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The Old Eastern Marsh Trail (a.k.a the Salisbury Rail Trail) runs for over 3.5 miles between the north bank of the Merrimack River and the New Hampshire state line, north of Salisbury. The beautifully landscaped trail was built in 2009 and adds to an already impressive list of rail-trails in the area. An extension was completed in 2020, connecting the trail to the Salisbury Point Ghost Trail and providing a convenient pathway over Route 1 and out to the state line.
Starting from the parking lot off Friedenfels Street, the trail begins right on the north bank of the Merrimack River. Heading north, the Old Eastern March Trail (Salisbury Rail Trail) passes briefly through a wooded area, where the remnants of classic New England stonewalls are visible to the left. After the trail takes a gentle turn to the left, it continues through a picturesque coastal salt marsh. The trail reaches a junction with the Ghost Trail at Salisbury's Lions Park; trail users can opt to hop on that trail to head west into Amesbury, or continue north through the wooded corridor into New Hampshire.
On the trail's southern end, just across the river from the trail is the Clipper City Rail Trail & Harbor Walk. Joining the two rail-trails is the Salisbury Rail Trail Connector, which takes trail users safely between the north end of Gillis Bridge and the trailhead at Friedenfels Street, forming a convenient network of pathways throughout the coastal communities.
To get to the trailhead and parking area on Friedenfels Street: From I-95, take exit 58 and head east on Mass. Rt. 110. When you reach US Rt. 1 after about 1.5 miles, take a right and head south. Continue for approximately 1 mile and look for Friedenfels Street on your right. It will be the last turn before the drawbridge. Take a right and the trailhead will be on your right.
We rode it today 11/10/22, it was a 70 degree sunny November day. My son, who is disabled and I rode a tandem recumbent bike. We are trying to complete all the rail trails in New England. I have to say this was one of the most beautiful trails up to this point. The scenery changed all the time, from woods to marshlands to the Merrimack River. We will definitely do it again
Great trail for a stroll. Paved and well kept. Woodland and salt marsh scenery. Lots of birds including Marsh hawks. Well marked along the way. Shady and sunny parts. Easy parking off Rte 1 in Salisbury.
The trail itself is wonderful, but there is a problem with people not removing their own dogs waist bags. I see them piled at the entrance, all along the trail and even hanging in the trees!! Come on people, as a dog owner andmyself, why would you feel it's anyone's responsibility but your own?
Love walking this trail with my dog! The only thing that would make it even better is if they would put a trash barrel in the parking area and refill the dog waste bag dispensers more often (I always bring my own, but it would certainly encourage others).
We went on this trail at the end of August 2014 but the northern two-thirds was still closed. The part that we did do (up to mile 0.6) was in great shape and was very pretty. Even though the heart of the marsh is further to the northern part, there were some marsh views that we saw right off the trail that were really pretty. I expect the ones on the closed part are really beautiful. Once it is fully reopened this will make a great bike tour with the Ghost Trail and Clipper City trail with minimal on-road connections.
Posted on the coastaltrails.org site:
The northern end of the Marsh Trail will reopen when the project is completed around mid August, 2014.
As a previous reviewer stated this trail was scheduled to reopen in May. I checked in early July and it was still closed.
The trail is closed from Milepost 0.6 to Mudnock Road until May 2014 for construction of the Town Creek Flood Control project.
I am familiar with Clipper City Rail Trail and always wanted it to be somewhat longer...well it is! After moving to Salisbury, I lucked-out by finding the Old Marsh Trail and the connector to the Clipper City Trail...and while the Newburyport trail is busyier and dressed up with artwork and other features, the Salibury Old Marsh Trail is all nature with lots of marsh views and is very peaceful. The only issue is that it does not have dog waste recepticles and many dog walkers leave their bags of doggie-doo on the rocks at the parking lot or on the trail. It is shamefull!! As a resident of Salisbury, I take it personally that people feel it is ok to leave toxic trash laying around this beautiful public place. Please take responsiblity for your pets if you choose to bring them and take the stuff out of the area so others can appreciate the trail sans dog waste.
On a day bike trip to Newburyport, with plans to scour it's back streets and historic neighborhoods, my wife and I decided to cross the Merrimack River via the route 1 bridge just for the fun of it. Once on the other side, we encountered the Salisbury Rail Trail Connector, (quite unique) which led us to the Old Eastern Marsh Trail. This short trail was nothing but nature at its very best, peaceful, quite, calm, with just a slight breeze rustling through the tall marsh reeds. The many birds and even a small black snake sunning itself on the hot top, made for a really enjoyable ride on this extremely well kept trail. What a gem.. This led us to another trail, the Salisbury Point Ghost Trail which we enjoyed very much and consider a great find. What a great day! Newburyport will have to wait...
When I was a child my Grandmother owned a house just off of this trail. I was walking the rail bed before it ever became a recognized trail. Some of my fondest childhood memories were along this area watching sunsets, birds and hiking the general area.
This is a beautiful walk or ride through the Salisbury salt marshes. Open spaces with an abundance of wildlife and birds surround you on this 1.4 mile trail. Halfway through the hike there is a resting spot with amazing view of the wetlands. A birders paradise, plus not as congested as Plum Island.
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