Hit the Trails In Gloucester 

April 12, 2023 / Outdoor Adventures, Things to Do & See, Uncategorized

The signs of spring are all around us. Nature is waking up from a long cold winter and spring has finally arrived. The crocuses and daffodils are starting to bloom. Our ponds have come alive with frogs and crickets. Buds and blossoms are peeking out from tree branches. Yes, it is spring on Cape Ann! 

As the days grow longer and the temperature rises, many residents and visitors to Gloucester, Massachusetts look for ways to get outside and enjoy the coastal breeze and smells of the season. If you’re looking for unique places to hike, walk, or explore, Gloucester has abundant scenic outdoor space! Enjoy a walk along the beach, stroll by oceanside vistas, and take a hike in the woods. Some of the area’s must-visit hidden gems are: Ravenswood Park, Dogtown Common and the Greenbelt, Essex Counties Land Trust properties in Gloucester. Here’s what you can expect from a day hitting the trails. 

Ravenswood Park

Ravenswood Park 

Located at ​​481 Western Avenue in Gloucester, MA, Ravenswood is a nature reserve that is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations. 

Ravenswood is a year-round trail that has something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the carriage paths during the winter months is the perfect way to get outdoors and enjoy nature while the weather is cold. However, it’s spring when Ravenswood comes to life with buds, trees, and pond critters. 

The park, purchased by philanthropist Samuel Sawyer, was preserved in his will as a park upon his death and is now a property maintained by The Trustees. Ravenswood includes 600 acres of woods, ponds, and a Magnolia swamp. The park also offers The Cape Ann Discovery Center which is open on weekends and Monday holidays. Spring is the perfect time to explore the 10 miles of carriage paths that lead visitors past colonial relics such as rock walls and cellars as well as American Indian hunting mounds. 

Whether you enjoy watching birds, exploring the paths, or peaceful moments in the quiet of the woods, Ravenswood has something for everyone. 

To visit take Route 128N to exit 14 (Rt 133 East toward Gloucester) and follow until you hit Route 127 where you should turn right and follow for 2 miles to the entrance. 

Dogtown Common

Another hidden gem in the heart of Gloucester, Massachusetts, stretching all the way through central Cape Ann to the north of Route 128 in Rockport is Dogtown Common.

Located off Cherry Street and Dogtown Road, Dogtown Common is the perfect way to spend an afternoon walking, exploring, and getting in touch with nature. Not only does Dogtown have a unique place in Gloucester’s history as a settlement, but it is home to two reservoirs and artifacts of settlers that first lived in these areas such as cellar holes, and the marking for Dogtown Square.

During your hike or walk through Dogtown you may encounter some of nature’s little creatures who make their homes at the Babson Reservoir and Goose Cove Reservoir, depending upon how far you explore. You will likely find a series of historic boulders with inspirational words to guide you in your thoughts – a legacy left by one of Gloucester’s great historic innovators, Roger Babson.

Be sure to print a map of Dogtown or pick one up at Dogtown Books, and bring a compass as you explore the wonders of Cape Ann’s nature trails. 

Greenbelt Properties in Gloucester

Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust, is the most active land conservation organization in the region, having protected more than 19,000 acres in Essex County since 1961. Explore trails and walk (dogs are welcome), hike, bike, observe wildlife or simply relax outdoors in nature. To discover them all, download the free GreenbeltGo trails app and find directions, trail maps, property descriptions, navigational tools and more. Enjoy Greenbelt properties, free of charge, from dawn to dusk daily. Two of their many popular hikes in Gloucester are Seine Field and Tomspon Street Revervation.

Greenbelts’s Seine Field 

If you are looking for a shorter excursion, Seine field is a perfect venue for a quick outdoor adventure in Gloucester. Open in all seasons, The 0.4 mile loop is an accessible, flat and wide path perfect for children and hikers of any level.






Photo Credit: Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust

Greenbelt’s Tompson Street Reservation

Tompson Street Reservation boasts views from Sunset Mountain, photo ops at Eagle Rock, a scenic boardwalk near a natural beaver habitat, and much more! This reservation is over 300 acres, so make sure to check or print out the map before you go!