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Upcoming events

    • 08 Mar 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Dow Brook Trail on 1A (High Street, Ipswich)

    Join Essex County Trail Association and Ipswich River Watershed Association on another fun guided walk on March 8 at 1pm! We will be taking a walk through the Dow Brook Conservation area.  During the walk, we will look for evidence of wildlife, including checking on vernal pools where wood frogs and salamanders will soon be congregating. 

    To reserve a spot, RSVP to

    Dow Brook Conservation Area is located at 326 High Street (adjacent to White Farms Ice Cream).

    There is no fee for this walk.

    • 21 Apr 2020
    • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Gould Barn, One Howlett Street, Topsfield, MA
    Gather with ECTA members and friends at the Gould Barn in Topsfield at 6:30pm on April 21st, 2020 to catch up on the highlights of the past year and review our plans for 2020. 

    Light refreshments will be served. No RSVP required.

    • 25 Apr 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield MA

    ESSEX COUNTY TRAIL ASSOCIATION is hosting the 25th annual EQUINE EXPO to be held on Saturday, April 25, 2020 from 9-3 in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Route 1, Topsfield, MA.  This popular event draws over 800 people each year.  Individuals, groups & businesses make up over 80 booths offering goods and services, new and used, for the horse and rider/driver. To outfit everyone for the show and trail season, find  a massage therapist, trainer, saddle fitter or a new saddle, upgrade all your tack and equipment, build a barn, purchase supplements, books, herbal products, home décor or gifts this is the place to be. 

    The Demo ring will be running all day with great trainers & riders.  

    There will be a food vendor serving breakfast and lunch.  Plenty of free parking and the building is accessible to everyone.  An admission fee of $5 (kids under 10 free) goes towards one of our goals of maintaining trails in our member Towns of Hamilton, Wenham, Topsfield, Ipswich, Essex and West Newbury for all types of passive recreation.

    Drop by for a day of one stop shopping.  For more information, to rent a vendor space, put a business card in the program, be a sponsor or donate used or new horse related items for our ECTA tables, please call Kay at 978-768-6275 or Sue at 978-468-7715 or e-mail

    Here is the Equine Expo Contract:  2020 EXPO Contract MODIFIED.pdf

    • 03 May 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • 157 County Road, Ipswich
    • 21

    Join ECTA board member Joe Sandulli on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 for an equestrian trail ride to Greenbelt's Sagamore Hill Conservation Area We will be departing on horseback at 10AM.  We'll start at Joe Sandulli's house (157 County Road, Ipswich) and ride through New England Biolabs to Gardner Street and Sagamore Street. We will go up the Sagamore Hill Conservation Area, where we'll pick up the Donovan Reservation trail leading back to the Clark and Sears properties. Finally, we'll cross through the Trustees of Reservation's Appleton Farms and Greenbelt's Julia Bird Reservation to loop back to Joe's house. 

    Fee:  $20 for non-members, free for active ECTA members

    Pre-registration is required by Friday, May 1, 2020. Trailer parking is limited, please try to carpool or let us know if you are hacking over to the start (additional parking available at Bird field). 

    The route is about 8.5 miles and the pace will be mostly trotting and walking (similar to a hilltopping pace in the hunt field).  There is one bridge crossing (crossed twice).  The ride should take about 3 hours.  You must have your own horse and helmets are required. Please bring a horse comfortable with riding in a group.

    Maximum Number of Participants: 21

    • 09 May 2020
    • 8:00 AM
    • Willowdale State Forest, Ipswich

    Join us for the 6th Annual Spring for the Trails on Saturday, May 9th, 2020. The race begins at 8am sharp. The race will be held on beautiful trails, both single and double track, in Willowdale State Forest.  Now is your chance to see some of the trails that are included in the Stone Cat Marathon and also experience many new trails that you may not otherwise find. This course is 100% on trails!

    Divisions: Men's and Women's 39 and Under, 40-49, 50-59, 60+.

    Registration Fee:

    $50 before May 4th
    $55 after May 4th

    NOTE:  Online registration closes at noon on Monday, May 4th.  You may register the day of race.

    Parking and race start: Please park at the Willowdale parking lot on Linebrook Road (across from Marini Farms, whose address is 259 Linebrook Road in Ipswich, MA).  Once parked, simply follow the path toward the field and you can sign in, pick up your bib and t-shirt (T shirts are first come first served).

