SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 15, 2012

Over the river and through the Big Woods

Sunday's annual hike at wildlife sanctuary designed for all ages

TOPSFIELD — Families who would like to go over the river and through the woods this holiday can do it, literally, during Sunday’s Big Woods Hike at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We do it every year the Sunday before Thanksgiving,” said Sue Baeslack, education and volunteer coordinator at the sanctuary. “Adults and families can do it together.”

The hike, now in its 17th year, has become a popular alternative to sitting on the couch and watching too much football on TV.

Seven walks, each lasting two hours, will depart between noon and 1:30 p.m. to explore some unique corners of this Audubon Society property in Topsfield.

“It gives people a different perspective on the sanctuary,” Baeslack said. “It goes beyond the area that a casual visitor would see.”

In particular, hikers will follow a trail that takes them to Averill’s Island, a section of the property that isn’t technically an island but seems like one, given the way it juts out into the Ipswich River.

Perhaps because of its isolation, the island has avoided the farming and development that has altered the landscape almost everywhere else in the state.

“It’s second-growth, but it has some red and white pine trees that date back to the early 1800s,” said Scott Santino, sanctuary naturalist. “As far as second-growth forest goes, this could be one of the oldest in eastern Massachusetts.”

The spot also offers great views where visitors can imagine what Topsfield looked and sounded like a long, long time ago.

“To the east of the island is the Ipswich River. There are some nice vistas we can enjoy,” Santino said. “To the west is a wet meadow, which is a beaver-enhanced wet meadow, another example of the benefits of beaver in Massachusetts.”

Wetlands offer habitat to a wide range of creatures, from microscopic mud-dwellers to white-tailed deer, and there’s a chance hikers could catch a glimpse of something wild.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Jenson1 Salsa spirit Dance party will benefit Jazz & Soul Festival Salsa spirit

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rhinaespaillat Survival through art Rhina Espaillat met many survivors of the Holocaust when she was growing up in New York and was often impressed by their strength of mind. "I was always surprised to meet people who came through the Holocaust not only physically whole, but mentally w

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140422_SN_HAND_READERSEYE The reader's eye Name: Sarah Rydgren Hometown: Salem Description: Taken during a ride through the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire last week. I love the mountains, and this stretch of highway is one of my favorite roads to travel. I am a self-taught photographer a

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • shellfish North Shore Entertainment Calendar

    Good causes LIBRARY FUNDRAISER AND STORY PROGRAM. Thursday, April 24, 1 to 4 p.m., Swizzles Frozen Yogurt, 421 Paradise Road, Vinnin Square, Swampscott. Swampscott Public Library fundraiser features a free story and music program for children of all

    April 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • benefitrace Good cause Racing for a reason On Sunday, Salem State University hosts its 18th annual North Shore Fitness 5K Road Race and Fun Walk, starting at 9 a.m. at the O'Keefe Sports Complex, 225 Canal St., Salem. Advance registration is $18 for Gassett Fitness members

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Parents appalled by man’s indifference to son Dear Abby: My 23-year-old son, "Wayne," who is single, has a 3-year-old son. We didn't learn about the child until he was more than a year old, when Wayne was asked to take a paternity test. Luckily, we have been able to form a good relationship wit

    April 24, 2014

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, April 24

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Married couple’s sex life is all about the numbers Dear Abby: I have been married to a wonderful man for 30 years. Our marriage may not be perfect, but it's quite good. My dilemma is this: My husband keeps track of every time we have sex and has a personal goal of 100 times a year. In 2013, he infor

    April 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, April 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Don't meddle in office affair unless it interferes with work

    Dear Abby: I manage a group of 15 employees. A few months ago, I hired the wife of an old friend. Until now she has been a great employee, but recently, she and a male co-worker have been taking lunches and breaks together in a way that leads me to b

    April 22, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker