Border to Boston Trail


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Border to Boston Trail Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Essex, Middlesex
Length: 44.1 miles
Trail end points: Seabrook Firemen’s Parking Lot (28 Collins St, Seabrook, NH) and Portal Park (Causeway St & Lovejoy Wharf, Boston)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6569596

Border to Boston Trail Description

The Border to Boston Trail is a developing trail network that will stretch 70 miles between the New Hampshire border and Boston—providing a continuous route for a variety of non-motorized uses including walking, bicycling, wheelchairs, strollers, rollerskating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, and more.

Currently, the trail network is 44.1 miles long and there are several gaps in the route. There are portions of the trail the run through the communities of Salisbury, Newburyport, , Topsfield, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynn, Saugus, Malden, Everett. Charlestown, and Boston. When complete, the route of the Border to Boston Trail will connect about 20 communities.

The Border to Boston Trail runs along the former corridors of two abandoned rail lines: the Eastern Route Main Line from Salisbury to Newburyport and the Newburyport Branch Line from Newburyport to Danvers. Chartered in 1836, the Eastern Railroad Salem ran north from Boston through Salem and Newburyport; Portsmouth, NH; and into Maine. Its passenger service ended in 1965. Chartered in 1846, the Newburyport Railroad was created to compete with the Eastern Railroad. Due to declining service in the 1930s, the portion of the line between Topsfield and Newburyport was abandoned in 1941. Passenger service continued to Topsfield until 1950 and to Danvers until 1959. Freight service continued until 1977 and the corridor lay dormant until construction of the trail began in 2006.

The construction and continued development of the trail is happening in phases and is a coordinated effort of dedicated individuals, communities, and both state and local government. The Border to Boston Trail itself is part of East Coast Greenway, a connected network of trails that will stretch from Maine to Florida when complete. 

The Border to Boston Trail utilizes a number of smaller trails and its route from north to south is as follows:

Old Eastern Marsh Trail (3.7 miles; paved)

Offering picturesque woodland and marsh surroundings, the Old Eastern Marsh Trail stretches for 3.7 miles between the MA-NH border and the north bank of the Merrimack River. The southern 2.3-mile section of the trail is also known as the Salisbury Rail Trail. The Old Eastern Marsh Trail is part of the Coastal Trails Network, which is developing in the four towns of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury along the Merrimack River. 

Following a former railroad corridor, the Old Eastern Marsh Trail is paved, flat, and wide enough for those on the trail to comfortably pass each other. There are mile markers and interpretative signage along the route. Along the northern portion of the route, there are signs for the East Coast Greenway and the Old Eastern Marsh Trail. Along the southern portion of the trail, there are signs for the Salisbury Rail Trail and the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway.

To access the northern end of the multiuse rail-trail, there is a 0.2-mile stone dust connector known as the Seabrook-Salisbury Trail Connector. The connector trail leads from the rear of the fire station parking lot (28 Collins Street, Seabrook, NH) to the north end of the Old Eastern Marsh Trail at the MA-NH state line. 

The northern section of the rail-trail passes though woodlands. Heading towards downtown Salisbury, it passes by the elementary school and Partridge Brook Park (100 Lafayette Rd, Salisbury). The park has restrooms, benches, parking, a new accessible playground, a skate park, and a fenced dog park with an obstacle course.

Continuing south through the woods, the trail crosses over US Route 1 via a pedestrian/cyclist bridge and then connects with Salisbury Point Ghost Trail at Lions Park (located at the dead end of Lions Way, off Gardner St). The park has restrooms, picnic tables, swings, a play area, and a variety of sport courts and fields. Follow the Ghost Trail to head west into Amesbury or continue south on the Old Eastern Marsh Trail towards the Merrimack River.

The rail-trail passes just west of downtown Salisbury and utilizes about a 0.2-mile quiet section on Gardner Street (sidewalk; no bike lane). 

Continuing south through a picturesque coastal salt marsh known as the Great Marsh, the route includes a tidal river crossing and a wooden boardwalk. The trail curves gently southwest and passes briefly through a wooded area, where the remnants of classic New England stonewalls are visible to the west.

The southern end of the trail is on the north bank of the Merrimack River, where parking is available in a lot off Friedenfels Street. It connects to the Clipper City Rail Trail in Newburyport via painted bike lanes on both sides of the Gillis Memorial Bridge (0.6 miles). There is also a raised sidewalk on the east side of the bridge. If safety is a concern, Massachusetts allows biking on sidewalks (with some exceptions) whereas New Hampshire does not.

This beautifully landscaped trail was built in 2009, adding to an already impressive list of rail-trails in the area that form a convenient network of pathways throughout the coastal communities. An extension was completed in 2020, providing a safer route over Route 1 to the state line and connecting the trail to the Salisbury Point Ghost Trail.

Clipper City Rail Trail (1.6 miles; paved & boardwalk)

The Border to Boston route only utilizes a portion of the Clipper City Rail Trail, which will be a continuous loop through Newburyport. Of the Clipper City Rail Trail's 3.3 miles, the Border to Boston route only uses roughly 1.6 miles. Offering scenic views of the Merrimack River and easy access to downtown Newburyport, the Clipper City Rail Trail is certainly worth taking a slight detour to explore. Take a break, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the scenic riverfront view. 

To follow the Border to Boston route: After crossing the Gillis Memorial Bridge, continue south along the rail-trail as it parallels Route 1 (also called the Newburyport Turnpike along this section). Upon reaching the Newburyport MBTA Station, the trail comes to an end as does this section of the Border to Boston Trail. There is a significant gap in the route before the next section. 

