Explore the most popular birding trails near Gloucester with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 month ago

Stage Fort park is one of my favorite destination in Gloucester. It's an absolutely beautiful park with a very nice children's playground and a wonderful visitor's center. Half Moon beach is so quaint and the view from the top of the rock is breathtaking. I enjoy just watching boats go by and soaking in the refreshing air and my kids always enjoy the huge playground. The playground there is every kids dream sporting rock climbing, spinning wheel, swings, pirate ships, see-saw.

The trail is a little short so I usually extend it and walk along the scenic Western Ave all the way to the Fishermen's Memorial or even all the way to Fort Point on the other end. There's a couple of nice clam shack in town so that is always a treat.

Nice diversity of terrain. Very well-marked. Great length and solitude for a Cape Ann hike.

I've spent close to a decade hiking Dogtown and it's a beautiful area. It can be quite easy to get lost out there though, even with all the time I've been out there I still get lost. A few times I made it out thanks to my dogs. I've always hiked it with dogs though, abs haven't hiked it since the dogs passed away.

Don't be scared away by the lore, they are a really magical woods. There was a tragic murder back in the 80's but it gets sensationalized too often, it was a tragedy but an isolated one, and the killer was caught.

It's also very easy to end up in people's back yards in Dogtown. People are generally very nice if you're respectful.

The Black and Orange trails were fantastic. The Blue trail was a little bit over-grown. Really liked the Orange trail particularly the look out over the ocean. Great hike,, really enjoyed it.

Really enjoyed this hike. The overlook of the Atlantic was lovely. Some more rugged areas, but overall not too bad. Bring bug spray.

Hikers, be aware: there was a murder on this trail in the 1980s.
Spooky, historical hike. Dogtown was settled in the 1600s by 80 families fleeing pirates, natives, and other coastal bombardments. After the revolutionary war and the war of 1812, dogtown was abandoned, and became a ghost town that housed squatters in the abandoned buildings. Lots of rumors about witches and other such things, too. The numbered boulders signify where a house once stood.
Easy to get lost - multiple maps are needed.

Great ride. Rockport is a bit heavy with traffic, but the rest of the ride is very nice. Great views.

A bit longer by my GPS. Nice trail overall, great for h King and okay for trail running. The moraine section was difficult, and the trail is poorly marked. Needed the map consistently and still made a couple incorrect turns. Great trail for his area

Commenting on the entire park: As an avid hiker, both solo and with dogs, I can say that this is one of the nicest parks of its type I've ever explored. I've now been twice, and walked every trail in the system. You won't find challenging climbs here, or 360 degree views into the distance. What you will find are a variety of well maintained trails that are varied enough in length and difficulty (some may be classed as moderate, but that's just for the length, not the difficulty). My more recent visit was last week, and I noticed that the parks proximity to the ocean helps to keep the bug population down. There are some lower areas, so do bring repellent for your family and pups. Dogs are allowed off leash, except in a few small, clearly marked areas. I would add that the coyote population in Eastern Massachusetts has grown significantly in the past few years. Although coyote/human incidents are very rare, they have been known to go after small pets. If your puppy has a tendency to run off, I'd keep him leashed. (Not just here, but anywhere!) All in all, the entire park merits 5 stars!

A fascinating walk into history and the mind of Babson. Come prepared with a physical map as well as this app, and you’ll do great. We were out on a sunny spring morning before the leaves were out so it was relatively easy to spot the trail markers.

It’s not creepy.

dont come here.

we've spent too much time getting familiar with this place. Read it's history. its very real. This place is dangerous and there are strange practices happening here.

multiple unsolved murders, one as recent as 20 years ago should be enough to scare off tourists.

Have felt in danger on multiple occasions here. heard what sounded like a massive dog barking and growling a hundred feet behind us, forcing us deeper into woods. Saw people off trail, and someone with a rifle on trail. Stay away!

on Stage Fort Trail

7 months ago

Great fun for the dogs to scramble on the rocks this time of year when nobody is around.

7 months ago

Great walk with the dogs.

10 months ago

Easy. But nice

This is such a diverse trail. We did a total of 7.4 miles. The trails are marked but can be difficult to follow so make sure you use the All Trails app. We saw at least a half a dozen ribbon snakes, dozens of toads, squirrels and chipmunks along the way. We really enjoyed this because one moment you're surrounded by a pine forest then quickly switches to birch and becomes a cooler darker swamp setting. Lots of boulders and easy elevation. We looked up the history of dogtown after our hike not realizing what we were walking through the whole time. There were moments towards the end of the hike around a field of boulders when we felt like we were being watched and saw a large branch move but nothing was there. If you're into creepy trails and hauntings this is definitely a trail for you. I'm not trying to scare anyone. Embrace it! One of my favorite hikes

walking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Got really lost. Wandered in woods for hours. Send help!

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The dog town Loop was very difficult to follow. At the entrance to the park there were maps available. These were terrible. Luckily we had this Ap, otherwise we would not have been able to follow the trails because of the poor map and poor trail markers.
The trail I would rate as the easy side of moderate.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Beautiful road through islands and beaches.

Awesome! Loved the rocks!

We did the orange trail from Dogtown Square to Raccoon Ledge and then around Babson Boulder. ~4 miles. Very buggy so bring the bug spray, have never seen so many caterpillars!

The trail name should reflect that this is also the Babson boulder trail! It's just missing the boulders closest to the industrial park, on the other side of the tracks. Had such a great time exploring the innards of my home town.

Trails markings can be confusing. Maps are available at trailhead parking area.

hiking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

Cool if you know the history. Use an app like this to stay on track.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

I grew up here! Wide trails, not too busy but busy enough that you're never really alone, lots to see and so many trail options!

Monday, September 19, 2016

To get to Milk island wait until the tide is out, you can walk the land bridge and see Gloucester from the ocean without having to take a boat

Easy walk and numerous trails, with many different enterance points. Very nice walk in spring or fall. During the summer months there is lots of folliage and insects.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Free parking at the sback shack, or at the boardwalk. Volly ball nets. rocks to climb, and nice beach with BBQ pits.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I decided to follow the hiker's map and it was a very bad idea. Most of the time I was searching for the trail and a 5.3 mile "loop" turned into an 8 mile fiasco with a dangerous section walking along the railroad track and no clear trail near it. Dogtown itself is interesting but the trails really do stop all the time at which point you have to cut through some hairy parts of the woods.

walking
Friday, September 16, 2016

Just a beautiful relaxing place to go.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Good moderate trail! Doggie loved it!

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