Experience the diverse and distinctive landscapes that make the Essex National Heritage Area a unique part of New England. From the peace of the marshlands and beaches to the dramatic rocky coastline and snug harbors, from the rural farms and forests to the historic Merrimack River Valley, you can explore the beauty of the Area's natural resources and experience it first hand by hiking, biking, boating and enjoying our other outdoor activities.
Marshlands and Beaches
At the edge of the Atlantic discover pristine white sand beaches, salt marshes and miles of breathtaking coastline. Woodlands tumble toward unspoiled stretches of sand that protect peaceful estuaries from the wind and tides. Sensitive ecosystems of bog, dunes, salt marsh, and barrier beach provide protective habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl.
Rocky Coast and Harbors
Rocky shoreline and quaint New England harbors are scattered along the region known as the North Shore. Historic seaports, artists' colonies and grand summer manors of years past exist in harmony with today's working fisheries, lobster boats and recreational sailors. Rustic wooden piers, clapboard cottages, sea captains' mansions, and traditional seaside activities are plentiful along this rocky, coastal region.
Farms and Forests
Located inland along the area's scenic byways are farm stands filled with native produce, rolling pasturelands, lush horse farms and open fields where country fairs, polo and horse shows are annual events. Recapture a sense of times past by traveling the area's rural roads, stopping in the quaint New England town commons and walking along the carriage roads of former country estates. Woodland trails, stately forests and meadowlands are found throughout the Area, providing sanctuary to both visitors and wildlife.
Merrimack River Valley
Trace the beginnings of the American Industrial Revolution along the banks of the Merrimack River. From the early textile and cotton mills to the shoe and leather factories, the valley is steeped in history. Early craftsmen's workshops, elegant Victorian houses, huge brick mills and water power canals are interspersed with boat docks, bike trails and natural walks along the river's banks.
Top Of Page