Please note there is a significant gap in the route between the Clipper City Rail Trail and the Boxford Rail Trail.

Boxford Rail Trail (2.1 miles; dirt & grass)

The Boxford Rail Trail is a short, rustic pathway open on a former rail corridor in rural Essex County. Now home to overhead electric wires owned by National Grid, the trail is open via a license granted from the utility to the Town of Boxford for non-motorized recreational use. The grassy service is best navigated with mountain bikes and hiking boots.

Please note there is a significant gap in the route between the Boxford Rail Trail and the Topsfield Linear Common.

Topsfield Linear Common (5.2 miles; compacted stone dust & packed dirt)

The northern end of the Topsfield Linear Common is not directly accessible as it dead ends in the woods. Access the trail mid-route or from its southern end, where it has a seamless connection with the Danvers Rail Trail. 

From its southern end on Topsfield Rd/MA-97 (just southeast of the Topsfield border), the Topsfield Linear Common continues north through the woods. 

In about a mile from its southern end, the rail-trail connects with the 2-mile Salem-Beverly Canal. Also known as the Grand Wenham Canal, this trail offers a scenic and peaceful side excursion as it heads southeast along a canal built in 1917. 

Curving northwest, the rail-trail crosses the Ipswich River via a pedestrian/cyclist bridge with a boardwalk surface and sturdy railings. The Topsfield Linear Common then crosses High Street/MA-97 and runs through the center of  Topsfield. 

North of Washington Street, the trail transitions back to a more wooded and secluded experience, and you’ll come across hiking trails that connect to the main trail. After crossing Washington Street, you only have 2.4 miles to go. In this final leg, the width of the path narrows and the surface becomes packed dirt, so this section is better suited for bikes with wider tires. The trail's northern end is a dead end as it approaches I-95.

Note that the Topsfield Linear Common permits equestrian use, though the Danvers Rail Trail section does not.

Danvers Rail Trail (5.1 miles; compacted stone dust)

This 5.1-mile section of the Border to Boston Trail is known as the Danvers Rail Trail. With a surface of compacted stone dust, the rail-trail follows the path of the historic Boston to Maine railroad that ran from Newburyport to Danvers.

From its northeast end and connection with the Topsfield Linear Common, the trail meanders south through a quiet wooded area dotted with wildflowers. 

Offering a short alternative route to the main trail, the SwampWalk is a 0.3-mile stroll across boardwalks that takes you on an immersive journey into the heart of the Wenham Great Swamp. You many encounter turtles, frogs, ducks, fox, deer, and turkeys. The horseshoe-shaped SwampWalk will deposit you back on the main trail.  

Continuing through through woods and wetlands, the multiuse trail then winds through downtown Danvers. The rail-trail crosses Beaver Brook via a new timber bridge and continues to its southern end at the border between Peabody and Danvers.

In addition to a variety of recreational opportunities, the rail-trail also provides an important transportation link for the surrounding communities—connecting parks, residential areas, local businesses, schools, and more. The Danvers Rail Trail is managed and maintained by a group of community volunteers. 

Kristen Crowley Rail Trail (.65 miles; dirt)

A spur of the Independence Greenway, this short trail picks up seamlessly from the southern end of the Danvers Rail Trail and continues south for less than a mile to Lowell Street (south of Goodale St and north of Bourbon St) in the City of Peabody.

Please note there is a small gap in the route between the Kristen Crowley Rail Trail and the Independence Greenway

Independence Greenway (1.7 miles; paved)

The Border to Boston Trail only utilizes a portion of the developing Independence Greenway, which is currently in three sections totaling 5.25 miles (including the Kristen Crowley Rail Trail spur). The Border to Boston route follows the 1.7-mile eastern section of the greenway. 

The paved pathway is located in the City of Peabody (pronounced by locals as “pea-biddy”), which is known as the Leather City thanks to its historical tannery industry. Be on the lookout for a variety of bird species, as well as the occasional snake sunning itself on the trail’s paved surface. For most of the ride, you will enjoy a natural setting; however, some neighboring homes are visible along the trail for a portion of the trip.

From Peabody Road (just north of Clark Road), the rail-trail head follows Proctor Brook southeast through woods. It passes Lalikos Park, Marble Meadows Conservation Area, and Jacobs Cemetery. As you near the end of the trail, you will begin to hear the buzz of traffic. There are a number of road crossings, which provide access to the surrounding neighborhoods. Cross carefully at the busy intersection of Prospect and Lowell Streets. The trail ends on Essex Center Road at the Northshore Mall, where you can stop for a snack, bathroom break, or some retail therapy.

Please note there is a gap in the route between the Independence Greenway and the Leslie Retreat Path

Leslie's Retreat Path (0.41 miles; paved)

In Salem, there are two short unconnected segments of trail, but most of the route between the Independence Greenway and the Salem Bike Path doesn't exist yet.

Leslie's Retreat Park has a paved path that runs for roughly a half mile from the park's western end (intersection of Flint St & Oak St) to its eastern end (Bridge St under the North St/MA-144 overpass). 

Please note there is a gap in the route between the Leslie's Retreat Path and the Collins Cove Path/Peter Tracy Multiuse Path

Collins Cove Path/Peter Tracy Multiuse Path (0.9 miles; paved)

The second short segment utilizes the Collins Cove Path/Peter Tracey Multiuse Path and a short section of the Bridge Street Bike Trail. From the intersection of Bridge Street and Sergeant James Ayube Memorial Drive, the off-road route runs north along Memorial Drive until the connection with Collins Cove Path/Peter Tracey Multiuse Path.