    Packet Pick-up:  If you wish to pick up your bib and t-shirt early (for pre-registered runners ONLY), we will be at New England Running Co. at 43 Enon Street in Beverly during the day on Friday, May 8th.  Otherwise, pick it up at the pre-registration table at the race starting at 7am.

    Course Map:  click here

    Registration Form (if you'd rather mail it in):  click here

    Liability Waiver (ONLY for those under 18):  click here

    If you have any questions, please contact our office at  Thank you!

    • 06 Jun 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    (Photos by Sophiea Bitel)

    The countryside lost a great friend in September 2016 when Patrick Keough passed away unexpectedly.  Whether he was hunting or just out for a ride, Patrick loved to be out on the trails.  An anonymous friend of ECTA has pledged $10,000 to start a trail fund in Patrick's memory.  We are so touched and will hold a ride on June  6th to honor this generous gift.  There will be no charge for this ride, but the hope is that riders will make some gift, however large or small, in Patrick's memory. 

    This year's ride will be held on June 6, 2020. Details to come.

    If you would like to make a donation to the Patrick Keough Memorial Trail Fund, you may do so here (Please click the box marked "Patrick Keough Memorial Trail Fund" under Donation Designation).  MANY THANKS!

    • 20 Jun 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
    • Groton House Farm, 746 Highland Street, Hamilton, MA

    ECTA's annual Summer Solstice Party is coming soon! Join us once again under the tents at Groton House Farm on Saturday, June 20th from 6 - 9:30 PM for this exciting fundraising event. 

    Tickets are $65 per person, $600 for table of 10.

    Support ECTA’s mission to preserve and maintain over 450 miles of trails for hikers, runners, bikers, equestrians, and skiers. 

    • 18 Jul 2020
    • 9:00 AM
    • 19 Jul 2020
    • Waldingfield Road, Ipswich

    This wonderful event is organized as a benefit for Essex County Trail Association by Holly Pulsifer!

    Spectators are welcome to come out and watch the Waldingfield Horse Diving trials at Waldingfield and Appleton Farms. Horse and driver teams will compete in three phases: dressage, cones and marathon (similar to the 3-Day Eventing phases of dressage, stadium and cross-country). 

    Dressage and cones will take place between 9 am and 1 pm, and the marathon phase will follow after 1 pm. 

    This is a fun event and really interesting to watch if you have never been!

    If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Waldingfield Committee for more information.
    • 13 Sep 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Pipestave Hill Equestrian Area, West Newbury, MA


    West Newbury 2020 Adventure Trail Ride, will be Sunday, September 13.

    Follow a well marked trail with friends and team-mates on an untimed, unjudged 6 mile, 2-3 hour trail ride starting atop Pipestave Hill in West Newbury. You’ll explore the woods, meadows, and bridges of Mill Pond, the Town Forest and adjoining private lands in groups of 1-5 horses and ponies, of every breed, experience level, style of riding and size. After completing the ride, test your horse with fun activities and obstacles, maybe ride a few cross country and stadium jumps. The WNRDC is 100 years old this year, and donates all the proceeds from Adventure Trail to ECTA’s trail building efforts. Entries open in August.

    To register:  More info and entry forms can be found on the Club website,

    • 19 Sep 2020
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Myopia Schooling Field, 394 Bay Road, Hamilton, MA

    Don't miss out on this great course over some of the North Shore's best trails! 

    Divisions: 39 and under, 40-49, 50-59, 60+
    Registration Fee:

    5 Miles - $30.00 pre-entry, $35.00 post-entry
    10 Miles - $35.00 pre-entry, $40.00 post-entry

    Parking and race start:  Please park at the Myopia Schooling Field at 394 Bay Road in Hamilton, MA.  Once parked, you can sign in, pick up your bib and t-shirt at the registration tables starting at 8am. Pre-run chat at 8:45am.  Run start at 9am.

    Packet Pick-up:  Pre-entry race packets (pre-registered runners only) will be available on Friday, September 18th at New England Running Company, 43 Enon Street, Beverly, from 10am-7pm.! You may also pick up your number and tshirt on race day!  **First 100 runners to check in are guaranteed a tshirt.

    Course Map:  click here

    Registration Form (if you'd rather mail it in with a check):  click here

    Liability Waiver (Print & Mail ONLY for those under 18):  click here

    If you have any questions, please contact our office at  Thank you!

    Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors!

