CraneOutdoors: Castle Neck Hike in the Dunes

Hiking the Dunes at the Crane Wildlife refuge with the Trustees of Reservations.

While just about everybody on the North Shore has probably been to Crane Beach, the dunes of Castle Neck are a much less explored world unto themselves. Offering one of the most accessible dune ecosystems north of Cape Cod, Castle Neck has over six miles of trails, traversing the dunes, maritime scrub forest, and beautiful beaches on both the Ipswich Bay and Essex/Castle Neck River estuary sides of the peninsula. These trails take you through Pitch Pine forests, up huge dunes offering stunning views of Choate Island, and by the varied landscapes of Castle Neck, including naturally occurring cranberry bogs.

This hike explores the heart of the Castle Neck trail system, giving you a taste of all it has to offer. It covers approximately four miles, but it will feel like more given the hills and added rigor of hiking in the dunes. Along the way, your CraneOutdoors guide will point out the flora found on Castle Neck, including the abundant Woolly Hudsonia (a.k.a., False Heather), which covers the dunes in a carpet of yellow when it blooms in late spring; the unusual dune mushroom known as the Earth Star; and the wildly fragrant Bayberry, whose berries were historically used to make candles. Your guide will chose the exact route the day of the hike based on current weather conditions and prevailing winds, but it typically covers the green and red trail loops on the Crane Estate trial map. Guests can expect to leave with a basic understanding of the Castle Neck trail system–more than enough to whet your appetite and give you the confidence to come back and explore on your own.

Due to soft sand and many hilly dunes, trail difficulty is Moderate.

When: 
Sundays through May 26, 2024 1-3:30pm
Prices: 
TTOR Members: $24
Non-Members: $30
Phone: 
978.356.3066

Saugus Iron Works Park Grounds & Estuary Walk

Take a hike along the Saugus River Estuary ande explore the Saugus Iron Works Park grounds in Massachusetts
Learn about the natural world in Saugus while ecploring the park ground ast the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Massachusetts.
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Babson Farm Quarry Self-guided Walking Tour at Halibut Point

Kids will enjoy this tour of the Halibut Point State Park and Quarry with a focus on its stone-cutting history!
Take a self guided tour at one of Massachusetts most beautiful locations!
7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Maudslay in Bloom Self-Guided Walk

 Maudslay in Bloom self guided walk at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport Massachusetts.
Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts, offers a delightful self-guided walk that is perfect for families with children. The park's 480-acre expanse, once the Moseley Estate, is rich with historical charm and natural beauty. Families can embark on a self-guided tour through lush...
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Swan Boat Rides in Boston Public Garden

Swan Boat Boston North Shore Parent, North Shore Parents Summer Activities Guide
The Public Garden may be one of the most ideal picnicking locations in Boston. Well-groomed and overflowing with tulips, cherry-trees, with willows cascading over the duck pond, the Boston Public Garden is a great place to relax during Boston's most beautiful season.
10:00 am to 3:59 pm

Fathers Day Jet Rally Plum Island

The Fathers Day Jet Rally is hosted by Plum Island Airport RC Club in Newburyport Massachusetts!
Come to Plum Island during Fathers Day Weekend full of RC fun and flying! Spectators always welcome! This is a great opportunity to see some cool models!
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Sing & Dance with the Music Man

Sing & Dance with the Music Man Brian Doser in Hamilton visit Massachusetts
Come join the fun at Community House Of Hamilton & Wenham Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 10am for 30 - 45 minutes of great music with Brian Doser! Sing and dance with the Music Man during a family concert, featuring familiar and original tunes, performed by local dad and musician,...
10:00 am to 10:45 am

Mini Movers at North Shore Children's Museum

Things to do for children in Peabody MA
Mini Movers is an engaging dance and movement class for young children at the North Shore Children's Museum. Led by experienced instructors, the program introduces young children to the world of dance in a safe and nurturing environment.
10:00 am to 11:00 am

Saugus Iron Works House Tours

Free Ranger guided tours of the Saugus Iron Works House in Massachusetts
Join National Park staff at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for a 30-minute tour of The Iron Works House.
11:00 am

Saugus Iron Works Tours

Free Ranger guided tours at Saugus Iron Works Colonial Industrial Site in Massachusetts
Join the National Park staff at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for a tour of the colonial industrial site. On select days, you may be able to stick around and witness pop-up molten iron pour, blacksmithing, waterwheel demonstrations, and take part in hands-on river stewardship activities.
2:00 pm

