Independence Greenway, Peabody MA

• 3-star trail
• 1.0 to 6.0 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Easy elevation
• Peabody, MA | NE Massachusetts
• Driving Directions: Marked on map

Walking past the Kennedy Fields wetlands on the West Trail.

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The Independence Greenway runs latitudinally across the City of Peabody, MA on the route of the former Salem & Lowell Railroad that operated from 1850 until the early 1960s. Presently cleaved into two parts by the construction of Interstate 95 and State Route One, the two sections can presently only be combined only by a mile of busy road. Plans are in place to connect the two sections, but don't let that stop you from exploring these great trail sections right now.

The Western side of the trail is around 2.9 miles in length and though it snakes its way around residential neighborhoods you could be forgiven for not realizing this as the trail has a distinctly rural feel. You're never far away from water along this trail. Initially following the banks of the wooded Ipswich River, the route crosses Norris Brook, past Hoover Street Wetlands and skims across the Crystal Lake conservation area. If you're exploring on foot, there are also additional trails South of Crystal Lake which combine with the rail trail to make a pleasant loop.

The trail also skirts an aggregate quarry. Although well hidden from view, the quarry often makes itself known with occasional scheduled blasting. This only occurs at 1pm on Thursdays, proceeded by sirens, and the trail is closed around the quarry around ten minutes before the event.

Asphalt, Road, No Access, Parking Expand Map

Peabody Independence Greenway 3★
6.0 mi, Each Way, Medium, Gain 100 ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

East of the busy Interstate traffic this further 1.7 mile section of trail - also known as the Peabody Bikeway - follows Proctor Brook and its associated wetlands before being cessated by another busy road, this time the Yankee Division Highway. This mostly straight section of trail passes backyards and close to Lowell Street, but remains a pleasant tree-lined journey throughout. There's one tricky intersection with Lowell Street at Prospect Street, but this is protected by traffic and pedestrian signals.

The Eastern section of Peabody's rail trail also connects with the longer hardpack Danvers-Topsfield rail trail via a connecting route through the grounds of a cemetery and only 500 feet of sidewalked road on Lowell Street.

Biking past Crystal Lake on the West trail.

The City of Peabody should be commended for their work in revitalizing this former rail corridoor which has proved to be extremely popular to trail users. Planned to be under construction soon, a 2.3 mile extension will take the rail trail to the city border and much closer to the Salem and Marblehead rail trails. The City also has a further phase of construction pencilled in, to connect the two disparate trail sections at Ross Memorial Park.

Trail Conditions
Smooth asphalt. No discernable incline. Bifurcated by a busy 1 mi road section (with sidewalks).

The smooth asphalt on the tree-lined East Trail.

Take a break and enjoy some birdwatching at Crystal Lake.

• External Links: Public Map at AllTrails, TrailLink
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

Nearby Trails:
• 0 miles away: Danvers & Topsfield RT (11 mi)
• 4 miles away: Salem & Marblehead RT (5.7 mi)
• Show on map: All nearby rail trails

East Coast Greenway
These trails are part of the East Coast Greenway walking and biking route from Maine to Florida.

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