Signup for our Newsletter

Receive our latest updates by signing up for our newsletter!

Expansive Views, Salt Marsh Habitat & Paddle Launch

Allyn Cox Reservation | Essex

Property Description & History

Stunning views of a breathtaking New England salt marsh, with an open field, bordered by hedgerow on the edge of a tidal estuary in the Great Marsh ecosystem. Nature enthusiasts, dog walkers, painters, canoers and birders visit throughout the seasons. Ospreys are often seen in a nesting platform in spring and summer.

Greenbelt headquarters is located here and serves as a venue for many events, such as the annual Art in the Barn exhibition. The property was settled by 1648 as a colonial salt marsh farm and for more than 350 years was a dairy farm and apple orchard.

The property was donated to Greenbelt by noted muralist Allyn Cox, whose work graces the U.S. Capitol Building. In 1940, Cox bought our current property as his summer home and made the barn into an art studio. He donated the property to Greenbelt in 1974.

Flora & Fauna

Dogwood, cherry, pear and apple blossoms make for a fragrant spring while hickory, sumac and goldenrod create a golden aura in autumn.

Shorebirds feed on the mud flats, and osprey, herons, egrets and kingfishers dine richly in the salt marsh. The old hayfields surrounding the house and barns are home to bobolinks, meadowlarks, and bluebirds.


82 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA 01929

GPS Location

Latitude 42.633830, Longitude -70.764614

Directions & Parking

From Route 128/Exit 15/School Street:

Go north on School Street/Southern Ave. towards Essex. In 3 miles, turn right onto Route 133/Eastern Avenue. In 0.5 miles, turn left at the Greenbelt sign. Trailhead and parking are 0.1 miles ahead.

From intersection of Route 22/Route 133 in Essex:

Go east on Route 133/Main Street. In 0.5 miles, bear left onto on Route 133/Eastern Avenue. In 0.5 miles, turn left at the Greenbelt sign. Trailhead and parking are 0.1 miles ahead.

Canoe Launch Guidelines: Launch at or near high tide. Drive down to Clam House Landing, drop off boat and gear, return car to parking area.

Tell us about your visit.

Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman /, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.