Independence Greenway

Massachusetts

Pick your FREE trail gear when you give $18 to protect + build trails

You’ll support trails + get a year-long membership in Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation’s leading advocate for rail-trails!

Independence Greenway Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Essex
Length: 5.3 miles
Trail end points: North Shore Mall on Rt. 128 and Russell St. at the Ispwich River
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016009
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Independence Greenway Description

The 5.3-mile Independence Greenway makes for a pleasant ride, providing access to lakes, parks, and nature preserves. The paved pathway is located in the town 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.

Starting at the northwestern trailhead on Russell Street, you’ll follow the Ipswich River on your left, followed by the Norris Brook Wetlands. In 1.3 miles, be aware that the trail passes along an Aggregate Industries quarry, where blasting occurs on Thursdays at 1 p.m. during the summer. One horn means blasting will commence in 5 minutes. If you hear two horns, make sure to move away from the area, as blasting is in progress.

In 0.9 mile from the quarry, after passing another trailhead and parking area at Russell Street and Norris Brook, you’ll pass the Crystal Pond trailhead on your left. In another 0.9 mile, the Lt. Ross Park trailhead, which includes a playground, baseball field, and soda machine, makes for a great break spot. Note that a gap of more than 1 mile exists between the Lt. Ross Park trailhead and the next trailhead at Peabody Road. This gap requires you to ride with traffic. Coming out of Lt. Ross Park, take a right onto Johnson Street, continuing onto Lowell Street in 0.5 mile, and turning right onto Peabody Road in just under 1 mile. Only experienced road riders should take this route; a sidewalk is available for walkers. This on-road route also connects to the Border to Boston Trail.

At the Peabody Road trailhead, the path follows Proctor Brook, as well as Lalikos Park and Marble Meadows Conservation Area on the right. As you near the end of the trail, you will begin to hear the buzz of traffic. There are a number of road crossings as well. Cross carefully at the busy intersection of Prospect and Lowell Streets. The trail ends at the Northshore Mall trailhead. With the trailhead’s namesake at the base of the trail, you can stop for a snack, bathroom break, or some retail therapy.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the northwestern endpoint on Russell St. from I-95, take Exit 41 for Main St. toward Lynnfield Center/Wakefield. Turn right onto Main St., and go 3.6 miles. Continue on Boston St. 0.4 mile, then turn right onto Russell St. Parking will be on your right, with the trail endpoint located across the street from the lot, near the Ipswich River.

To reach the Northshore Mall trailhead from I-95, take Exit 45 to merge onto MA 128 N toward Gloucester. In about 2.6 miles, take Exit 25A toward Lowell St./W. Peabody. In 0.1 mile, continue right (west) onto Northshore Road. In another 0.1 mile, turn right onto Essex Center Dr., then take an immediate left to continue on Essex Center Dr. 0.2 mile. Parking and the trailhead will be on your right, just past the Lahey Medical Center.

Independence Greenway Reviews

Great trail, very pleasant and scenic.parking in Middleton is a bit small, but great access to the trail. Connecting to the second part of it can be challenging if you are not comfortable with traffic, despite sidewalk. I was fine but my wife was not too comfortable. But we did it and enjoyed ourselves. The trail actually connects with the one heading to Denver, another 5 miles trail. It was great!

My wife and I decided to ride the Topsfield / Wenham / Danvers rail trails today, and continued on from the Peabody line to the 95 underpass ending at Lowell Street. Here we usually turn around and head back. But today we decided to brave the traffic and head up Lowell Street to Johnson Street to the western section of the Independence Greenway, and I'm glad we did. Warning !! Stay on the sidewalk as you traverse Lowell St. and cross at the cross walks at the west Peabody fire station to get to Johnson Street. A little ways further, cross Johnson St. and go into the Lt. Ross Park, the Rail trail starts to the right of the ball fields.
The next three miles travel through woodlands, marsh and wetlands, occasionally coming alongside the Ipswich river. The trail is smooth and flat with only a few slight bumps, and the best thing is the absolute "quiet" with only a few homes or buildings along the way, you can really hear yourself think, or not, if you like. There are a couple of memorials dedicated to deceased veterans you'll come across along the way, all in a a very tranquil setting. Check this trail out, and enjoy the peace for yourself.. The trail ends at Russell Street, and from here back to Ross park is about three miles. Enjoy the ride !!!

We ride this trail often. The scenery is beautiful, the trail is paved and well marked. We saw a couple of deer recently.
Please keep the gas pipeline away....

