COASTAL TRAILS NETWORK:

AMESBURY RIVERWALK:

CLIPPER CITY/HARBORWALK RAIL TRAIL:

EASTERN MARSH TRAIL:

GARRISON TRAIL:

GHOST TRAIL:

GILLIS BRIDGE CONNECTOR:

GLORIA BRAUNHARDT BIKE PATH:

AMESBURY-NEWBURYPORT-SALISBURY, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

The Coastal Trails Network is an emerging 30-mile, public system of multi-use off-road bicycle and pedestrian trails and bike lanes linking the unique coastal features, town centers, neighborhoods and transportation hubs in the communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. In Amesbury you'll find the east-west Amesbury Riverwalk which will soon connect to the east-west Ghost Trail in Salisbury. Where these two trails meet you can connect to the north-south Garrison Trail which crosses the Merrimack River to Newburyport. A spur off this trail brings you up to Pine Hill & Ferry Roads where you can connect to MAUDSLAY STATE PARK (Portion of the Merrimack River Trail) or MOSELEY WOODS . From the southern end of the Garrison Trail you can access the north-south Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path in the Little River Trail System. From the eastern end of the Ghost Trail in Salisbury at Lions Park you will soon be able to connect to the Eastern Marsh Trail which travels north-south. Heading north the trail will eventually go to the NH line. Heading south the trail will connect to the completed Eastern Marsh Trail witch starts from the Friedenfels Street parking lot next to the Merrimack River. From here the Gillis Bridge Connector allows you to cross over the Merrimack River to Newburyport where you can connect to the Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail. For more information visit; COASTAL TRAILS COALITION .

Amesbury Riverwalk:

Last Updated:        September 08, 2019

Length:                  Amesbury Riverwalk; 2.4 miles completed.

                                 Downtown Amesbury Loop; 0.5 miles

Difficulty:              Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.

Directions:

To start from Carriagetown Marketplace; From I-495 take exit 55 to Route 110 east. From I-95 take exit 58 to Route 110 west. Between these two interstates is the Carriagetown Marketplace shopping center. Enter the shopping center and bear left to the west side of the center. Park near the yellow bike sign. This is the start of the trail.

To start from Downtown Amesbury; From I-495 take exit 55 to Route 110 west. From I-95 take exit 58 to Route 110 west. Turn right on Main St and follow to the downtown traffic circle. (Note; Main St turns right along Route 150). Bear right in the traffic circle down Elm St. Take a quick right down Water St. A parking garage will be on your left.

The Amesbury Riverwalk winds along the Powwow River following the old Boston & Maine rail bed from Amesbury's historic downtown to the Carriagetown Marketplace along Route 110. Soon the trail will continue east where it will connect to the Ghost Trail. For more information visit; AMESBURY RIVERWALK .

Starting from Water Street parking lot/garage; Located across from the top parking lot is the old Boston & Maine RR Station

Note; To explore the very scenic downtown Amesbury, I have highlighted a 0.5 mile Downtown Amesbury Loop Route; Head right up Water St and cross Elm St. Head left to downtown Amesbury traveling around the Main Street traffic circle and up to the brick promenade with green benches. From here you can admire all the old brick mill buildings dating back to the 1800's along the brick lined sidewalks. There are a lot of places to get a bite or a drink. The building in back of the benches has a plaque reading "Counting house of the textile mills; 1870". Travel through the brick archway in this building and you'll come to a complex of old mill buildings. Follow the brick lined path past an amphitheater and past a small park next to the dammed Powwow River. At the end of the mill complex take a left on Pond St, cross over the river and head left along a paved path, This takes you alongside the river as it travels through the mill complex. An arched bridge crosses over the dam to the small park. Keep following the path along the raging river and you'll come to another bridge over the river. A small waterfall is here. This bridge brings you back to the amphitheater where you can head back through the archway to Main St. If you cross over Main St to a black chain-link fence you can see where the river emerges from under the street. Head left back to Water St and the Water Street parking lot/ garage to complete your Loop.        

