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.


87 Perkins Row, Topsfield, MA 01983
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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


Tuesday-Sunday, dawn to dusk.

Closed Mondays, except Monday holidays.


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.

Visitor Guidelines

For your safety and to avoid conflicts with wildlife, please review all guidelines (including leaving dogs at home) before you visit.





12 miles
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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.

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!