6 Scenic Walking Trails Along The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

April 18, 2022

For hikers, there’s nothing better than stretching the legs while breathing in that fresh coastal air. There are plenty of unique walking paths and hiking trails to explore off the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Most with picturesque views that will surely take your breath away.

Long Hill (Beverly)

Garden at Long Hill in Beverly Massachusetts

Long Hill in Beverly, MA, is a walking-friendly area filled with vibrant naturalistic and controlled gardens to explore. Guests are also encouraged to venture out into Long Hill’s surrounding woodlands and walk a network of trails, including a 1.2-mile loop. Come during a holiday and trails may even be decorated to great you to the season! 

Halibut Point State Park (Rockport)

Quarry at Halibut Point in Rockport, Massachusetts

Halibut Point State Park sits at the tip of Rockport, MA. Here, hikers can find marked trails to take them through the park. Sights to include the Babson Farms Quarry, tide pools, rocky ledges, and scenic overlooks. On a clear day, park visitors can even see Mount Agamenticus and the Isles of Shoals.

The Stavros Reservation (Essex) 

Explore over 50-acres of salt marsh at the Stavros Reservation in Essex, MA. The most popular spot for hikers within the reservation is Whites Hill. Visitors can explore a three-quarter mile trail up the hillside to find a 50-foot tall tower and scenic views of Crane Beach and Wildlife Refuge and Halibut Point.

The Crane Estate (Ipswich)

The Crane Estate In Ipswich MA

The Crane Estate and Crane Beach offers hikers and nature explorers the chance to explore its scenic grounds. The estate contains 5.5 miles of trails which take hikers through the beachfront, dunes, and maritime scrub forest. Walkers should take note of the soft sand, which may cause some difficulty. 

Hellcat Interpretive Trail (Plum Island)

Hellcat trail in the Parker River Wildlife Refuge

The Hellcat Interpretive Trail is a quick detour off the Coastal Byway in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island. The trail is an accessible 1.3 mile loop across boardwalk that offers picturesque views of the coast, marshes, and wildlife. 

The Clipper City Rail Trail & Harborwalk (Newbury, Newburyport, & Salisbury)

Biking the Clipper City Rail Trail

The Clipper City Rail Trail is a 3.3 mile paved rail trail that runs through Newbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury. Bicyclists and walkers are welcome on the trail. The walking path takes visitors through scenic views of the Merrimack River, shopping districts, and you may even catch some trailside art.

Other Walking Adventures

The adventures don’t end here. These are just a few of the many trails and walking paths throughout the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway that you can explore. 

Coastal Byway Beaches

When in doubt, you can always visit one of the many walkable beaches along the Coastal Byway. Often, these beautiful beaches have miles of sandy shores to explore. They also make excellent spots to catch the sunrise for you early morning walkers.

The Great Marsh

The Great Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern is a sprawling stretch of conservation land filled with trails and explorable areas. While some of the areas do allow walkers and wildlife enthusiasts to traverse, it’s essential that you are respectful of the environment and follow local regulations. 

Powow River Conservation Area

Po Hill is the highest hill on the Essex County seacoast, and features panoramic views from Maine to Massachusetts, including the Isles of Shoals.

Cultural And Historic Districts

Byway visitors can find cultural and historical districts throughout the Coastal Byway communities. While these aren’t your traditional nature walks, Byway travelers can get their steps in while exploring the art, shops, and dining across the area.