For starters, a fan favorite is Halibut Point State Park in Rockport. The park has a historic quarry, which dates back to when Rockport was a granite-mining town. What is so special about this location is that while the first thing you see is the quarry, the ocean is just behind it. There are trails that can bring you along the reservation with some that will bring you right down to the ocean! It is a great spot to see lobster boats roll by and a front row seat to some of the best sunsets known to the northeast.
Ravenswood Park in Gloucester is a short drive from downtown (it is accessible by our Beauport Shuttle in the winter months), and it is great for those who also like to cross-country ski! There are over 10 miles worth of trails to choose from, and there is a journey for everybody! Ravenswood is also a great place for artists, there are several lovely lookout points to inspire. It should be on everybody’s Gloucester to-do list!
In Ipswich, you can visit the Julia Bird Reservation. This location is made up of fields and wooded trails and is encouraged mostly for those who like to cross-country ski or snowshoe. There are lots of opportunities to spot native birds, such as Great Horned Owls, Eastern Bluebirds and Barn Swallows.
Right next door, you will find Appleton Farms. Alongside six miles of footpaths and trails, there are lots of farm animal friends to greet! Cows, sheep, chickens and goats will be going about their daily business and would love to see you. At the end of your visit, be sure to check out the Dairy and Farm Store. There are lots of products to choose from that are made right there on the farm. This is a great location to bring your family for a walk and a snack!
For a local, ocean walk, Good Harbor Beach is always recommended and is accessible by our Beauport Shuttle. While in the summer it is packed with people ready to swim and relax, it is just as enjoyable in the winter as long as you have your hat and mittens ready! The beach itself is about a mile and a half long, which is great if it is an especially cold day. The off-season invites dogs as well, so if you have your furry friend with you feel free to bring them along. This Gloucester classic is easily accessible by car and has wonderful views of the horizon. There is a wooden footbridge at the end of the beach which brings you to Nautilius Road and if you take a left, it will bring you to Atlantic Avenue, which is a long stretch with a safe sidewalk to walk along the seashore for a hearty but worth it walk. If you find yourself there in the summer, there is always a chance to spot a whale!
Cape Ann is beautiful in any season, and while living in the Northeast, you never know what Mother Nature will throw your way. Sound off in the comments with other winter walks that you enjoy!
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