Heading East; Travel left down Water St past the brick Carriage Mills along a brick lined path to the old Salisbury Point RR Station on your right. Map board. This small station was built in 1820, although I don't know if this was its original location. Small park located here. Informational signs. 

Note; Across Water St to your right you'll find a brick lined path that leads north to a bridge over Plumbush Creek. Here a wide sidewalk takes you up past the Senior Center to Railroad St. 

The paved Amesbury Riverwalk begins here. The trail travels around the park alongside both the Powwow River and Plumbush Creek back out to Water St. Turn right over Plumbush Creek and the trail will continue on your right. You travel back above the Powwow River before turning inland where you'll follow the old rail bed along a shaded corridor. Travel underneath Oak St. Look right and you'll soon pass some old RR tracks still in place. Come to some benches and informational boards after a 0.9 miles. An old RR Mile Marker A1/S3 (1 mile to Amesbury/3 miles to Salisbury) is located here. Next you travel underneath I-495, cross Rocky Hill Rd where you'll find another map board and come to the Carriagetown Marketplace parking lot after 1.4 miles.

Note; Currently, as of Sept. 2019, a gap east exists between here and the Ghost Trail. To reach the Ghost Trail head left on-road behind the Carriagetown Marketplace, then left out of the Marketplace to Elm St. Turn right on-road. You'll soon pick up the paved Amesbury Riverwalk on your left at 1.9 miles. [Currently, as of Sept. 2019, still under construction] The paved trail then travels out to route 110 and heads left. It then turns left alongside an exit ramp where it returns to the old rail bed heading east. You travel underneath I-95 through two tunnels out to Rabbit Rd after 2.4 miles. Across this road is the start of the Ghost Trail and the Rabbit Road parking lot. SEE BELOW. Right a paved trail follows Rabbit Rd to Route 110 and the start of the Garrison Trail.

Garrison Trail/Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path:

Last Updated:        September 08, 2019

Length:                  Garrison Trail; 2.1 miles

                                 Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path; 1.2 miles

Difficulty:              Garrison Trail; Easy. Mostly flat, paved trail.

                                 Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path; Easy. Mostly flat old paved road w/some stone-dust.  

Directions:

To start from Rabbit Road parking lot; From I-495 take exit 55 to Route 110 east. From I-95 take exit 58 to Route 110 east. Take your first left on Rabbit Rd. Parking lot on right just before the trail crosses road.

To start from Route 113 Park & Ride; From I-95 take exit 57 to Route 113 east. On your right will be the dirt parking lot for the Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path, on your left is the Park & Ride Lot for the Garrison Trail at the far end of the lot.

The Garrison Trail, also referred to as the William Lloyd Garrison Trail, follows I-95 across the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge and over the Merrimack River from Amesbury to Newburyport. While the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge is named after the 19th century Amesbury poet and abolitionist, the shared-use path is named after Whittier’s Newburyport contemporary, journalist William Lloyd Garrison. In Amesbury the trail connects to the Ghost Trail and Amesbury Riverwalk. In Newburyport you can connect to the Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path in the Little River Trail System, as well as, to MAUDSLAY STATE PARK (Portion of the Merrimack River Trail). For more information visit; LITTLE RIVER TRAIL SYSTEM .

Starting from the Rabbit Road parking lot; A paved trail travels south alongside Rabbit Rd to Route 110. Use the cross-light to connect to the paved Garrison Trail and continue right along Route 110 before the trail turns south again. Mile Markers are imbedded in the trail every tenth mile. First is Mile Marker 1.9. Come to the Old Merrill Road parking lot at 0.3 miles. Map board. The trail then parallels I-95 crossing over the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge and over the Merrimack River to Newburyport. Informational signs. Great views of the river and Deer Island on your left. Pass by a spur trail at 1.4 miles. Map board.

Note; This spur trail leads up to Pine Hill and Ferry roads. Left along Ferry Rd will take you to MOSELEY WOODS . Right along Pine Hill Rd will bring you to MAUDSLAY STATE PARK (Portion of the Merrimack River Trail). 