While the Bike Trail continues north, the Border to Boston route turns left to follow the Path through the neighborhood and along Webb Street. At Collins Cove Beach, it runs along the southern edge of the cove. The Path continues east through David J. Beattie Park (4 Webb St, Salem), where its southern end is located (Webb St & Derby St).

Please note there is a gap in the route between the Collins Cove Path/Tracy Multiuse Path and the Salem Bike Path. 

Salem Bike Path (1.7 miles; paved) 

The Salem Bike Path (also known as the Mayor Anthony Salvo Bike Path) is 1.7-mile paved trail, which provides a connection between the Marblehead Rail Trail and downtown Salem.

Located near the Marblehead/Salem town line on Lafayette Street (just north of Rosedale Rd), the southern end of the trail links with the Marblehead Rail Trail. If continuing south on the Marblehead Rail Trail, use caution when crossing busy MA 114/Lafayette Street.

From the southern trailhead, the route curves north through a mix of residential, commercial, and nature areas. The trail passes Pickman Park (in Jackson Field) and Salem State University. Paralleling an active rail corridor, the trail ends at Mill Street in downtown Salem. The MBTA Salem Station, Salem Old Town Hall, the harbor, and museums related to the witch trials are all close by.

Marblehead Rail Trail (3.4 miles; asphalt, dirt, gravel, and sand)

Located near the Marblehead/Salem town line on Lafayette Street (just north of Rosedale Rd), the southern end of the trail links with the Marblehead Rail Trail. If continuing south on the Marblehead Rail Trail, use caution when crossing busy MA 114/Lafayette Street.

From the southern trailhead, the route curves north through a mix of residential, commercial, and nature areas. The trail passes Pickman Park (in Jackson Field) and Salem State University. Paralleling an active rail corridor, the trail ends at Mill Street in downtown Salem. The MBTA Salem Station, Salem Old Town Hall, the harbor, and museums related to the witch trials are all close by.

Swampscott Rail Trail (0.3 miles; crushed stone)

The Swampscott Rail Trail is a developing rail-trail in the North Shore community of Swampscott. When complete, the trail will extend two miles through the heart of the town ending with a seamless connection to the Marblehead Rail Trail on its east end.

As of October 2023, 0.3-miles of the rail-trail have been completed. From its connection with the Marblehead Rail Trail on Seaview Avenue, the route curves gently southwest to Bradlee Avenue. The 10-foot-wide accessible path runs the within the utility corridor that stretches from Stetson Avenue to the Marblehead town line.

Though short, the completed section provides a sense of what the eventual 2-mile rail-trail will be.

Please note there is a gap in the route between the Swampscott Rail Trail and the Lynn Shore Promenade.

Lynn Shore Promenade (1.4 miles; paved)

Offering spectacular ocean views and beach access, the Lynn Shore Promenade is the east coast's answer to Los Angeles' Marvin Braude Bike Trail. Though significantly shorter than its lengthy California cousin, the Promenade's 3 miles are bursting with scenic vistas and fun things to do.

The paved pathway runs through the Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation, which includes acres of beaches, parks, and more along the Massachusetts coastline. Paralleling Lynn Shore Drive lined with residences and shops, the promenade closely follows the coastline for about 3 miles and resembles a double-wide sidewalk. It is well-lit with benches and trash receptacles located along the route. 

Access the northern end of the trail at the intersection of Humphrey Street and Reddington Street in downtown Swampscott on the waterfront. There are several places to grab a bite to eat, a large park, the Swampscott Public Library, the Town Hall, various shops, and several bus stops.

Curving south along the coastline, the promenade passes through Kings Beach, Red Rock Park, Deer Cove, Woodbury's Point, Lynn Beach, and Nahant Beach.

The northern end of Nahant Beach (1 Nahant Rd, Nahant) is by the Lynn Shore Drive and Nahant Road roundabout. This is the southern end of the trail section utilized by the Border to Boston route. This area of the Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation includes the O’Connor Athletic Field, the Ward Memorial Bathhouse, a boat ramp, and a playground. There are several parking lots and the Bathhouse has restrooms. 

For more adventure: From the northern end of Nahant Beach, explore this area further by curving west to the boardwalk and downtown Lynn or continuing south through Nahant Beach via a paved asphalt trail.

A boardwalk connects the Lynn Yacht Club, the Seaport Landing Marina, and the Lynn Heritage State Park. The waterfront park has paved paths, benches, and scenic views. From the park, there is a pedestrian overpass that provides access to North Shore Community College and to downtown Lynn. Downtown Lynn has numerous restaurants, cafes, shops, and more. 

By the Bathhouse, the route becomes a paved asphalt trail that heads south on a narrow strip of land to Little Nahant Island. Paralleling Nahant Road, this trail runs along Nahant Beach. Midway to the island, the Halfway Boathouse has an accessible restroom. The trail's southern end is by a parking lot and a bus stop at the intersection of Nahant Road and Wilson Road on Little Nahant Island.

The Lynn Shore Promenade is easily accessible via public transit with multiple MBTA bus stops along the route. At the southern end of the trail, Nahant Beach has pay parking lots by the O'Connor Athletic Field and by the Ward Memorial Bathhouse, as well as an extremely large linear pay parking lot running along the length of the beach. Lynn Heritage State Park also has a large pay parking lot and street parking is available along Lynn Shore Drive. There is a fee to use the parking lots within the reservation. 

The Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation is managed by Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Please note there is a gap in the route between the Lynn Shore Promenade and the Northern Strand Community Trail.

Northern Strand Community Trail (9.9 miles; paved)

The Northern Strand Community Trail is a 9.9-mile part of the visionary and almost-complete Bike to the Sea plan to link Boston and the Mystic River to the seashore in Lynn, north of Boston. The Saugus Branch Railroad started passenger service in 1853, and some freight moved on it until all operations stopped in 1993.

From its northern end by the intersection of Bennett Street and South Street in downtown Lynn, the rail-trail meanders south through the Town of Saugus and the Cities of Revere, Malden, and Everett. The southern end of the trail starts by the South Lawn (1 Broadway, Everett), a park on the shores of Mystic River. Following the shoreline, the trail connects with the Malden River Greenway before continuing north through Everett.

In Everett, the trail's southern end is on the waterfront behind the southern corner of Gateway Center. 

Harborwalk (5.4 miles; asphalt, concrete, & boardwalk)

From the southern end of the Northern Strand Community Trail, follow the pathway along the waterfront to reach the Alford Street Bridge, where a sidewalk and bike lane provide a connection to the Haborwalk in Boston. 

For an alternative adventure: After crossing the Alford Street Bridge, you can leave the Border to Boston route and head north along the river's southwest bank via the Mystic River Greenway, which then crosses the water and connects to the Wellington Greenway.

After crossing the Alford Street Bridge, turn east (left) at the roundabout to cross above MA-99 and to reach Alford Street's other lane. There is a choice in route here.

Head through or around Ryan's Playground to follow a section of the Harborwalk, which runs along the playground's northeast edge and along the Mystic River. After less than half a mile, the path turns inland away from the water and after running between two parking lots, comes out on Medford Street. Turn left to follow Medford Street southeast for about a half mile to the Charlestown High School Field.

Alternatively, briefly continue following Alford Street south before making a left onto Main Street. Briefly follow Main Street before taking another left to follow Medford Street to the Charlestown High School Field.

At the Charlestown High School Field, turn left to follow the wide sidewalk path that runs past the field's southeast end to join the Harborwalk. Follow the Harborwalk as it runs along the waterfront of Boston's historic Charlestown neighborhood—a small peninsula situated where the Charles River, Mystic River, and Chelsea Creek converge before flowing into Boston Harbor. 

At the waterfront Paul Revere Park, you can connect to several other trails. Heading northwest from the park, the Somerville Community Path serves as the easternmost section of the Mass Central Rail Trail—a 59-mile rail-trail forming a seamless paved route connecting northwest Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge. This unique rail-trail follows an old railway corridor above ground while trains run in the subway tunnels below. 

The 0.5-mile North Bank Bridge runs from Paul Revere Park through North Point Park and provides link to the Charles River Bike Path, a 23-mile paved trail that runs along its namesake between Boston and the city's western suburbs.

Continuing along the Border to Boston route from Paul Revere Park, follow the Harborwalk and cross over the Charles River via the Gridley Locks, which are part of the Charles River Dam. On the southside is Lovejoy Wharf, located in Boston's West End neighborhood and only a couple blocks north of downtown. The  Harborwalk continues east along the water, but the Border to Boston route comes to an end at the wharf in Portal Park. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. Refer to the TrailLink map for all parking locations, transit options, and detailed directions.

Border to Boston Trail Reviews

Great Trail with Sidetrips

One of the best parts of this trail is the side trips. There is a direct connection to the trail along the Wenham Salem canal, a swamp boardwalk, and indirect but doable connection to the Independence Greenway. With planning one can get a 20 mile trip on this scenic route

My local trail

Lovely trail. South from Beverly/Danvers is much more groomed, mostly a crushed stone surface with lots of tree cover, largely level terrain. North through Topsfield quickly turns into light doubletrack and tends to become muddy and icy once the weather turns.

nice ride

I started from my house in S Peabody and caught the Peabody side from Northshore mall. Took the trail to the end in Ipswich. About 13.5 miles each way. Thought quite a few crossings it’s still a nice ride. All trails are taken care of until you get deep into Ipswich where it is more a bridle path bur rideable. The trail thins out quite a bit with gullets on Both sides, kinda scary looking? Still, nice ride and looking forward to doing it again this fall when the trees are turning. Have fun

locally Danvers Rail Trail

This is locally known as the Danvers Rail Trail, runs through Hamilton, then Topsfield, until it ends at I-95. Nice crushed stone from Danvers north, packed stone south, packed dirt in Topsfield. Sides of the trail near marshland are covered with poison ivy spring and summer. big roads with lights at 62, 97 (twice) route a joy to ride. Forest, water


nice trail

I love this trail, well maintained easy to ride and friendly people along the way. Thou I have not completed the entire trail, it’s definitely on my list of riding goals.

Invasives plants EVERYWHERE

Clean path but unfortunately both sides of the trail are heavily saturated by invasive plants - Garlic Mustard (now in blossom) and Japanese Knotweed. Perhaps once lockdown is over there could be an organized effort to start eradicating all these plants?

Great Trail

Great wide trail with plenty of paths veering off into the woods and swamp. Marked very well with benches and signs along the way.