Ipswich Homegrown Market

Ipswich Homegrown Market on the Middle Green in Ipswich Massachusetts.
Every Thursday through the Summer, you will find fresh local produce and other foods from local vendors at the Middle Green in Ipswich Massachusetts! Come enjoy this weekly community event featuring local growers, makers, artists, and dreamers.
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Salem Farmers' Market

The Salem Farmer's Market bring the goodness of local farm to downtown Salem!
The Salem Farmers' Market brings fresh local produce and other foods from North Shore farms and other local resources to downtown Salem every Thursday at  Bentley Academy Charter School!
3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Salisbury Farmers' Market

Salisbury Farmers Market is a great source of local produce.
The Salisbury Farmers' Market offers a vibrant community experience with a variety of fresh, locally sourced produce, unprocessed honey, farm-fresh eggs, and maple syrup. Enjoy music, local market creations, and engage with local farmers. The market also features monthly craft markets, cooking...
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Summer Concert Series at Lynch Park

Free Summer Concerts hosted by Bev Rec at Lynch Park in Beverly Massachusetts
Enjoy free concerts this Summer at Lynch Park in Beverly, Massachusetts!  Families are encourages to grab a chair and a blank and head to the park for a free concert at Lynch Park's ampitheater.
Where: Lynch Park
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Friday, June 14

Saugus Iron Works Park Grounds & Estuary Walk

Take a hike along the Saugus River Estuary ande explore the Saugus Iron Works Park grounds in Massachusetts
Learn about the natural world in Saugus while ecploring the park ground ast the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Massachusetts.
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Maudslay in Bloom Self-Guided Walk

 Maudslay in Bloom self guided walk at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport Massachusetts.
Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts, offers a delightful self-guided walk that is perfect for families with children. The park's 480-acre expanse, once the Moseley Estate, is rich with historical charm and natural beauty. Families can embark on a self-guided tour through lush...
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Babson Farm Quarry Self-guided Walking Tour at Halibut Point

Kids will enjoy this tour of the Halibut Point State Park and Quarry with a focus on its stone-cutting history!
Take a self guided tour at one of Massachusetts most beautiful locations!
7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Swan Boat Rides in Boston Public Garden

Swan Boat Boston North Shore Parent, North Shore Parents Summer Activities Guide
The Public Garden may be one of the most ideal picnicking locations in Boston. Well-groomed and overflowing with tulips, cherry-trees, with willows cascading over the duck pond, the Boston Public Garden is a great place to relax during Boston's most beautiful season.
10:00 am to 3:59 pm

Annual Art in the Barn Exhibit and Sale

Art in the Barn is a fundraiser for the Essex County Greenbelt Association Essex Mass
Art in the Barn is recognized as one of the North Shore’s premier art events, featuring the most talented artists in the region. An annual event for over 30 years, the show normally takes place at Greenbelt's headquarters, Cox Reservation in Essex, and this year we will bring the fine art paintings...
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Fathers Day Jet Rally Plum Island

The Fathers Day Jet Rally is hosted by Plum Island Airport RC Club in Newburyport Massachusetts!
Come to Plum Island during Fathers Day Weekend full of RC fun and flying! Spectators always welcome! This is a great opportunity to see some cool models!
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Inclyousion Sports at North Shore Children's Museum

Inclyousion Paly Session at the North Shore Children's Museum in Peabody Massachusetts
Join coaches from Inclyousion Sports at 10 AM to learn and play. Inclyousion Sports provides inclusive sports enrichment programs to children in Massachusetts, using innovative behavioral methods to teach sports, fitness, and social skills.
10:00 am to 11:00 am

Music Together - Friday

Marblehead, Beverly Farms, Hamilton, Salem, Peabody Music Together
Music Together® is a research-based music & movement program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and the grown-ups who love them. Music Together® classes make it easy for parents/primary caregivers to play a crucial role in activating their child's music development. Classes are 45 minutes...
10:30 am to 11:15 am

Kidleidoscope

Kidleidoscope at Maudslay State Park is a chance for preschoolers to explore the park, enjoy a story and make a craft!
Maudslay State Park has created this program for their youngest crowd! For the young set that loves nature, the park interpreter will lead a three-part preschool aged program that includes a story, craft & walk that involves outdoor exploration. A different nature topic each week so come every...
11:00 am

Saugus Iron Works House Tours

Free Ranger guided tours of the Saugus Iron Works House in Massachusetts
Join National Park staff at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for a 30-minute tour of The Iron Works House.
11:00 am