The 1.1-mile, multi-use Clipper City Rail Trail and Harbor Walk connects the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail station and the Merrimack River near downtown Newburyport. Though short, the trail traverses a mix of environments: an industrial park, a neighborhood and the waterfront. The paved pathway connects stairways and spur trails that lead to neighborhood streets. In addition, users will find urban amenities, such as ice cream parlors, bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants.
Perhaps the trail's most distinguishing feature is the fanciful artwork found along the corridor. Sculptures, murals and artfully designed landscapes make for an enjoyable stroll and reflect the creativity of the city's inhabitants. It also reflects the city's dedication to recycle materials. In addition, the "greening" includes a boardwalk made of sustainably harvested tropical hardwood, which connects the trail to Cashman Park along the river.
Pending additional funding, securing of rights-of-way and other necessities, there are plans to connect and extend the trail along another former rail corridor: the City Branch. The extension would run along the waterfront east of the Peter J. Matthews Boardwalk at the ciyt's central waterfront, continuing through the South End neighborhood into Newbury and back to the MBTA commuter rail station.
Across the Merrimack River, is another rail-trail: the Old Eastern Marsh Trail; joining the two together is the Salisbury Rail Trail Connector. Nature lovers may want to head south instead to experience the Martin H. Burns Wildlife Management Area Trail.
There is no parking dedicated specifically to the trail; however, there is dispersed on-street and off-street parking. There is a small parking lot at Cashman Park plus adjacent parking along Pop Crowley Way and Riverfront Road, to Strong Street, Washington Street, Winter Street and High Street between Winter and Boardman streets. There are also (paid) MBTA parking lots off of Parker Street at the head of the trail.