Had some time on Memorial Day before the parade, so I decided to take my first ride of the season. This trail is LIT!!!!! Great surface, well marked and maintained. No debris in sight. Wildlife popping out of the woods left and right. Rode the whole trail in 2 hours. A great trail for aa morning ride!

Great ride from Peabody.

My wife and I parked at the Lowell St end in a large lot. We rode about 5-6 miles north. This trail is great. Nice scenery. Good places to stop. Water fountains, jiffy Johnny's, bike shops along the way. In one park, there is a station with tethered tools to do repairs.

Highly recommend.

Flat and dry even after a rain. But not much shade

Danvers trail is flat (like it was rolled recently) and very well maintained. Packed small cinder/gravel, it was already drained and dry less then 24 hours after a rain. South 2 miles does cross a lot of roads, though crossings are well marked and the cars are polite enough to stop. Personally, I'd skip the southern 2 miles and instead just keep going into the 'Topsfield Linear' trail. Both trails have a lot of sun....they're not very shady so consider that on a hot sunny day. My ride was during the week...very little traffic.

Very nice trail system !

Combined with the Danvers and Peabody trails the result is a lovely ride through woods and wetlands. Plenty of parking at the Topsfield end. The trail is well marked and the street crossings all have crossing lights. The grade is nearly flat for an easy ride!

Straight, stone dust surface and well marked

I walked the Danvers Rail Trail from the Peabody connector past the center of Danvers. Its in pretty good condition, has a stone dust surface, and good signage complete with mileage markers and maps along the way.

The trail runs through mostly industrial or commercial areas. There are crosswalk signals to allow crossing busy streets and the local police enforce it ( they actually pulled someone over when I was trying to cross and the car failed to stop for me )

Its connected at the southern end to a connector to the Peabody Rail Trail around the Lowell Street exit off of Route 1.

Choate Farm Access Difficult

We love this trail and normally start in Peabody. Because of an injury we decided to start part way up at Choate Farm which is listed as an access point. It is actually a half mile from the trail over semi rough terrain- horrible for my injury. It would have been nice if a note had been made that it is not a direct access point.

Always a pleasure to ride this trail

I ride this trail on my road bike often. It is well-maintained, and has active street crossing signals where appropriate. (The town of Danvers really has its act together when it comes to safety.)

As you cross Main Street in downtown Danvers, you will see a handy bicycle shop, Western Cycles, right next to the trail.

About a mile away, heading towards Topsfield, there's a port-o-potty right on the trail behind the Danvers Agway, where there are also tools for working on your bike, as well as an air pump - all this right by a wide open play area, which includes swings for kids, young and old. (Another port-o-potty is being added closer to downtown Danvers, but it has not opened yet.)
As you head from the Danvers Agway, at Hamilton Rd, along the trail towards Topsfield you are immediately plunged in a very pleasant tree-lined/shaded rail trail that will take you by a very quiet, scenic and large swamp. There is also an off-shoot walkway which is presently being reconstructed/raised, since beaver activity has caused higher water levels, despite the current drought!

This trail will take you into and past downtown Topsfield, where there is another bicycle shop, and further down there is another port-o-potty.

As I mentioned, the packed gravel trail is well maintained, and is a pleasure to use.

Excellent trail

We did park at the Indoor Sports Arena, and around the back, there was an entrance onto the trail.

Trail is stone dust over hard-packed earth, an easy surface for a hybrid biycle to navigate. It is very well marked with maps at intervals that tell you where you are on the trail.

Trail had other users, but not over-busy on the last weekend in August on a sunny, breezy day.

Didn't have a chance to do the Swamp Walk or check out Choate Farm; will save it for next time!

Great trail!

We accessed this trail from the Danvers Rail Trail to the south, and frankly, I couldn't tell where Danvers ended and Topsfield began, it was so seamless. Perhaps it was at the road crossing. Very scenic trail, hard packed earth with stone dust, in some places worn away. At the northern end, trail peters off into a hard earth footpath, just wide enough for one bike. But the grass is mowed and the trail is still maintained so we followed to the end, close to Route 95. Trail has great maps placed at intervals, showing the trail, and where you are on it. I will definitely be going back.

Great alternative to traveling street!

I took the trail to a job interview I had on rt114. I only traveled the first few miles. It was great alternative to the dangers of getting hit by a car on my bike and it was a straight and more direct route for where I was going! I have a mountain bike with narrow slick tires and I had a smooth ride on the crushed stone.

Gets better as you travel north

It is a well maintained hardback trail with helpful mileage markers. If we do the ride again, I think we'd skip the first 2 miles on the Danvers - the trail surface is good, but the scenery is not interesting and the road crossings are many in that portion. From mile 2.0 to the Wenham line around mile 4.3, the scenery is beautiful. Continuing onto the Topsfield Linear is seamless and well worth it.

En route to Mass Audubon in Ipswich

We continued seamlessly onto a relatively short portion of the Topsfield Linear after riding north from mile 0 the Danvers Rail Trail en route to the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Both trails have good hard pack gravel and with the exception of a very short (0.1 mi) ride along busy Route 97 to reach quiet Perkins Row it was an excellent way to bike to Audubon. One mile on Perkins Row takes one to the Audubon entrance. If we do the ride again, I think we'd skip the first 2 miles on the Danvers - the trail surface is good, but the scenery is not interesting and the road crossings are many in that portion.

