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Julia Bird Reservation

Part of Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust, the 59-acre Julia Bird Reservation sits adjacent to Appleton Farms in Ipswich and extends out to the Ipswich River. The reservation illustrates the effects of open field and forest management on the landscape. Mature swamp white oak, red oak, and red maple create the forest canopy. In early spring, vernal pools form.

Photos by Jerry Monkman

Halibut Point

Protected by The Trustees of Reservations, Halibut Point is made of 440-million-year-old sheets of granite that descend from a rocky headland down to tidal pools below. Located along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, it is a link in Rockport’s Atlantic Path.

Photo cred: Shutterstock (top), Paul Nguyen (middle), Robert Boyd (bottom)

Strawberry Hill and Essex Marsh

The Essex County Trail Association protects and maintains trails and open spaces throughout the coastal area. The Strawberry Hill trail is a level trail across a meadow—managed for grassland bird nesting—and marshland to Paine Creek.

Photos by Jerry Monkman

Horn Pond

Once known to Native Americans as “Innitou,” or Mirror of the Spirit, Woburn’s Horn Pond is surrounded by 500 acres of conservation land. Forest, marshes, fields, and Mount Towanda characterize the bucolic setting. Hikers, joggers, and nature lovers enjoy the 2.2-mile walking loop around the pond.

Photos by Jack Boudreau