Central Essex County Hosts 25+ TRAILS & SAILS Events

Trails & Sails poster

August 25, 2014 (Salem, MA) – Interested in touring the Ipswich River Estuary in your kayak and by foot? Learning about (and tasting) local wine and cheese making, or being one of the first to tour the estate at historic Witch Hill in Topsfield? How about digging for history at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers, or exploring the wonders of the Grand Wenham Canal (dug in 1917)? 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 impressive line-up of Trails & Sails events in the central Essex County communities of Beverly, Boxford, Danvers, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Middleton, Rowley, Topsfield and Wenham includes:


  • Historic Thorndike Street Walking Tour
  • Hospital Point Lighthouse Open House
  • Moraine Farm Festival


  • Hardy Plants at the Kelsey Arboretum


  • Colonial Period Singing School Music
  • Digging for History at the Homestead
  • Judge Samuel Holten House Open House
  • Visit the 1654 Endecott Burial Ground


  • Brocklebank Museum Open House
  • Camp Denison Family Day


  • Polo & Picnic


  • Arthur Wesley Dow of Ipswich
  • Farmstead & Old House Tour
  • Ipswich Estuary Kayak and Open Space Walk
  • Paine House at Greenwood Farm Open House
  • Pasture to Plate: Cheese Making Tour


  • Flint Public Library Historic Building Tours


  • Dirt to Bottle Tours


  • Rail Trail Bike Ride
  • Tour the 1683 Parson Joseph Capen House & the 1842 Meeting House
  • Tour the Topsfield Town Common National Register District
  • Tour Witch Hill in Topsfield


  • Explore the Wonders of the Grand Wenham Canal
  • New Doll Exhibit: Mrs. Horton's Dolls
  • World War II Memories by Christian de Marcken

Visit www.TrailsAndSails.org 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 www.EssexHeritage.org/MoveIt 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. www.TrailsAndSails.org