when the line from North Andover through Danvers was abandoned. South, in Peabody, this former line now follows a freight line at Central St into Salem. Here you'll find the North River Canal Riverwalk. See; Border to Boston; South Central Section .
Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension:
Starting from the Danvers Rail Trail in Danvers [Southern End]; On your left is the old white RR Danvers Plains Depot. The stone-dust Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension travels Northwest crossing Hobart St along a residential corridor. Mileage Markers have been placed every 0.1 miles along this trail. Cross a bridge over Beaver Brook before the trail ends after 0.5 miles just below Route 62, as of August 2023. Phase 1b & 2 will continue the trail Northwest. See; Map Below. Phase 3 has been completed, connecting to the Middleton Rail Trail.
Phase 1a and Phase 3 has been completed.
Starting from Hawthorne Ave & Maple Street in Danvers [Northern Section]; This section had not been constructed, as of August 2023. If you continue North along Route 62 and turn left just past the Post Office along an electrical sub-station access road you'll come to the completed trail. The wide, stone-dust Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension travels Northwest along a power line corridor. Mileage Markers have been placed every 0.1 miles along this trail. After 0.8 miles you cross the Middleton town line and start of the Middleton Rail Trail.
Middleton Rail Trail:
Continuing from the Danvers Rail Trail; Northern Extension [Southern End]; [Continuing Mileage] The Middleton Rail Trail continues Northwest along a power line corridor. 0 Mile Marker. Mileage Markers have been placed every 0.1 miles along this trail. You'll quickly come to a Map Board. Cross Gregory St before coming to Perkins Rd at 1.3 miles. You'll need to detour around this next section as the old RR bridge over the Ipswich River is gone. No signage. Turn right out to Route 62 and left along a narrow sidewalk across the river (look left to spot the old RR bridge abutments) to Oak St and turn left to rejoin the trail. Pass by a small pond before a cross-light over Route 62 at 1.6 miles. Head left along a paved trail and rejoin the rail trail on your right. Map Board & BIKE STATION. Cross Webb St at 2 miles. Come to Central Street, parking lot on your right at 2.3 miles. Continue straight along a short on-road section (school access road). Come to a Map Board where the rail trail continues. This section is more isolated. Pass by a marsh along your left. Pass by another Map Board & BIKE STATION before crossing Essex St at 3 miles and the current end of the trail. large marsh here.
CLICK HERE FOR BORDERS TO BOSTON MAP
CLICK HERE FOR TOPSFIELD LINEAR COMMON MAP
CLICK HERE FOR GRAND WENHAM CANAL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR DANVERS/PEABODY RAIL TRAIL MAP
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