    Support the people who support us!  Click on the logos to check out the websites of our sponsors!  We couldn't do it without them! 

    • 27 Nov 2020
    • 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Patton Park, Hamilton

    ECTA is holding its 3rd Annual Thanks for the Trails 5k and Kids Fun Run the day after Thanksgiving at Patton Park in Hamilton (November 27, 2020).  The 5k will begin at 10AM on November 27, and the Kids' Run will start at 9:30AM.  Using a scenic and challenging course and offering great prizes, this will be an event for all!  In addition to cash (or gift certificates) for top finishers, and many other terrific prizes, there will be cash prizes for the teams (co-ed) with the most runners and that have the best score (on a traditional XC scoring basis).  We are building on the fine tradition enjoyed by so many for the last 10 years with Gabe's Run, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Gabe's Fund.  Whether you seek a personal record or camaraderie with old friends and rivals, this event is for you!  Check our Facebook Page @thanksforthetrails and our Instagram ectathanksforthetrails5k

    Divisions:  Men's and Women's 25 & Under, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, Over 55. Also, age-adjusted winners get a prize.

    Registration Fees: 

    Pre-Registration for 5k: $25 through Nov. 20th

    Post-Registration for 5k: $30 Race Day 8:00- 9:30AM  at Patton Park

    Kids' Run:  $15 per child  (Children 12 and Under)

    Team Competition:  For the team competition, only teams with at least 5 runners and at least 2 of each gender will be counted.  The Team with the largest number of runners will win $100 cash and the fastest team (on a traditional XC scoring with at least 2 of each gender scoring) will also win $100 cash.  Please mark your team name on your registration, or email it to

    Kids' Fun Run: This 1 mile fun run for younger runners (12 and under) will begin at 9:30 AM sharp.  It will start and finish at the 5K starting/finishing line(s). Merchandise prizes awarded to first finishing girl and first finishing boy.

    Packet Pick-up:  If you wish to pick up your bib and t-shirt early (for pre-registered runners ONLY), we will be at New England Running Company at 43 Enon Street in Beverly during the day on Wednesday, November 27th from 10am-5pm.  Otherwise, pick it up at the pre-registration table at the race starting at 7am.

    Parking and race start:  Just north of the race start/finish in Patton Park by the tennis courts and WW2 tank (in the direction of Ipswich), we will have use of a large parking area on the Myopia Schooling fields.  The entrance is marked with ECTA and Parking signs on Route 1A and is generally across the street from the First United Methodist Church. From your car, you can reach the starting area by walking/jogging a couple hundred yards south on Route 1A, or across the fields.   PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE POLICE OR WINTHROP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARKING LOTS.

    Bag Check:  November weather can be pretty chilly.  The race time temperature will probably be  around freezing.  Please dress accordingly.  We will have a gear check table/tent if you want to leave your jackets, sweatpants, etc. during the race.

    Post-race:  We will have plenty of food and drinks in the finish area, so please enjoy the refreshments while awaiting the awards and lucky number winners at or about 10:40am. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3  men and women and to the fastest and largest teams.  Merchandise prizes to top 3 in the age groups.  At least 15 lucky number prizes.  Last year's prizes included gift cards from New England Running (7 $50 gift cards), Seaside Cycle (Manchester by the Sea), Tendercrop Farms (Wenham),  a pair of Celtics tickets, and a pair of Bruins tickets.

    Results: will be posted in the finish area and will be texted to each runner’s cellphone. It will also be posted on

    Course Maps:  5K Map - click here     Kids' Run Map - click here

    Registration Form (if you'd rather mail it in to PO Box 358, Hamilton, MA, 01936):  click here 

    Liability Waivers (ONLY for those under 18):  5k click here, Kids' Run click here **Please fill out this additional liability waiver if you registered online AND are under 18 years of age for either the 5k or the Kids' Run.  Mail it to PO Box 358, Hamilton, MA  01936 or bring to race. 

