The Great Outdoors: Where to Explore Newburyport and Beyond

March 24, 2016

“In Just- spring when the world is mud-luscious” – e.e. Cummings.  Spring is officially here, and with little snow on the ground it is time to get outside!  There are so many amazing spots in Newburyport ( + beyond) to explore.  As I’m normally traveling with two small children, all of these spots would be great with kids. 

Maudslay State Park, Newburyport

Easily one of my favorite spots in town, Maudslay has a little bit of everything. Trails along the Merrimack River, wide open fields, beautiful azaleas and rhododendron, plus an Italian rose garden.


Parker River National Wildlife Reserve, Plum Island

On the coastal side of town, the Parker River National Wildlife Reserve has an abundance of trails which offer marsh and beach views.  Our favorite is the Hellcat Observation area. Wind through the woods on a small boardwalk, or climb the observation tower and admire the classic salt water marshes of Plum Island.


Atkinson Common, Newburyport

I drive by Atkinson Common daily, but rarely take the time to visit. There is a remarkable amount of variety in this park; a gazebo, small pool with a walking bridge, civil war monument and (our favorite) an observation tower.

Atkinson's Common Newburyport

Mosley Woods, Newburyport

The trees in Mosley Woods are enormous, it is easy to forget you are in Newburyport and not in the middle of deep forest.  With a playground and nature trails, you could spend a morning and enjoy lunch on one of the many picnic tables.

Mosely Pines Newburyport

Old Town Hill, Newbury

I’ve plugged this before, Old Town Hill in Newbury is fantastic at sunset.  Climb the small hill for a stunning view of Plum Island, or wind along the hiking trails that border the salt marsh.


Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

When visiting the Wildlife Sanctuary, bring your own bird seed and marvel as birds eat right out of the palm of your hand! Follow the Rockery loop around a small pond and visit the rock grotto, which was constructed in 1905. In the summer months, rent a canoe or stay overnight at the Innermost House, a rustic cabin.

Ipswich Wildlife Reserve

The Crane Estate, Ipswich

Explore the grounds of the estate and take in the view of Crane’s Beach and Plum Island.  There are lots of fabulous activities happening at this property as the weather warms; guided nature walks, house tours and outdoor concerts, to name a few.  Sign up for The Trustees newsletter and stay in the loop.

Crane Estate

Great Island Common, New Castle, New Hampshire

Located just over the border in  beautiful New Castle, New Hampshire, Great Island Common is 32 acres and boasts a small beach, playground, picnic tables and a coastal view park. As the common is only 3 miles from Portsmouth, you could stop in for a meal at one of the many restaurants in the waterfront downtown on your way home.

New Castle New Hampshire

Fort McClary, Kittery, Maine

We visited Fort McClary in mid March on a beautiful sunny day.  The view from the fort is stunning, small lighthouses dot the blue waters of the Piscataqua River and the colonial homes of Portsmouth and New Castle are visible in the distance.  Coastal defenses were set up on this site as early as the 17th century.  Surviving parts of the fort were used as recently as WW II by civilian defense forces.

Is there something we should see this summer?  Let me know in the comments section here or on instagram (follow us under, newburyportdaytripper)!




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