Choate Recreation Area

I drove her from the Residence Inn in Danvers Ma about 6 miles. Jogged on the trail for .25 miles to the rail trail. Signs on the trail were excellent. Ran in both directions on the rail trail and did a super tempo run in an excellent surface. Can't wait to return on my next visit to Ma. run! Friendly runners, hikers and casual bikers.

Hidden gem

My husband and I started this trail last weekend at Lowell street Peabody. The first thing we came upon in less than 5 minutes was a baby deer looking us square on!! Beautiful. The trail was a little gravelly for about 1/2 Mile and then evened out into a very nice packed gravel. We loved every minute of it. We came upon the Danvers wenham swamp walk and spent about 45 minutes here before continuing on to Topsfield. After crossing route 1 we decided to turn around and head back. The signs were amazingly helpful and nice placement of benches if needed. We are so fortunate to have this wonderful space so close to home and easily accessible . This will be a frequent spot for us for sure. Also enjoyed the Peabody trail a few weeks ago but at 3 miles was a bit too short for a leisurely ride for a few hours.

turtles and chipmunks oh my

Great Sunday walk on our fall stay-cation. Plenty of dunkin donuts around for iced drinks after 3 mile walk. Flat narrow crushed stone was wide enough in both directions. Plenty of family bikers, small and tall, couteous and friendly!

Parking? REALLY? We found 4 spaces at RT 97 crossing only so pulled the truck on shoulder.
Side trail to Grand Canal wasn't marked! Found it when a dog got loose and made a run for the swamp.
Turtles, heron, snakes, chipmunk visible. Planes overhead.



great ride

i have ridden this tril several times statring at lowell st in peabody and ending at the byfield line is a very nice scenic trail has some inclines coming north from peabody but very manageable trail is packed gravel and is easy to ride scenery is terrific! only two things at market street in downtown danvers traffic is very heavy be careful when crossing this st. and there are few drop offs that could use a railing.
trail is very well maintained and over all a pleasure to ride

"One of Danvers' Major Gems"

The Danvers Rail Trail certainly is one of Danvers major gems. Between the interpretive signs, the scenery, and even the little wooden road name signs, the Danvers rail trail exceeds all expectations of what a trail can be.


I am not sure that greg724 and I was on this same trail. I have no idea what he is talking about. I have been on over a 100 trails mostly from Va to New England and this is not a long trail but a very nice trail. Last of all this guy has no idea how great a group that Rails to Trails really is. When I read such a bad review like this it makes me very upset. Greg724 if it is as bad as you think it is go and help do something about it. I rode this trail last fall in earl November and I thought it was a great ride.

Wow, total devastation - what happened?

I have been enjoying this trail since it opened but haven't been on it for a few months. I went out walking yesterday and was shocked and saddened to see all the natural habitat along the trail had been destroyed. Gone along with it are all the small animals, birds, flowers, and pleasant spring time smells that made you feel like you were out in nature. From growing up in this area I know that the wild grapes and blueberry bushes that used to line the trail have been there for 50 years at least. So sad to see it all destroyed. I also know that the railroad easement only extends a few feet from from the center of the trail, so I was shocked to see the land stripped for such a wide swath in each direction. I spoke to a land owner along the trail who started to cry when I asked about it. Now the trail is just a wide open, scar across the landscape. It is also unbearably windy, devoid of wildlife and much less safe, as the thorny tangled vegetation provided an effective natural barrier to human predators. Now Instead of watching cute rabbits and chipmunks scurry through the undergrowth, enjoying the scent of flowers or identifying bird calls, the only thing you can see, hear or smell are cars from nearby roadways. Very sad and very unimpressed with rails to trails. If I still lived in this town I would be very concerned about the qualifications of the conservation committee that is supposed to be keeping an eye on these things.

Watch out for falling TVs!

Took this ride from Topsfield Center to Lowell Street. Overall, it was a great ride and the limestone surface was perfect. It is always a good thing to be out on a bike trail in December. The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5 stars is the fact that some person (or people) apparently have decided that the I-95 overpass in Peabody is a swell place to toss out the old box TV. There were 5 or 6 scattered about!


Just over a year ago on a trip to the North Shore I did this trail and stated that the surface needed some work and it sure got it as now from end to end it has a great lime stone surface that is in great shape. The people of Danvers should be proud of this trail, great signage, mile markers each and every tenth of a mile, park benches and much more. There are a number of Street crossings but there all marked and I would say this is a family friendly trail. You can now go from Lowell St in Peabody to Rt I95 in Topsfield.


I did this trail a little over a year ago and like before it is a great trail. You can now go up though Topsfield and go all the way to I93, it is a little rough as it was only cut back this past summer and dose not have a good surface yet. The great part of this trail is that you can now to go all the way to Lowell street in Peabody, just over ten miles each way. The group that has put this trail together has done a great job and the crossings at Topsfield Rd and US 1 are two of the very best high volume intersection I have crossed in the past three years and about 5000 miles of Trails and over 50 different trails

Great ride.

Started journey from North Shore Mall. Once off Lowell St. The trail was quite enjoyable and the section through Wenham/ Topsfield was very scenic. I made it to the section that was no longer gravel and packed stone dust but field grass and it was a more difficult ride, can't wait for that to be completed. Overall a very nice and enjoyable journey.

Beautiful area

Great to experience the local scenery around the Ipswich river on thru Danvers. Looking forward to when the trail is paved north towards Boxford, Groveland? Haverhill? The large station like building in Topsfield should see increased business if the trail opens up to the north. wouldn't a small Cafe be great in that location?
Fall foliage around the swamp walk was spectacular, the green swamp water was amazingly beautiful, blending with browns, reds, small blue flowers etc..