Past events

09 Feb 2020 Ski to the Black Cow
08 Feb 2020 Winter Walk with IRWA
29 Nov 2019 2nd Annual Thanks for the Trails 5k
17 Nov 2019 Autumn Trail Ride
21 Sep 2019 15th Annual Run for the Trails
22 Jun 2019 ECTA's Annual Summer Solstice Party
02 Jun 2019 2nd Annual Ride in Memory of Patrick Keough
11 May 2019 5th Annual Spring for the Trails Half Marathon
27 Apr 2019 24th Annual Equine Expo
23 Apr 2019 Spring Annual Meeting
14 Apr 2019 Dow Brook Vernal Pool Walk with IRWA
09 Feb 2019 Signs of Life Walk with IRWA
13 Jan 2019 Ski to the Black Cow *POSTPONED*
23 Nov 2018 Thanks for the Trails 5k
15 Sep 2018 14th Annual Run for the Trails
23 Jun 2018 ECTA Trail Jamboree
09 Jun 2018 Volunteer Work Day in Wenham!
02 Jun 2018 Ride in Memory of Patrick Keough
26 May 2018 Nature Walk at Chebacco Woods
05 May 2018 4th Annual Spring for the Trails Half Marathon
28 Apr 2018 23rd Annual Equine Expo
17 Apr 2018 Spring Annual Meeting
07 Apr 2018 Rail Trail Bike Ride
24 Mar 2018 Ski to the Black Cow CANCELLED
30 Dec 2017 Ski to Ipswich Ale Brewery
24 Nov 2017 Not Too Stuffed to Hike at Bradley Palmer
22 Oct 2017 Autumn Trail Ride
17 Oct 2017 ECTA night at Ipswich Ale Brewer's Table
30 Sep 2017 Adventure Biathlon: CANCELLED
16 Sep 2017 13th Annual Run for the Trails
17 Jun 2017 ECTA's Annual Summer Solstice Party
03 Jun 2017 National Trails Day Walk
28 May 2017 Sagamore Hill Conservation Area/Donovan Reservation Trail Ride
13 May 2017 3rd Annual Spring for the Trails Half Marathon
29 Apr 2017 22nd Annual Equine Expo
11 Apr 2017 Spring Annual Meeting
08 Apr 2017 Rail Trail Bike Ride
11 Feb 2017 Ski to the Black Cow
19 Nov 2016 Willowdale Mountain Bike Ride
22 Oct 2016 Discover Hamilton Trail Walk
25 Sep 2016 Rail Trail Bike Ride
17 Sep 2016 12th Annual Run for the Trails
11 Sep 2016 West Newbury Riding & Driving Club Adventure Trail Day
28 Aug 2016 Donovan Hill Trail Ride
24 Jul 2016 Willowdale Mountain Bike Ride
17 Jul 2016 Waldingfield Horse Driving Trials
26 Jun 2016 Tree and Plant Walk at Riverbend, West Newbury
18 Jun 2016 Summer Solstice Party
04 Jun 2016 ECTAthlon 2016
14 May 2016 2nd Annual Spring for the Trails Half Marathon
07 May 2016 Chebacco Woods Trail Walk
01 May 2016 Virtual Race 3: Riverbend Conservation Area, West Newbury
01 May 2016 Virtual Race 2: Willowdale State Forest
01 May 2016 Virtual Race 1: Appleton Farms
30 Apr 2016 21st Annual Equine Expo
24 Apr 2016 West Newbury Magnolia & Woods Walk
19 Apr 2016 Spring Annual Meeting
09 Apr 2016 Rail Trail Bike Ride
19 Mar 2016 Warbler Alley Walk in West Newbury
21 Feb 2016 Ski to the Village Pancake House
15 Feb 2016 Ski to the Black Cow RESCHEDULED
09 Jan 2016 Stories from the Wild Side at Bradley Palmer
22 Dec 2015 DCR's Winter Solstice Celebration
18 Oct 2015 Donovan Hill Trail Ride
27 Sep 2015 Ipswich River Tree Walk
20 Sep 2015 Rail Trail Bike Ride
19 Sep 2015 11th Annual Run for the Trails
13 Sep 2015 West Newbury Riding & Driving Club Adventure Trail Day
23 Aug 2015 ECTA Polo Day
20 Jun 2015 Summer Solstice Party
06 Jun 2015 ECTAthlon 2015
03 May 2015 Spring for the Trails Half Marathon
21 Apr 2015 Spring Annual Meeting
18 Apr 2015 Rail Trail Bike Ride
22 Mar 2015 Mill Pond Snowshoe Hike
21 Feb 2015 Snowshoe to the Village Pancake House
18 Jan 2015 Hike to the Black Cow
16 Nov 2014 Sagamore Hill Trail Ride
25 Oct 2014 Volunteer Trail Work Day
19 Oct 2014 West Newbury Open Space Hike
18 Oct 2014 Pan-Ipswich Challenge - CANCELLED
18 Oct 2014 Discover Hamilton Trail Walk
21 Sep 2014 Rail Trail Bike Ride
20 Sep 2014 10th Annual Run for the Trails
01 Sep 2014 Pipestave Hill Trail Ride
24 Aug 2014 ECTA Polo Day
17 Aug 2014 Donovan Hill Trail Ride
21 Jun 2014 Summer Solstice Raffle
21 Jun 2014 Summer Solstice Festival
07 Jun 2014 ECTAthlon 2014
24 May 2014 Willowdale Mountain Bike Ride - CANCELLED
18 May 2014 Ipswich River Paddle
10 May 2014 Ipswich River Tree Walk
27 Apr 2014 West Newbury Magnolia & Woods Walk
26 Apr 2014 Equine Expo
19 Apr 2014 Volunteer Trail Work Day
12 Apr 2014 Rail Trail Bike Ride
01 Apr 2014 Spring Annual Meeting
22 Mar 2014 Mill Pond Trail Walk
16 Feb 2014 Ski/Snowshoe to the Village Pancake House
18 Jan 2014 Hike to the Black Cow
01 Jan 2014 DCR First Day Hike at Bradley Palmer
05 Dec 2013 Winter Tracks Benefit Party
18 Nov 2013 Winter Tracks Raffle
09 Nov 2013 Volunteer Trail Work Day
26 Oct 2013 Pan-Ipswich Challenge - Cancelled
20 Oct 2013 IRWA Trail Walk
19 Oct 2013 DCR Full Moon Hike
19 Oct 2013 WNOS Fall Trail Hike
29 Sep 2013 Rail Trail Bike Ride
21 Sep 2013 9th Annual Run for the Trails
15 Sep 2013 WNRDC Adventure Trail Day
18 Aug 2013 Explore Ipswich Trail Ride
21 Jul 2013 Willowdale Mountain Bike Ride
14 Jul 2013 Waldingfield Horse Driving Trials
23 Jun 2013 ECTA Polo Day
22 Jun 2013 Chebacco Woods Trail Walk
09 Jun 2013 Ipswich River Tree Walk
01 Jun 2013 ECTAthlon 2013
18 May 2013 Discover Hamilton Trail Walk
27 Apr 2013 Riverbend Trail Walk
14 Apr 2013 Rail Trail Bike Ride
09 Apr 2013 Spring Annual Meeting
23 Mar 2013 Mill Pond Trail Walk
10 Mar 2013 X-Country Ski at Turner Hill Farm
24 Feb 2013 Ski/Snowshoe from to Sal's Pizza - CANCELLED
02 Feb 2013 NE Sled Dog Races - CANCELLED
26 Jan 2013 Hike to the Black Cow
17 Jan 2013 Shelly Gill Presentation
21 Dec 2012 West Newbury Trail Walks
08 Dec 2012 Turkey Hill Trail Walk
23 Nov 2012 WNRDC Post-Turkey Ride/Walk
03 Nov 2012 Volunteer Trail Work Day
29 Sep 2012 Discover Hamilton Trail Walk
29 Sep 2012 REI Volunteer Work Day at Bradley Palmer
22 Sep 2012 Riverbend Trail Walk
16 Sep 2012 WNRDC Adventure Trail
15 Sep 2012 8th Annual Run for the Trails
07 Sep 2012 Endless Summer Party
07 Sep 2012 Endless Summer Raffle
26 Aug 2012 Explore Ipswich Trail Ride
15 Jul 2012 Waldingfield Horse Driving Trials
17 Jun 2012 ECTA Cup at Myopia Polo
02 Jun 2012 ECTAthlon 2012
19 May 2012 Topsfield Rail Trail Bicycle Ride
11 May 2012 ECTAthlon Mountain Bike Raffle
05 May 2012 Pan-Ipswich Challenge
28 Apr 2012 Equine Expo
22 Apr 2012 Appleton Farms Trail Walk
14 Apr 2012 Chebacco Woods Trail Walk
07 Apr 2012 Riverbend Trail Walk
19 Mar 2012 Essex Trail Mapping
10 Mar 2012 Hike to the Village Pancake House
11 Feb 2012 Hike to The Black Cow
11 Jan 2012 Sled Dog Lecture by Dr. Jerry Vanek
15 Nov 2011 Open Board Meeting
13 Nov 2011 Donovan/Sagamore Hill Walk
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