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
Get directions or contact us >


Parking reservations* required from 9 am–4:30 pm.

  • Trails: Tuesday–Sunday, dawn to dusk (closed on Mondays except holidays)
  • Nature Center: Closed
  • Restrooms:
    • Indoor: Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm *face coverings required indoors*
    • Outdoor: Portable restrooms available Tuesday-Friday, dawn to dusk
  • No canoeing or camping available

*All self-guided school or group parking reservations must be scheduled through our office at least one week in advance. Contact us to schedule >


Members: Free
Nonmembers: $6 Adults, $4 Seniors (65+), $4 Children (2-12)

As a way to give even more people access to nature and to thank active military for their service, we are proud to offer:

EBT Participants: Free for up to 4 people when you show your EBT card
ConnectorCare Card to Culture Participants: Free for up to 4 people when you show your ConnectorCare card
Wonderfund Access: Free for up to 4 people when you show your Wonderfund card
Active-Duty Military: Free for up to 5 people with a valid military ID card

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
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.

Camping & Canoeing 

Canoeing on the Ipswich River

→ Currently unavailable due to COVID-19 ←

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!