Danvers Rail Trail


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Danvers Rail Trail Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Essex
Length: 5.1 miles
Trail end points: Topsfield Rd/MA-97 (just south of the Topsfield/Danvers border) and Crowley Spur at the Peabody/Danvers border (Danvers)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 13409837

Danvers Rail Trail Description

The Danvers Rail Trail follows the path of the historic Boston to Maine railroad that ran from Newburyport to Danvers. The 5.1-mile rail-trail has a surface of compacted stone dust.

At its southern end at the border between Peabody and Danvers, the multiuse trail picks up seamlessly from the Crowley Spur (a spur of the Independence Greenway and also part of the Border to Boston Trail route). Access the southern end of the Danvers Rail-Trail behind the Danvers Indoor Sports (150 Andover St). The Danvers Rail Trail curves northeast through a quiet wooded area dotted with wildflowers. Crossing Beaver Brook via a new timber bridge, the rail-trail winds through downtown Danvers and continues north through woods and wetlands. The route passes Putnamville Park (9 Wenham St), which has a playground, a picnic area, a bike repair station, a bike rack, a drinking fountain, a porta potty, a little free library, and a small parking area.

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. 

Continue through the woods to the northern end of the trail on Topsfield Rd/MA-97 (just south of the Topsfield/Danvers border), where it connects to the Topsfield Linear Common.

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. 

Plans for the trail include a west to east extension. Splitting off from the north-south route between Pickering Street and Putnam Street, the extension will head west and connect with the Middleton Rail Trail. Currently, there is only a grass and dirt path. The surface will be packed stone dust pack and will be completed in stages, with the finished surface of first section expected Summer 2023.

Along with the Topsfield Linear Common, the Danvers Rail Trail is part of the Border to Boston Trail, a developing trail network that will stretch 70 miles between the MA-NH state line and Boston. The Border to Boston Trail is itself a part of the East Coast Greenway, a connected network of trails that will stretch from Maine to Florida when complete. 

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available behind the Danvers Indoor Sports (150 Andover St), at Tapleyville Park (139 Pine St), in a public lot by the fish market (26 Hobart St), and at Putnamville Park (9 Wenham St).

Visit the TrailLink map for detailed directions.

Danvers Rail Trail Reviews

Easily traveled on foot or bike

One of our favorite trails! Several locations to hop on or off the trail, whether you’re looking for a short walk or a more lengthy adventure. The swamp walk shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy ambling along the boardwalk through the swamp where you may see beavers, turtles, snakes or a great blue heron or two. I recommend parking at Choate Farm and following the well-marked wooded path through the woods to the rail trail. Kids love it!

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