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Town: West Newbury
Total Acres: 93
Year Conserved: 1990 - 2020
The Pike's Bridge Road Conservation Area is located across Indian Hill Street from Greenbelt’s Indian Hill Farm. A trail takes hikers or horseback riders through fields to Pike's Bridge Road, one of the best birding locations in Essex County.
Known as "Warbler Alley," Pike's Bridge Road has long been regarded as one of the migratory hot spots in Eastern Massachusetts for the wide variety of spring warblers and other songbirds that pass through there.
Now birders, walkers, bicyclists and riders can enjoy a smooth, rut- and mud-free walk the length of the road, between Garden Street and Turkey Hill Road. The road has changed little since colonial times and offers a scenic 1/2 mile walk past the Artichoke River.
The area was the site of an Algonquian agricultural village. In addition to corn, the Indigenous people grew squash, beans, pumpkins, and sunflowers, which are native to New England and have edible tubers. The Algonquians used juniper berries in fermentation, poultices, and medicines, and they flavored and colored their corn mashes with goldenrod flowers.
1.2 miles of easy terrain.
The result of a decades-long partnership between Essex County Greenbelt, local officials, citizens of West Newbury and property owners committed to protecting this land from development, Pike Bridge Road Conservation Area exemplifies Greenbelt’s efforts to make contiguous our patchwork of protected lands.
Atherton Field was a critical link in creating Greenbelt’s Indian Hill Conservation Area, a 333-acre emerald necklace of protected lands and public trails that provide opportunities for walking and riding throughout West Newbury. The trails that cross the field today were cleared in the 1950s by Lee Atherton of Amesbury.
Greenbelt acquired additional parcels in 1997, 1999, and 2014. In 2020, the 21-acre Colby Field was acquired completing a ribbon of protected land along Pikes Bridge Road that includes wetlands, woodlands and open fields, protecting valuable habitat and the Artichoke River Reservoir watershed.
Pike's Bridge Road Conservation Area is part of the Indian Hill Conservation Area.
Migrant warblers and songbirds are abundant in spring, especially along the “warbler alley” section of Pike's Bridge Road. Look for raptors soaring above Indian Hill. Stop and listen from field edges at dawn and dusk in spring for the Woodcock courtship flight. Deer and turkey are common.
In summer, wildflowers are abundant. Upland wooded areas are dominated by red oak, red maple and white pine. Lower, wetter areas form the water supply for the Artichoke River Reservoir and include open meadows and fields with sedges, rushes and cool-season grasses.
Indian Hill Street, West Newbury (Opens in Google Maps)
Latitude: 42°47'08.4"N, Longitude: 70°56'44.8"W
From Route 95, take the Scotland Road Exit (Exit 83) toward West Newbury. This becomes South Street. Take a right onto Indian Hill Street. The Greenbelt Parking Lot is about 3/4 mile on your left. Enter the Atherton Trail across the street from Greenbelt's parking lot on Indian Hill Road.
82 Eastern Avenue
PO Box 1026
Essex, MA 01929
e. Contact by Email
Greenbelt thanks the photographers whose work is featured prominently on our website: Jerry Monkman, Dorothy Monnelly, Adrian Scholes, David Alden St. Pierre & Neil Ungerleider