About Ipswich River

Eastern Bluebird in a budding shrub at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary © Kathy Diamontopoulos
Eastern Bluebird © Kathy Diamontopoulos

Ipswich River offers 12 miles of trails that invite you to explore the forests, meadows, wetlands, drumlin, and eskers. You can also travel down the namesake river, which meanders through the sanctuary, by canoe.

Whether exploring by foot or paddle, you will marvel at the diversity of wildlife, especially bird species; the sanctuary is part of the Eastern Essex County Interior Forest Important Bird Area.

Location

87 Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA 01983
Get directions or contact us >

Hours

Visitor Center

Tuesday-Sunday, 9:00 am-4:30 pm 
Restrooms are available next to the barn.

Closed Mondays, except Monday holidays.

All visitors must check in at the Visitor Center to obtain a Visitor Pass for display on your dashboard—the parking lot is monitored.

If you are planning to bring a large group (10+ visitors), please call our office ahead to discuss availability.
$35 per 10-12 person passenger van • $70 admission fee for school buses

Trails

Tuesday-Sunday, dawn to dusk. Closed Mondays, except Monday holidays.

Admission

Members: Free
Nonmembers: $10 per standard vehicle

As a way to increase access to nature, Mass Audubon also offers several free admission programs at our wildlife sanctuaries.

Facilities

Acres

1,955

Trails

12 miles
Details & map >

Sanctuary Highlights

  • Boulders stacked to create arches and a grotto setting, constructed in 1905, provide an adventurous walk along the Rockery Trail.
  • Mass Audubon members-only benefits including renting canoes, camping on Perkins Island, or staying in our rustic cabin, the Innermost House.
  • Day camps in Topsfield, Essex, and Marblehead designed to provide campers with a unique opportunity to learn about nature.
  • Annual events like Halloween Happenings, Maple Sugaring, Big Night, and Audubon Nature Festival.
  • Travel programs to places such as Monhegan Island for fall migration and Downeast Maine to view puffins.

Property Regulations

All of the land at our wildlife sanctuaries is protected. By conserving these open spaces, Mass Audubon, along with our members and partners, is able to fulfill its mission of protecting the nature of Massachusetts. When visiting, please take note of the following regulations: 

  • No dog walking or horseback riding; please leave all animals and pets at home (service animals welcome
  • No walking off trail  
  • No collecting or picking natural items
  • No bike riding or operating motorized vehicles; day passes are available for powered mobility devices   
  • No running, swimming, or camping 
  • No operating drones or other remote-controlled vehicles   
  • No fishing, hunting*, trapping, or releasing of animals   
  • No feeding wildlife   
  • No smoking 

Photography Guidelines

Mass Audubon welcomes visitors to capture the beauty and wonder of our statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries through photography. If you would like to use a wildlife sanctuary for commercial photography purposes, please review the complete guidelines and learn how to schedule a time. 

* As part of our habitat management efforts, limited archery hunting for White-tailed Deer by a small group of invited hunters is permitted at Moose Hill during the state-approved season (early October through December). State law prohibits hunting on SundaysLearn more >

Camping & Canoeing 

Canoeing on the Ipswich River

Exclusively for Mass Audubon members! Explore the outdoors and connect with nature at your own pace. Ipswich River offers special canoeing and camping opportunities only for Mass Audubon members. Not a member? Join Today!