A substantial part of Whittier Hill, an important link in Amesbury’s conservation corridor, was permanently preserved through a community-based fundraising campaign. The partnership protected a valuable conservation corridor with important woodlands, including the last remaining unprotected ridge line in Amesbury.
A meandering loop trail under the high canopy of a mixed hardwood forest leads visitors to the top of Whittier Hill and its spectacular views of the surrounding area, including Woodsom Farm and Lake Gardner.
The trail system climbs a route that had evolved from a Native American path to carriage road to trail in the town’s history.
Whittier Hill is named for Thomas Whittier who sailed for America in 1638, though it was pronounced Whitcher Hill by locals from the early years of Amesbury. Thomas Whittier’s great-grandson, America’s "Quaker Poet" and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whitter, lived in a home below the hill for 56 years. His home is now a National Historic Landmark, open to visitors.
Though he was color blind, John Greenleaf Whittier was known to climb the hill to watch the setting sun, and the view from Whittier Hill is described in the opening lines of his poem The Preacher.
Flora & Fauna
Game trails used by deer, coyote and other woodland animals crisscross the hill, and owls and hawks can be seen and heard overhead during different seasons. Springtime migratory warblers also abound along the trail, which eventually connects into a more extensive trail system at Woodsom Farm.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.