We did it all...

From the endpoint in Boxford to the Peabody line, what a fun trail. The first few miles from Boxford to Oak Drive in Topsfield are not completed yet, so the single track, bumpy grass path, was a challenge for my wife & I, who enjoy the smooth, paved rail trails we have become so accustomed to. Once into Topsfield proper, we were greeted to a well maintained, hard packed stone dust trail that was a pleasure to bike on. Rolling out of town, we passed behind the Legendary Topsfield Fairgrounds, then into the wetlands where the grackles welcomed us with a rousing rendition of bird chatter. We traversed the Swamp Walk and marveled at the expanse of boardwalk guiding us through such a beautiful and peaceful place. Back on the trail, we continued trough the overhanging archway of golden maples, and onto the Wenham section of rail trail. This short portion of the ride is a little more wooded, with a section carved through a length of rock ledge, providing yet another great photo op. We soon came across the Danvers Rail Trail marker, and not knowing if the trail ahead had been completed yet, we decided to find out for ourselves. This 4.3 mile of trail also continues with hard packed stone dust along its' length and is an easy ride to its' end. Though quiet and somewhat scenic at its' beginning, it slowly blends itself into the back streets and neighborhoods of the town of Danvers. One minor set back was the number of road crossings encountered and how close to one another they were. The intersections could use a little more attention to the curbings and bike trail crossing signage. Other than that, nice job, nice trail. Oh yes, and for you ice cream lovers, check out the stand at the Pine Street crossing. Total trail length, 9.2 miles.

More than we expected !

We were looking for a trail, close to home, to enjoy an afternoon of foliage and fresh air, and so settled on the Topsfield Linear Common & Wenham Rail Trails. I knew they would also connect with the Danvers Rail Trail, but after reading its' reviews, was not sure what to expect. Much to our surprise, the Danvers Rail Trail turned out to be a very pleasant ride. Yes, there are many road crossings which could use more work, and there is one bridge we crossed that has a drop of ten to fifteen feet on either side with no safety railings, but other than that, the hard packed crushed stone path was easy to travel and the mile markers gave us a sense of accomplishment as we peddled by.
For you ice cream lovers, Somewhere near the Pine street crossing you'll find a little stand tucked in along side the roadway. The trail continued over busy route 114 and past the Peabody line, but there the crushed stone path ended and a courser stone trail continued which we found quite bumpy, so here we turned and headed for home.

Go for it! 7.7 of great trail

From the Danvers Indoor Sports Arena headed north, the first 3.3 miles or so are not the greatest, but definitely doable on a hybrid. Lots of street crossing. Somewhere in that fourth mile, just after crossing Chestnut Street, there are two spots that are full of the large stones and even a sign that says "road closed". Walk over the stones with your bike and you will be rewarded with the most immaculate rail trail surface I have ever experienced. Beautiful trail!!! Mostly because it has been freshly resurfaced. More important, it keeps going into Topsfield for another 2.7 miles! Also, note that at the southern part of the trail, it continues at least another half mile south on a less-smooth trail all the way under the Rt 95, coming out at Lowell Street, which may actually be the best place to park as getting to the Danvers Indoor Sports Arena isn't the easiest.

Nice trail, but under construction

Trail is very flat and straight. In several places the trail is under construction for 500 feet or more, with large broken stones underfoot (and not passable with a bike) as of 7/20/2013.

Not Yet...........

I'm sure that after the layer of stone dust has been applied (this summer??) it will be a decent, though not terribly scenic trail to ride. Right now, it is pretty rough with uneven gravel/dirt mixture, which even with the fairly wide tires of a hybrid, made for an uncomfortable ride. At points, the vegetation is encroaching from the sides of the trail. The trail was flooded out at Wenham St., forcing me back onto the roads, which wasn't a bad thing.

I re-joined the Wenham/Topsfield sections of the trail (north of Rt. 97) which did have stone dust and provided a much better quality ride through to the end in Topsfield Common. Came back to the starting point at Danvers Indoor Sports using all roads (97/35/Hobart etc).

I'll try it again next year when hopefully the condition is improved. Until then, there are too many better trails in the area to ride. For now, the Danvers Rail Trail is not yet ready for prime time.

18 Mile Ride

An 18 mile round trip ride can be accomplished by starting at Lowell St. (no trail signs) in Peabody (Bonkers/CVS) at the southern end and continue through Danvers, Wenham while ending at Topsfield center at the northern end. Danvers has added crosswalks and fixed the muddy area after crossing Wenham St. After passing Choate Farm is the Danvers-Wenham Swamp walkway which loops around the Swamp. Trail continues across Rte97, passing along the Ipswich River and Topsfield fairgrounds, across Rte1 ending at Topsfield Center. All Rte97 and Rte1 crossings have crosswalks with solar powered flashing lights reminding drivers to stop. Best ridden with fat tires while the northern end tends to have a smoother surface. Overall a great ride with many food establishments in Danvers Center to satisfy those tastebuds.

Get back to nature, discover your inner self.

The trail is great for walking, biking and cross country skiing from the Rte 97 entrance all the way to Danvers Agway for a round trip distance around 6.5 miles. The wooden nature bridges over the Ipswich River are now complete and the views are awesome. There is a large wooden deck you can sit, read, picnic and meditate on in full sun in the good weather. It's a place where you can clear your head, find some peace in your day, get away from technology. Put your phone on silent/vibrate and enjoy the quiet.

