Maudslay State Park
Maudslay State Park was such a pleasant surprise for us. We have been trying to get out to Newburyport, MA to visit this park for months, but something always deterred us - bad weather, last minute family plans, etc. Thankfully we still made it out there this summer and we sure are glad we made it happen!
This former estate covers 480 acres of land along the Merrimack River and has a little bit of everything, which keeps it interesting. There are dozens of trails to explore and we sort of just wandered around but here is the general route we took (At least I think it is!): Hedge Drive to Long Border Trail to Mile Circle (around Flowering Pond) to Main Rd and back out Hedge Drive to the parking lot.
We almost missed the turn to Long Border Trail, as it is hidden in the hedges, but turned back to head down it. This ended up being out favorite part of the hike! It was overgrown with gorgeous blooming Mountain Laurel flowers that twisted overhead. Fun Fact: This is actually the largest naturally occurring Mountain Laurel growth in Massachusetts.
This park was very family friendly. We passed visitors walking dogs, doing trail runs, riding bikes, etc. It so amazing to see how much the public can love a park. There were fun climbing trees, stone bridges to cross, flowers to smell, and old gardens and building foundations (like the Helen Mosley house) to explore.
A couple hours spent exploring this park was not nearly enough - we barely scratched the surface of what is available to hike and see. We will definitely be back again soon.