After 2.1 miles you come to the Route 113 Park & Ride and the O Mile Marker. Map board and picnic tables. If you travel through the parking lot (restrooms) and out to Route 113 a cross-light will bring you over to the Route 113 parking lot and the start of the Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path in the Little River Trail System after 0.3 miles. Map Board. 

The Gloria Braunhardt Bike Path starts out as stone-dust as you head south  into the woods but soon follows an old paved road. The pavement in in pretty good condition. The trail itself is not very scenic. A platform looks over the Little River marsh. The trail turns back to stone dust as it turns east to the Hale Street parking lot at 1.2 miles. Map board.

Ghost Trail:

Last Updated:         June 3, 2014

Length:                   Ghost Trail; 1.7 miles

Difficulty:               Easy. Flat, stone-dust rail trail.

Directions:

To start from Rabbit Road parking lot; From I-495 take exit 55 to Route 110 east. From I-95 take exit 58 to Route 110 east. Take your first left on Rabbit Rd. Parking lot on right just before the trail crosses road.

To start from Lions Park; From I-495 take exit 55 to Route 110 east. From I-95 take exit 58 to Route 110 east. Just before Routes 1 & 1A, take a left on Gardner St, then another left on Lions Way to Lions Park.  

The Ghost Trail, also referred to as the Salisbury Point Ghost Trail, is named for the "Ghost" trains that transported early automobile bodies (covered with white canvas shrouds) from Fisher Body in Amesbury through Salisbury to Detroit along the old Boston & Maine rail bed. This section is the Salisbury Branch of the Eastern Railroad which connected Salisbury Point-Salisbury Mills and Amesbury to the main line. This trail will soon connect to the Amesbury Riverwalk to the west. From the western end you can also connect south to the Garrison Trail and from the eastern end you will soon be able to connect to the Eastern Marsh Trail.

Starting from Rabbit Road parking lot; Map board located here next to the largest solar panel park in New England. 

Note; Left (west) across Rabbit Rd is the start of the Amesbury Riverwalk. SEE ABOVE. South down Rabbit Rd leads to the Garrison Trail. SEE BELOW.

Heading East along the stone-dust Ghost Trail you travel alongside the solar field and into the woods along a ramrod straight rail trail. 

Note; After 0.3 miles you'll pass by a Spur Trail that leads to PLAY BALL and a parking area.

Continuing along the trail you next come to Bartlett St at 1.2 miles. A small parking area is located here, as well as, a map board and some informational signs. Cross Cushing St and come to an intersection at 1.5 miles. The old rail bed continues straight but the trail utilizes part of a RR junction bed on your right. The trail then turns off this junction, crosses a boardwalk and bridge into Lions Park parking lot after 1.7 miles. Map board, sports fields.

Note; The Eastern Marsh Trail will soon pass by this park heading north to the NH border and south to the Merrimack River, but as of Sept 2019 the trail is still under construction. SEE BELOW.

Eastern Marsh Trail/Gillis Bridge Connector:

Last Updated:        September 08, 2019

Length:                  Eastern Marsh Trail; 1.4 miles currently.

                                 Gillis Bridge Connector; 0.7 miles

Difficulty:              Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.

Directions:

To start from the Friedenfels Street parking lot; From Route 1 in Salisbury travel south. Just before the Gillis Bridge over the Merrimack River turn right on Friedenfels St. The parking lot is on your right just before the stone arched tunnel under the old rail bed. 

The Eastern Marsh Trail travels north from the Merrimack River along the old Eastern Railroad Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad in Salisbury. It passes through pristine sections of the Great Marsh with beautiful views and world class bird watching. Soon it will connect to the Ghost Trail in the north and continue to the NH state line. From its southern end you can use the Gillis Bridge Connector to reach the Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail in Newburyport. The Eastern Marsh Trail is part of a 30 mile system of trails planned to extend to the coast, through Salisbury, and on to Newburyport and Newbury. The COASTAL TRAILS COALITION is working to bring that system to reality. This trail is also part of the regional BORDER TO BOSTON TRAIL , an emerging 28-mile shared use trail linking eight communities from the New Hampshire border to Boston’s North Shore. Part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY .

