Northshore Magazine

March 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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44 | MARCH 2016 viewing opportunities. "There's a boardwalk through Mars Swamp, which is great for viewing beaver activity. Then you'll pass Rubbish Meadow, which has an incredible blue heron rookery with 12 indi- vidual nests," Block adds. Interpretation signs along the trails point out interesting sights to hikers, and trail maps are available online. MAUDSLAY STATE PARK, NEWBURYPORT Maudslay State Park's historical gardens date back to the early 20th century, when the 480-acre estate belonged to the Moseley family. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) acquired the prop- erty in 1985, and has worked closely with the volunteer Maudslay State Park Association to maintain the park year-round. "Our management of the estate has been focused on capturing the historical feel of the property," says Susan Hamilton, DCR regional director, North Region. Trails at Maudslay are wide and generally flat, perfect for light hik- ing or strolling. Locals often visit the formal gardens, which include an Italian garden, rose garden, and vegetable garden. Ornamental trees, azalea shrubs, and large rhododen- drons line Hedge Drive, an unpaved walking trail that leads to the former site of the Helen Moseley House, whose foundation still stands. "People also love to visit Flowering Pond," says Hamilton. "There's a lovely bridge that makes for some picturesque views." The Merrimack River Trail peaks in the late spring, when the entire trail opens to the public and offers water views. During the spring, summer, and fall, an on-site park interpreter is available to guide visitors and plan programs from the cozy park headquarters. IPSWICH RIVER WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, TOPSFIELD Much of the landscape of the River Wildlife Sanctuary, a MassAudubon property, was shaped by notable North Shore resident John Proc- tor, who owned the property from 1898 until his death in 1949. "John Proctor really knew his plants," says Carol Decker, the sanctuary director. "He brought in over 3,500 species of exotic trees and shrubs that flourish today." Proctor also contributed one of the sanctuary's landmarks, the Rockery, a man- made grotto of glacial stones sur- rounded by native and exotic plant species. "It's one of our most popu- lar trails," Decker adds. "There's a beautiful boardwalk where you can see ducks and beaver activity, and a trail around Rockery Pond." The South Esker Trail offers a moderate hike that brings visitors to the flattened top of the glacial hill, where a clear view onto marshland offers visitors the chance to spy a hawk. Nearby, the observation tow- er looks onto the expansive Bunker Meadow, home to ducks and many other bird species. For an extended hike, visitors can venture around Averill's Island on the outskirts of the property, and then follow the Mill Pond trail. "It's a way for visi- tors to get onto the back trails that are less populated," says Decker. The sanctuary contains eight miles of the Ipswich River, and Deck- er recommends that visitors take advantage of the many sanctuary programs that offer access to the wa- ter. "Families can rent canoes, and many of our summer camps include activities involving the river," she ex- plains. In addition to Massachusetts Audubon Society summer camps, available for children from pre- kindergarten through high school, the sanctuary's trained naturalists run countless educational programs throughout the year for adults and children. An on-site visitor's center is regularly staffed with volunteers to answer questions about wildlife and trails. Entry is free for all MassAudubon members. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary 87 Perkins Row Topsfield 978-887-9264 Ward Reservation 34 Prospect Rd. Andover Maudslay State Park 74 Curzon Mill Rd. Newburyport 978-465-7223 CONTACT Above, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary; Below, Maudslay State Park photographs, clockwise from top left, courtesy of Mass Audubon/Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Fred Goodwin, Rick Smulski, and Beth Glasmann

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