Scenic route

The scenery was gorgeous and the ground was even and good to ride a bike on. the only thing that was a bit stressful and not well thought out was some of the road crossings on the busy streets. The curbs were not lowered and there wasn't a pedestrian crossing.

Beautiful and Friendly

Finally, I had the chance to walk the trail with my two dogs, Shadow (husky) and Murphy (coon hound lab mix). We began our trek at the entrance before McKinnon's Market in Danvers and headed North to the very end at 97. A beautiful Sunday afternoon. There was quite a good mix of families, bikes, dog walkers, runners, and walkers. It took me 2.5 hours - I believe it was because I stopped to talk to good friends from church I saw riding their bikes. And then the board walk de-toured me a bit, That is going to be lovely when finished. And chatted with assorted friendly travelers along the way - Oh ya - and the fall I took half hour into the trek. My dogs crossed my path, and not wanting to step on them I stepped over, they crossed again so I ended up leaping over and landing on my knees and arm. X-rays showed no broken bones, thank God, just stretched tends and muscle - but with all of the travelers that afternoon - Kind of funny no one was there when I took the leap over the dogs. I agree about crushed stone on the path - not to pave it because we need to have good drainage - crushed stone would be better for the dogs paws to walk on - the larger stones are sharp for the animals.


I did this nice little trail on a trip to New England. I did it on my Road Bike and because of the great surface I had a great ride. There is a very nice light at Topsfield Rd that lets Drivers coming down this road know that there are people about to cross the road. This is a family friendly trail as it is flat, straight and not to long. The crossing at Rt 1 is a little tricky but is manageable. The high light of the this trail for me was the building that looks like an old Train Station at Washington St. There are just a few parking spaces at Topsfield Rd end but a large number at the Washington St end.


On a recent trip to New I stopped off and did this Trail. I will start off by saying the surface really needs some work. You get hard packed to bone jarring rocks to sand. I did this on an old Mt Bike with a town & county tire. I would not do this trail no a Road bike as it is just to rough. It dose have a nice canopy most of the way. There are a lot of Street Crossings that are well marked from the trail and also from the street. There are mile markers every 1/4 mile. Because of the surface I do not think this is a great family trail.

Surface now complete

A compacted stone dust surface was completed in the 4th quarter of 2011 from Washington St. Topsfield through the Wenham section to the Danvers town line where a rougher stone surface continues on through to Peabody. Danvers expects to install a compacted stone dust surface this summer (2012).

After passing the Topsfield Fairgrounds heading south the route becomes quite scenic passing over the Ipswich River and through the Wenham Swamp which is part of Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. A good area to watch birds and beavers.

Nice, but could be better

I run or bike this trail starting at Rte 97 and heading towards Danvers Square. The trail is nice, but REALLY needs to be paved. The crushed stone and dirt (and mud) are prohibitive to everyone enjoying the trail. It would be much more accessible and used if it were paved. Also, some parts are dangerous if you are walking or bike riding with small kids. There are steep drop offs and in one section, near the highschool, you go over a bridge=type structure, but there's a good 20'+ drop on either side without any fencing! The trail is pretty and it's great to have, but paving it would be great--I've been ankle deep in mud there! Safety issues have to be addressed as well. Plus some markers as you cross roads (like at the AGWAY store)--hard to find the trail start at the AGWAY. You have to walk through some woods before you see a sign for the trail head.
I've been on the bikeway in Peabody numerous times and it was great to see lots of different people on it--those in wheelchairs, electric scooters, bikes, running, etc. It's much more community-friendly than the Danvers one.

Nice Trail

Couple of weeks ago parked at Hobart St Danvers Ma - looked liked an old station - walked south to Walmart on the trail and then back to Hobart St - really enjoyed the walk - more walkers than bike riders. Couple of days ago parked at Hobart St again and walked north to Choate Farm - very wet before Choate Farm - needs a little work. Today parked on Rte 97(alot of people do) walked south to the Swamp Walk which is really nice and then back north into Wenham for a little while - noticed alot of beaver dams, ducks and birds. Trail has been extended into Topsfield Center(across old Rte 1) - plan on doing that next weekend. Very nice trail with nice scenery.

Ispwich River Views

Trail starts at Washington St. proceeds past the post office, crosses Rte1, past Topsfield Fair grounds, along the Ipswich River, over the river on an old railroad bridge, past a marshy area, crosses Rte97, passing more marsh, past the Choate Farm and continues on the Danvers rail trail. Trail becomes secluded after crossing Rte1. Topsfield end starts out as very hard packed gravel then transitions to stone dust and then to untreated railbed (after crossing Rte97) minus the crushed stones. Eventually came to a very muddy section in Danvers (approximately 4 miles) and turned around. Great riding on mountain or hybrid bikes with plenty of views of the Ipswich River and surrounding marsh. Expect plenty of birds in the warmer months. Compliments to Topsfield, Wenham and Danvers on there efforts.

Danvers Trail Ride

Accessed trail from Collins St, rode <1mile south, trail ends behind Walmart, no access at the south end. Headed north crossing Maple St and Rte 62, turned around near Danvers high school. Based upon the trail description there was likely another mile to the Choate Farm Conservation area. Trail surface is a mix of gravel and half inch stone. Little bumpy on a comfort bike with fat tires, although another rider did pass by with a hybrid bike. Saw more walkers than bikers, even passed a baby carriage. Little disappointed that many street crossings had no crosswalks although people did stop.

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