Starting from the Friedenfels Street parking lot; Map board along with a stone tablet with a map of the old Eastern Railroad is located next to a ramp that takes you up to the trail. Here you'll find another map board.

Note; Left (south) brings you 0.2 miles to an overlook of the Merrimac River where the trail currently ends. The old RR trestle still crosses the river, but contains a gap where a section has been turned permanently to allow for boat traffic. This is the reason the trail will probably never utilize the old trestle. An informational signboard is located here, as well as other points along the trail. Across the river in Newburyport the Clipper City Rail Trail utilizes the same rail bed.

Heading North along the wide paved Eastern Marsh Trail you travel through the woods along a berm and pass by a new granite mile marker on your left and an old RR mile marker on your right. After about 0.5 miles you'll pass by a spur trail out to Route 1on the right. The trail then travels between a large marsh full of reeds. You cross a culvert and come to the 1 mile marker on your left, then another old RR marker on the right. The trail currently ends at Mudnock Rd after 1.2 miles. Another map board is located here. Currently, as of Sept 2019, the next section of trail is being constructed north along the old rail bed and will connect to the Ghost Trail in Lions Park before continuing north to the NH border.. 

To connect to the Clipper City Rail Trail/Harborwalk Rail Trail via the Gillis Bridge Connector; From the Friedenfels Street parking lot; Cross Friedenfels St and follow the paved Gillis Bridge Connector out to Route 1. The trail then heads right taking you underneath Route 1 along the river to the south side where it brings you out to a pedestrian walkway. Head left along the walkway over the Gillis Bridge and enjoy the great views of the Merrimack River. Caution no guardrail between you and traffic. After reaching Newburyport you'll pass by a set of stairs on your left before coming to a paved path off the walkway on the left with a sign for the Harborwalk Rail Trail. Follow this path down to the waters edge where it connects to the Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail at 0.7 miles. .

Clipper City Rail Trail/Harborwalk Rail Trail:

Last Updated:        September 08, 2019

Length:                  Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail; 3.8 mile Loop

                                 Harborwalk Rail Trail; 0.5 mile s

Difficulty:              Easy. Flat, paved rail trail. 

Directions:

To start from Newburyport MBTA Station (Clipper City Rail Trail); From Route 1 in Salisbury travel south crossing the Gillis Bridge over the Merrimack River to Newburyport. After 1.1 miles turn right, just before the traffic circle, onto Parker St. The Newburyport MBTA Station is on your left. A fee is charged for parking in the lot. To take your bike on the train to this station visit; MBTA . For information concerning taking your bike on the train visit; MBTA-BIKES .

To start from Cashman Park (Harborwalk Rail Trail); Take the Merrimac St exit from Route 1 in Newburyport and travel west. Turn right on Sally Snyder Way and into the park. The Harborwalk Rail Trail travels alongside the river. 

To start from the Friedenfels Street parking lot (Eastern Marsh Trail & Gillis Bridge Connector); From Route 1 in Salisbury travel south. Just before the Gillis Bridge over the Merrimack River turn right on Friedenfels St. The parking lot is on your right just before the stone arched tunnel under the old rail bed. 

The Clipper City Rail Trail in Newburyport runs from the Merrimack River south along the old Eastern Railroad Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad to the MBTA Commuter Rail Station where it then loops northeast back to the river and along the old City Branch rail corridor. It then connects directly with the Harborwalk Rail Trail, which runs alongside the Merrimack River. The Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail is part of a larger envisioned regional trails network, including the Border to Boston Trail, and Merrimack River Trail . Part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY .

Starting from the junction of the Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail (Below the Gillis Bridge next to the Merrimack River); 

Note; See; Gillis Bridge Connector above to connect to the Eastern Marsh Trail in Salisbury.

The paved Clipper City Rail Trail travels up to the old rail bed. A 1 Mile Marker located here. Mile Markers located every tenth of a mile. 

Note; Left brings you to a promenade that overlooks the river and the old RR bridge. Several pieces of artwork are located here.. 

