Hiking at Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Hiking at Crane EstateLocation: Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA
Date: July 20, 2014
Distance: .62 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 68 feet
Our Hiking Time: 27 minutes
Trail Blaze: None, but there are maps posted.
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Map

We are not generally beach people, but with crawling twins and a four-year old who loves jumping waves, the beach has become our new hangout. Needless to say, when my friend Jenn suggested a hike at Crane Beach on the Trustees of Reservations’ Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA, I thought it would be a fun adventure for me and Addie. Evan came along as well, hitching a ride in my Deuter Kid Carrier while Jenn’s daughter, Abby, enjoyed her view from Jenn’s Kelty Kid Carrier. Our friend Emily, visiting from Colorado, tagged along to see the Atlantic Ocean.

Hiking on Crane Estate

Addie, Jenn, Abby and Emily!

Hiking at Crane Estate

We started our hike from the Crane Beach parking lot, following the green trail. As soon as we set foot on the sandy trail, we spotted blackberries! Popping a few ripe ones into our mouths, we hiked under a canopy of trees and over a wooden footbridge.

Jenn and Abby hiking at the Crane Estate

The trees gave way to rolling, grassy dunes, and it wasn’t long before we all kicked off our shoes and hiked barefoot. Addie had a blast, alternately running far ahead of us, and plopping in the sand to bury her feet.

Addie running ahead on the trails at Crane Estate Addie running ahead on the trails at Crane EstateWe meant to follow the green trail to the orange and red trails to complete a small loop, but we veered left onto the section of green trail that led to Crane Beach.

It was a happy mistake, as by then we were ready for some lunch, and the kids were excited to play in the sand. Addie jumped waves with Emily, while Evan and Abby dug and played with seashells.

Summer fun at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA Summer fun at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA Summer fun at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA Summer fun at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA Summer fun at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MASummer fun at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA

I’d never been to Crane Beach before – it was awesome! Not at all crowded, and the water of Ipswich Bay was gentle enough for Addie to splash around.

The dunes overlooking Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA

The dunes overlooking Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA

We only explored a small part of the 5.5 miles of trails through the sand dunes and salt water marshes on the Crane Estate, which also includes Castle Hill and the Crane Wildlife Refuge. With so much more to see, we will definitely be making a return trip!

Know Before You Go

Entrance Fees: Make sure you check the Trustees of Reservations website for the current fees for Crane Beach, as they vary depending on the day.

Hours: Year round, 8am to sunset daily.

Amenities: In season (summer) includes restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and the Crane Beach Store. Off season there are only porta-potties on site.

Directions to the Trailhead

From Rt. 128 North: Exit 20A, take Rt. 1A north for 8 mi. to Ipswich. Turn right onto Rt. 133 East and follow for 1.5 mi. Turn left onto Northgate Rd. and follow for 0.5 mi. Turn right onto Argilla Rd. and follow for 2.5 mi. to entrance and parking at end of road.

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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