Western Essex County Abounds 25+ in Free TRAILS & SAILS Events

August 25, 2014 (Salem, MA) – Interested in taking a nature walk through four of the exquisite reservations preserved in Andover or paddling the Shawsheen River? Taking a Civil War stroll through Haverhill’s historic cemeteries or blacksmithing in the forge at the Lawrence History Center? How about exploring the night sky in Groveland or seeing how printing and type has molded your life in North Andover? 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 western Essex County communities of Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, and North Andover include:


  • A Walk Through AVIS History
  • Dwight Tryon and America Tonalism Gallery Talk
  • Hike and Paddle the Shawsheen River
  • Home, Work & Play: Andover’s Main Street in 1820
  • West Parish Historic Cemetery Tour


  • A Spiritual Quest Weekend at Hilldale Cemetery
  • Bella Building Walk
  • Civil War Walk at Hilldale Cemetery
  • Haverhill Farmers Market
  • Rocks Village Architecture and History Tour
  • Shoe-la-bration Art Show, Opening Reception, Artists Reception, and Walking Tour


  • Blacksmithing Friday in the Essex Company Forge
  • Book Signing: “The History of the Essex Company” by Michael Hearn
  • Bread & Roses Strike Walk
  • Children’s Civil War Muster
  • Civil War Sunday Stroll
  • Crime & Urban Legends of Lawrence
  • Den Rock Park Hike
  • Greenway 5K
  • Historic Mills Photo Walk
  • Twilight at Bellevue Cemetery
  • Walk to the Great Stone Dam

North Andover

  • A TV Poetry Production with You!
  • History Hike at Boxford State Forest
  • The Memories in Memorial Park
  • Museum of Printing Open House
  • Stevens to Stevens Walk

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

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:  emilyl@essexheritage.org