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Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Trail

EASY 164 reviews

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Trail is a 4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Topsfield, Massachusetts that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.0 miles Elevation Gain: 183 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

no dogs

The sanctuary is open to the public dawn to dusk only. Please be aware this is private property and respect for the rules is appreciated. These trails are only for hiking, not for running and no bikes. Very peaceful. Walk around this short loop to find yourself on wooden paths that will take you past several water bodies and through some beautiful woods where chickadees will readily land on your hand for bird feed that is available from dispensers on the trail. You'll also check out a cool rock grotto that children can explore around. Keep your eye out for turtles in the water!

hiking
flooded
muddy
14 days ago

This is a beautiful place to take a hike. I hiked here for the first time on January 1st and only saw the rockery (a must see!) I came back on 1/11 to hike more of the trails. both times the waterfowl pond trail was flooded out so you have to make your way around on the drumline trail. also alot of the trails are muddy because of the melting snow.

Mass audubon ipswich River

running
icy
muddy
22 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

A little windy yesterday. Had a tree limb fall behind me about 10 ft away. I was told to wear a hard hat. Lol. Anyway it was good to get out and get some exercise.

hiking
2 months ago

Great for trail running! So many beautiful spots. I’ve been here several times and ran/hikes the whole thing. The trails are easy to follow. A must see!!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful place. Can't wait to get back with some more daylight.

paddle sports
5 months ago

Plenty of water in the shed this year! Nice!

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

7 months ago

Magical woodland and marsh hike. Bring a hat the horse flies are fierce!

hiking
7 months ago

Great place for a family hike. Easy to follow trails. Kids of all ages live the rockery trail. Like many have said- put a little bird food on your palm and the chickadees will land on your hand to eat if you are patient and still. Lots of options to tailor your hike to the length you want. Highly recommend.

Wed Aug 01 2018

Bring bird seed to feed the birds. we saw many people hand feeding the birds. Great place for families. All kids should check out the Rockery Loop. Picnic tables for lunch.

hiking
Mon Jul 30 2018

This is one of those spots I would gladly head to over and over again with kids of any age! Equally great for adults who love hiking with plenty of loop options and interesting waypoints (my favorite were the pond loop and observation tower). I would agree with other reviews that while you need have a little bit of patience, if you have sunflower seeds the chickadees will be eating right out of your hand… we also spotted loads of turtles, and a faun as well as other local wildlife! I was hiking with kids aged 6, 8, and 14. We got about 2.2 miles in and spent about an hour and a half hiking. Bring bug spray and be tick-savvy.... we had to pull a couple despite being careful. Everybody loved this hike! We’ll be back for sure!

Sat Jul 07 2018

This place is beautiful and peaceful. Lots of bugs! Bring bug spray.

hiking
Mon Jun 25 2018

This place is great and well maintained!

hiking
Tue Jun 12 2018

Stunning and peaceful.

Fri Jun 01 2018

Hot spot for birding

bird watching
Thu May 31 2018

Best trail ever if you’ve never held a wild bird before?! You can bring or buy sunflower seeds and chickadees will land on your hands as long as you’re still. Greatest experience ever will definitely be going back! Trail itself was really nice and was very beautiful but the bird are the best part great trail for kids/family’s!!

walking
Sun May 20 2018

Nice easy but diverse trails

walking
Sat May 19 2018

I have a walking group and this is one of my favorite places to walk. The views are beautiful, but I think the serene feeling that you get when you are there makes it even more beautiful. My first visit I saw 16 deer, a blue gray heron, a family of turtles and of course the chickidies that ate from my hands topped it off. Then there is the cave and the climbing tower. All seasons are great walks there but late October the trails are filled with autumn colors. I am thrilled that we found this place.

Sat May 19 2018

Been going here since I was a kid. Now I bring my kids. Fantastic educational programming as well. Being a small bag of bird seed. The chickadees are super friendly. The restrooms are much appreciated for families and don't forget to bring cash or a check book to pay admission.

Mon May 07 2018

Great little hike with our toddler.

Thu Aug 24 2017

Really cool, a lot of character for one hike. Decent length.

Sun Jul 23 2017

we love all the wildlife we get to see here. plant variety is beautiful too! Trail is easy but so fun.

hiking
Tue Jul 04 2017

Very cool spot. Nice walkways over water with beautiful views as well as wooded trails. Saw 3 deer (1 baby), a fox, a snake, butterflies and more. Dogs not allowed. Didn't realize this and the groundskeeper let us bring our dog in as long as we picked up after it. Great experience.

walking
Tue Jul 04 2017

Very peaceful walk and lots of wildlife to see. Beautiful lily pads and ponds all over. The end of Averills island loop had some broken boardwalk that sunk into the mud. I had to walk on fallen branches to make it through. Most of the waterfowl pond trail was under water. Just beware of those spots.

hiking
Sat Jul 01 2017

Well-maintained trails, beautiful scenery, quiet, peaceful, with lots of birds and other wildlife (including ticks--bring repellent!).

bird watching
Thu Jun 22 2017

A wonderful trail system with up-close bird encounters, man made rock formations, wooden bridges, and plenty of wildlife. Spotted red squirrels, nuthatches, blue jays, herons, and a flock of cedar waxwings on the mulberry tree, just to name a few.

walking
Tue Oct 18 2016

Beautiful trails, my boyfriend and i were given bird seed by a little girl and her family, i had never fed birds out of my hand before, but you just sit on the boardwalk path seeds in your hand outstreched and those birds come right to you...amazing experience!!

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