Heading South along the berm you travel over Merrimac St via an old RR bridge. Informational signs, artwork and sculptures are located all along the trail. This is one of my favorite trails. The trail travels through a residential corridor and is well shaded. Cross Washington St which was the location of the old Newburyport Train Station. Map Board. The trail then travels through a sunken corridor with a large stone retaining wall. You travel through a tunnel underneath High St. After crossing Low St via an iron arched bridge the trail opens up. You'll come alongside a giant wind turbine on your right, then a large building. Spot an old RR mileage marker on the right that reads N1/B39 (Newburyport 1 mile/Boston 39 miles). Spot a sign on your right for the Haley's Ice Cream at 1 mile. A spur trail on your left will take you there. Outdoor tables and a bike rack available. Kids will love the retro look inside. Come to Parker St and Mile Marker 0. Map board. 

Note; If you cross Parker St the trail brings you right up to the Newburyport MBTA platform at 1.1  miles. 

Head left along Parker St via a paved trail. Come to Route 1 after 1.2 miles. Currently, as of Sept 2019, there is no connection to the next section of the Clipper City Rail Trail off Parker St further east.

Note; To connect to the next section of the Clipper City Rail Trail you'll need to travel on-road, which is tricky getting over Route 1. Your best route currently is to return to the spur  for Haley's Ice Cream, travel through the parking lot to Route 1 and head right to a cross-light over Route 1 to Hill St. To your right is a small path that leads to a parking lot. Travel through the parking lot, across Cherry St, right through another parking lot to Parker St. Head left on-road and you'll come to the Parker Street parking lot on your left after about 0.5 miles

Continuing from the Parker Street parking lot; (Resetting  mileage) Map board. Across the street is a portion of the undeveloped old rail bed. The wide paved Clipper City Rail Trail travels past lots of artwork and sculptures along the old City Branch rail corridor. The trail quickly diverts off the old rail bed through the woods for a bit. Travel through a tunnel under High St at 0.4 miles. Cool light sculpture. The trail then follows a residential corridor. At Purchase St the trail detours off the rail bed left then right down Harrison St where you'll pick up the paved trail on your left. Cross Water St to Joppa Park at 0.8 miles. Great views of the Merrimack River

Note; Currently, as of Sept 2019, the next section has not been completed which will take the trail west alongside the river to the American Yacht Club where the trail continues.

Heading west on road (BIKE SHARROWS) along Water St you'll pick up the Clipper City/Harborwalk Rail Trail again on your right next to a granite marker. Lime St is on your left. A wide sidewalk brings you back to the river by the American Yacht Club at 1.1 miles. The paved trail continues west, then detours around the US Coast Guard facility. Check out the light house. Pass by Newburyport Port Marina and come to Custom House Way and the Ferry Wharf parking lot (Fee) at 1.5 miles. 

Note; Right leads to the Waterfront Park Boardwalk. Biking not allowed. If walking follow this boardwalk around to Waterfront Park, then more boardwalk around to a wide brick promenade after 1.7 miles.

If Biking you'll need to detour left along Custom House Way to Water St. CUSTOM HOUSE MARITIME MUSEUM located here. Head right on-road (no shoulder) through scenic downtown, past Waterfront Park (restrooms/information booth) to a granite marker on your right where you'll find a brick lined path at 1.7 miles. Follow this path to a wide brick promenade and the end of the Waterfront Park Boardwalk at 1.8 miles. A brick lined trail continues west back to Route 1. Head right along the paved trail, underneath the Gillis Bridge to the start of the Clipper City Rail Trail complete your Loop at 2.1 miles. [Total Loop w/on-road section; 3.8 miles]. 

Note; The paved Harborwalk Rail Trail continues straight a boardwalk briefly before returning you to a paved trail that runs between the river and Cashman Park. You cross by a boat launch where the trail gets a bit narrow as it passes by the parking lot. The trail then ends after 0.5 miles at the North End Boat Club

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CLICK HERE FOR COASTAL TRAILS NETWORK MAP

CLICK HERE FOR OPEN STREET MAP

CLICK HERE FOR BORDERS TO BOSTON MAP

CLICK HERE FOR CLIPPER CITY RAIL TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR LITTLE RIVER TRAIL SYSTEM MAP

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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