August 25, 2014 (Salem, MA) – Interested in exploring the Powow River Conservation Area or reading the night sky in Amesbury? Taking a tour through a historic house located on the first road in Newbury or seeing Railroad memorabilia from the early 1800’s in Salisbury? How about visiting where gunpowder was stored during the Civil War in Newburyport, or kayaking through the Great Marsh?  No matter what your interest, you can find something to learn, explore, and enjoy at Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water, to be held on September 19-21 and 26-28, 2014.

Presented by the Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), Trails & Sails features more than 150 free events over two weekends and celebrates the rich variety of historic, cultural and natural resources in the Essex National Heritage Area. Encompassing the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, a 500 square mile region just north of Boston, MA, the Essex National Heritage Area was created by an Act of the U.S. Congress in 1996 in recognition of the important role that the county played in American history and the significant heritage resources that still exist in the region. Trails & Sails, now in its 13th year, was created by Essex Heritage to highlight the Area’s treasures and encourage residents and visitors to engage with these resources in different and more meaningful ways with the goal of engendering a commitment to preserving them.

For Trails & Sails 2014, Essex Heritage has partnered with non-profit and for-profit recreational organizations across Essex County to offer 150+ free, fun, and family-friendly events at more than 100 sites that showcase our region’s distinctive heritage, history, culture, and the natural environment. From maritime and railroad museums, to guided nature tours both onshore and off, there are activities happening morning, afternoon and evening that welcome your exploration.

The exciting line-up of Trails & Sails events in the northern Essex County communities of Amesbury, Newbury, and Newburyport include: 


  • Explore the Night Sky
  • Explore the Powow River Conservation Area
  • Macy-Colby House Open House
  • Mary Baker Eddy House Tour
  • Salisbury Point Railroad & Hat Museum
  • Tours of the John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum


  • The House That Richard Built


  • A 250th Anniversary Newburyport Maritime Adventure
  • Clipper Heritage Trail Tour
  • Footsteps of Heroes: Civil War Walking Tour of Newburyport
  • History Tour of Estate Core
  • Kayak Tour at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
  • Newburyport Harbor Light on Plum Island
  • Newburyport’s Historic Powder House
  • Old South Church Walking Tour
  • Waterfront Park String Band

Visit to see the complete listing of events, design a personalized itinerary, or purchase a hard-copy guide mailed from Essex Heritage for $5.00. A limited number of free printed guides are available at all 12 Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Centers, including the Buttonwoods Museum & Haverhill Historical Society, Lawrence Visitor Center at Lawrence Heritage State Park, and sponsor locations.

Take the Trails & Sails Challenge: MOVE IT!

With events to take place throughout the cities and towns of Essex County, residents and visitors alike are encouraged to get out and challenge themselves during Trails & Sails by participating in Essex Heritage and the YMCA of the North Shore’s Move It! 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge. Register for Move It! online at and start tracking any miles you run, swim, hike, and bike through October 2014 for fantastic prizes.

Trails & Sails 2014: Two Weekends of Walks & Water is sponsored by Eastern Bank and TD Bank.

About Trails & Sails

Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water is the premier partnership event of the Essex National Heritage Commission celebrating the historic, cultural and natural treasures of the Essex National Heritage Area. Coordinated by Essex Heritage as an integral part of our mission, TRAILS & SAILS raises regional awareness of the Area’s unique history and promotes the preservation of its heritage sites.

Essex Heritage Director of Special Events & Communications, Emily Levin manages the Trails & Sails program and is available to answer questions or for interviews. Call 978-740-0444. Email: