Beach or trees?

10 02 2011

It was the biggest conflict we had.

While trying to choose where we wanted to live in New England, my husband and I agreed on most criteria: antique house, a bit more land than absolutely necessary, quiet neighborhood. But we went back and forth on whether we placed a higher priority on trees (living in a wooded area) or proximity to the ocean.

Ipswich solved the dilemma. With one foot on Crane’s Beach,

and the other deep in the woods of Outer Linebrook,

this town offered us the best of both. Our house is on the tree-y end of town but with ready access to the beach, we feel like we live “on the water.”

What we didn’t realize at the time, and have yet to take full advantage of is all the natural resources in between. There are walking trails in every part of town. Here’s a great website for maps and descriptions. A walking “club” meets every Wednesday to explore the various trails… Here’s their publicity blurb:

  • Weekly walks, sponsored by the Ipswich Bay Circuit Trail Committee, take place every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Meet at the Town Landing on East Street for a two-hour excursion. Explore trails in Willowdale State Forest, Bradley Palmer State Park, lands owned by the Town of Ipswich, Trustees of Reservations, Essex County Greenbelt, etc. Walks are scheduled mid-September to mid-June, with a short holiday break. Major snow, ice or steady rain cancels. All welcome. Questions?  Call Ed at 978-356-7196.

With this much snow on the ground, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are ways to enjoy these trails as well.

Another tremendous opportunity right here in town is the Ipswich River. Canoeing or kayaking on the river appears to be a perfectly lovely way to spend a (warmer) afternoon. (I remember canoeing with my family when I was a kid on the C&O Canal.) Foote Brothers have a good rental program those of us without our own canoes!

It might be a while before I get out and do this stuff, but it’s nice to dream…

What else should I be dreaming about? Do you have any favorite Ipswich outdoor activities?




One response

10 02 2011
Douglas Brendel

This is pretty cool. And Dan MacAlpine’s column in today’s Ipswich Chronicle talks about some of this same kind of thing – snowshoes and cross-country skis and all that

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