Just outside Newburyport we stumbled across the very beautiful Maudslay State Park, where on-leash dogs are allowed. Maudslay is not your average state park. You will find the sidewalks of Beacon Hill much more difficult to navigate than Maudslay’s carpet-like trail system. The fields and woods almost seem manicured to eke out every bit of beauty from the picturesque landscape of rolling fields, tall pines and views overlooking the Merrimack river. This was, after all, once an estate of the prominent Moseley family.
Dog Walking On An Old Newbury Estate
These days Maudslay State Park is a great place to go for a long walk or run with your dog. The trail system of this 480 acre state park includes a cross country running trail, wood chips and all. During the winter, we look forward to returning as it will be a great place to go snowshoeing with our dog. The tall pines make Maudslay an absolutely beautiful place to go any time of the year.
The trails twist through the woods and along the steep banks of the Merrimack river. Most of the areas we explored were high above the river with great views but difficult access. There was one trail along the river that has been closed off. I gather if open, we would have found an access point where our dog could have cooled off in the water.
In the middle of the park, we did find the impressive stone bridge; a perfect place to take a few photos. There are other bridges crossing ponds and walkways scattered throughout the park making this an even more interesting place to explore. We have added this to our list of places to check out during fall foliage season.
The Bald Eagles
I was surprised to learn that Bald Eagles are nesting in the tall yellow pines that make up much of the thick woods. There were areas along the riverbanks closed off to allow Bald Eagles a place to nest. However, in the middle of the park we watched a Bald Eagle (I assume, it was huge), swoop down from a tree to pounce on its prey. We spent the next five minutes watching it defend its dinner from the other birds. This was one of those moments I was thankful our English Pointer was on a leash.
Maudslay is an On-Leash Park
There are signs that dogs need to be on a leash and while we were there I did not see a single dog off-leash. Do not go to Maudslay expecting a social scene of dogs and owners. As people pass by it is more of a polite nod at best. However, if you are looking for a place to get away from off-leash dogs you should give Maudslay State Park a shot. Either way, the beauty of the area makes the trip worthwhile.
Directions, Parking and a Few Tips
Maudslay State Park is relatively close to the I-95, Newburyport Exit #57. The parking lot is at 74 Curzon Mill Road. Make sure you bring $2 for parking to feed the ticket machine. I also suggest fresh water for the dog, poop bags and a little bug spray might be necessary, although while we were there mosquitos were not a problem. Also, always be aware of deer ticks, especially with the presence of the wood chips along the cross country trail. Ticks love wood chips. The garbage cans are only near the parking lot so try to get the dog to go before you leave the lot. You may also consider packing a picnic – the rolling fields are a breathtaking spot for a picnic.