Accordion

i rode the trail from ross park it travels through crystal lake and is very scenic and a easy and enjoyable ride it is notvery long but is paved wit only a slight encline which makes it a easy ride for all ages

Did this short but nice trail this past weekend and it is a very nice trail. I did do the on road detour in my car after reading some of the reviews and wished I had road it as it is not as bad as some of the reviews. It is not Family friendly but for an adult it is not all that bad. Back to the trail, the north west portion is very nice and just under 3 miles long. The one thing that I saw and really liked was markers with the location if you had to call 911. I have been on lots of trails and this was a first. The south east part is 1.75 miles and has one not so good intersection. I did not run into many bikes but both sections where well used. Ran into a Senior Hiking group and a few joggers and lots of walkers. The City of Peabody has done a nice job.

Out on a fine 70 degree day. Parked near the
Eastern end near the hospital. Good parking, direct access to the trail. Trail is fully paved and marked with center line. Mostly people walking on the section near the hospital.

The off trail (on road) section is tricky.
Traffic on Lowell street is HEAVY at mid day. Made it thru westbound okay since there is some room at the shoulder, and a sidewalk if needed.
On the way back, eastbound, traffic was even heavier, and there is NO room on the shoulder on that side of the road under Rts 1 and 95. It would have been better to ride the left side of the road up on the sideway perhaps.

If I went back, I'd perhaps skip the section near the hospital. Parking at Lt. Ross park is good, and the trail westbound from there is scenic. There is also good parking at the west end, and at a cross street just out from the Lt. Ross park. A hotdog cart can be found sometimes at that parking spot, just before the quarry.


I went today as it turned out to be beautiful weather, mid 70's and clear, after rain all night long. This trail is nice but it is short. It is 6.2 miles not 7.4 miles which is a bummer because I coordinated a bike ride with other people and we like to go on long leisurely rides. You need to be careful because the trail goes on a a very congested busy road in the middle, but the trail prior to this is short, then after this it is longer. But it seemed to end just as we got started and comfortable. The on-road part is a turn off to do this trail again but it is good for families with little kids that wanna do some quick biking. Great scenery and fall foliage.

This is a very nice trail, well paved and scenic. We parked in the Lahey lot, no issue.

The problem is crossing under rt 95 on Lowell St, a very busy intersection with lots of cross traffic even mid day on a thursday. Perhaps the best thing is to skip the southern portion and ride up into MIddleton instead.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Border to Boston Trail

Massachusetts - 10.7 miles

The Border to Boston Trail connects the communities of West Peabody, Peabody, Danvers, Topsfield, and Boxford in northeastern Massachusetts. The...

Bridge Street Bike Trail

Massachusetts - 1 miles

The Bridge Street Bike Trail begins near Curtis Park and travels south through downtown Salem, closely following the Bridge Street Bypass. The short...

Marblehead Rail-Trail

Massachusetts - 4 miles

The Marblehead Rail-Trail appears on maps as a Y resting on its side, connecting Marblehead and Salem in the north and the city limits of Swampscott...

Accordion

Northern Strand Community Trail

Massachusetts - 8 miles

The Northern Strand Community Trail is part of the visionary and almost-complete Bike to the Sea plan to link Boston and the Mystic River to the...

Salem-Beverly Canal Path (Grand Wenham Canal Path)

Massachusetts - 2 miles

Although only a grassy, hard-packed dirt pathway, the route along the Salem-Beverly Canal (also known as the Grand Wenham Canal), is scenic and...

Boxford Rail Trail

Massachusetts - 2.1 miles

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...

East Boston Greenway

Massachusetts - 2.8 miles

More and more, airport lands near previously under-used rail corridors are being transformed from largely neglected vacant lands into urban greenways....

Mass Central Rail Trail

Massachusetts - 38 miles

The Massachusetts Central Railroad was destroyed by a hurricane in 1938, but the 104-mile corridor is being reborn as a cross-state rail-trail....

Minuteman Commuter Bikeway

Massachusetts - 10.1 miles

Many commuters choose the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway for freedom from congested traffic in the northwest Boston suburbs. For others, the 10.1-mile...

North Bank Bridge

Massachusetts - 0.5 miles

The North Bank Bridge, which opened in 2012, provides a safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle connection between Cambridge's North Point Park and...

Charles River Bike Path

Massachusetts - 22.9 miles

The Charles River Bike Path, also referred to as the Charles River Greenway, offers a paved, 22-mile route from Boston to its western suburbs. The...

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Massachusetts - 1.9 miles

Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway may not be very long, but it's jam-packed with attractions. Along the paved pathway, you can access five parks, be...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Help Build Trails & Pick Your FREE Trail Gear!
Donate and Get a FREE 2018 RTC Guidebook!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

OR