When I think of Maudslay State Park, I think of the majestic views over the Merrimack River. I think of the tall trees with eagles perched in their boughs but one thing I don’t think of is the state park being a Mecca for hikers or bicyclists. Yet the trail system in Maudslay is very extensive. One moment in a field, next moment near a pond, and another moment peering over a steep cliff overlooking the river; Maudslay is definitely a place where you have the choice of bicycling, or hiking or horseback riding. One moment you can be surrounded by gardens and the next moment peering above at eagle’s roosts.
Some areas are very isolated and other areas are full of people, Maudslay offers wildlife, gardens and vistas that are truly amazing considering this entire park lies within the City of Newburyport’s borders.
One can take a short jaunt down a steep hill to Curzon’s Mill and pass on to the quiet hillsides of West Newbury. One can ride until you find yourself in fields full of berries and pine knolls. Maudslay does not reveal in one view how utterly extensive is its area. Just take a look at this detailed map!
The best bet is to park near the ranger’s facility, pay the small fee to park and ride to your heart’s content. This state park is truly in our back yard and is a treasure to enjoy.
If strolling through landscaped gardens is your intent, then head northwest into the garden grounds. The Friends of Maudslay State Park have worked hard to bring back some of the majesty that once filled the Maudslay Estate. Later, stroll across a small bridge and approach Hell’s Gates. This was the original entrance to the grounds and was once rusted prompting many a story that the gates heralded the entrance to hell and that strange hauntings occurred here.
If bicycling or horseback riding, the trails that meander near the river can not be rivaled by the shear beauty of the terrain and the river views. The feeling of being out in the wilderness permeates the long stretches of rutted lanes. There is a trail that runs higher that is excellent for long river views or you can choose to travel close to the river’s edge.
Whatever the choice to be made, Maudslay will deliver a refreshing experience that rejuvenates the soul!
Information about Maudslay including trail maps can be found at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/maud.htm or you can call the park ranger at 978-465-7223.
If you would like to help in the massive effort to keep this park looking its best, please volunteer at the Maudslay State Park Association.
Whether enjoying the trails or helping to preserve it, you have to agree this park is yet another reason that Newburyport has a very high quality of life.