Acquired in 1997,
Riverbend Conservation Area is 68 acres and consists of gently sloping forest, wooded wetlands, a
former agricultural field, plus a freshwater tidal marsh
extending inland from the Merrimack River and includes a portion of
the Indian River. The freshwater tidal marsh is one of the few
such places remaining in Massachusetts. This property abuts
Riverbend West, also called the Page School property, which contains
129 acres of town-owned municipal land. In 2010, a public
trail easement was added to a development on Coffin Street,
providing access from Coffin Street to the Indian River Dam Ruins, a
very scenic and historical spot in the heart of this forest.
The West Newbury
Conservation Commission oversees the management, maintenance and
operation of Riverbend and delegates responsibilities as it sees
fit. The Open Space Committee, Parks and Recreation
Commission, Mill Pond Committee, Dept. of Public Works and Board of
Selectmen also participate in the development of plans and
management of the property and connections to other trails.
habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including bald eagles
that over-winter on the property, diverse populations of large and
small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, shorebirds, ducks, geese,
gulls, songbirds, birds of prey, short-nosed sturgeon, river
herring, as well as rare plants both on the property and in the
abutting marshes. Click this link for more details:
Land Use Management Plan (2009)
What's to see in Riverbend?
Click here to see trail map available:
New Riverbend West Trails:
A new trail network was added in 2013 connecting Coffin
Street to the Indian River Dam Ruins. This trail features a
50' boardwalk crossing wetlands thru a newly acquired public trail
easement. The Myopia, Cedar Ridge and River's Edge Trails
merge at the bridges crossing the Indian River, where the former dam
and dike is located. Named in honor of the high school seniors
who carried the bridge materials to the site, the Pentucket Trail
provides a direct, albeit steep, route up to the Page School with
better access to Route 113. The boardwalks and bridges were
built by SCA AmeriCorps in July 2014 using Town CPA funds.
Riverbend Trail: From Mill Pond's upper parking lot, cross Route 113
to enter the trail. The old cow pasture was part of a dairy
farm used by Mingo family, who purchased the land in the 1930s.
The property was previously owned by E. Moody Boynton, who was the
inventor of the crosscut saw and monorail. The trail crosses
several stonewalls built by settlers in the 17th and 18th century.
The remains of a former ski tow used from 1960 to 1972, can be found
which extends to the summit just below the Page School. The
trail travels east and links to a large hay field, ideal for
cross-country skiing and horseback riding. The old cellar hole
is the former Griffin Home Site built in 1729. Rumors have it
the foundation hole during prohibition.
Road Trail: An ancient trail once used by Native Americans to
reach summering grounds on Plum Island. Rare wild rice paddies can
be seen growing along the Merrimack River. The bridge
spanning over the Indian River was built in 1999 and allows foot,
bicycle and equestrian crossings. The bridge and Tupelo Trail provide a beautiful, quick visit to one of the most scenic places in
West Newbury any time of year.
Indian River Trail: This footpath begins at
the Merrimack River and meanders thru the Riverbend forest over to
the Indian River. The trail follows rare freshwater tidal
estuaries, first protected in 1686 to "be free as far as the tide
flows for the passing and re-passing of boats and canoes." The
trail passes thru virgin stands of oak and beech trees and reaches a scenic point
where Native Americans once used this location as a canoe stop and
campsite. The trail ends at the remains of a former
sawmill and dam, built by Sgt. Joseph Pike in 1706. To help
protect sensitive vegetation, no horses are permitted.
Page Trail: From Pipestave Hill's
parking lot, cross Route 113 and enter the trail next to the water
tower. The trail is fairly steep as it goes down the hill,
where it eventually joins the Riverbend and Indian River Trails.
In July 2014, three bridges were
added to the Riverbend trail network, creating a
for both the Page
School children and the community for generations to come.
Town CPA funds were used to
finance the project. ECTA performed the necessary
permitting. SCA AmeriCorps was hired to build the bridges.
As a winner of SCA's
Annual Trail Award, the project
was $10,000 below budget; a 25% cost savings to the Town. Local
volunteers and help from 50 Pentucket High School Seniors, who
hauled the lumber to the sites, contributed to this effort.
Daily News: August 25, 2014
Plans, Locations, etc.
1 NOI Wetland Permit
2 NOI Wetland Permit
here to Support and Join ECTA