Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

87 Perkins Row
Topsfield, MA 01983

(978) 887-9264


Ipswich River, one of Mass Audubon’s largest sanctuaries, offers more than 12 miles of interconnecting trails that invite you to explore the forests, meadows, and wetlands.

Place Information

  • Place Category

    Venues, Parks

  • Place Cost Under $10
    $4 for nonmember adults $3 for nonmember children (2-12) and seniors

Word on the Street

Spring celebrations begin early at the sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse. On our naturalist-guided tours, learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, and watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse, where everyone gets a sweet taste of the final product. Afterwards, warm up in the Barn by the woodstove, indulge in a hot dog cooked in maple sap, sample our delicious soup and desserts made by our volunteers, or browse through our gift shop. Our syrup is available for sale (quantities may be limited). Tours last about an hour and run rain or shine.

On March 20th, you are invited to a special breakfast at the sanctuary and enjoy the fruit (OK - sap!) of our labor and our maple trees on some delicious pancakes. Pancakes with our own Ipswich River maple syrup, orange juice, fruit, and coffee, tea, or milk are on the menu. We will also have a few fabulous items in a Silent Auction. All proceeds will benefit the sanctuary's education programs. Join in a maple sugaring tour before or after breakfast and see and learn about the transformation of sap to syrup. Register for both breakfast and a tour and take $2.00 off your tour.

Breakfast Times: 8:15 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am, & 11:15 amSugaring Tour Times: 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and noonBreakfast Only: $5.50 adult, $3.50 children ages 3-8Sugaring Tour Only: $8.00 member, $9.00 nonmemberchildren: $7.00 member, $8.00 nonmemberSave $2.00 and sign up for breakfast and a tour:$11.50 member, $12.50 nonmemberchildren: $8.50 member, $9.50 nonmember

Instructions and Directions: Meets in the Barn. Fee includes breakfast and a tour. You may also register for just the breakfast or just a tour. Please choose a breakfast and tour time when you register. Dress warmly and wear warm waterproof boots because the walk is entirely outdoors. Children under 3 are free and should be in a backpack.


Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary: From the Parents


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