Road Scholar : Home
Cycling Along Massachusetts’ North Shore

Program Number: 13779RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 6/21/2015 - 6/26/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Ipswich, Massachusetts
Price starting at: $935.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

Ride through historic towns and over rural roads lined with centuries-old stone walls as a professional cycling guide leads you through one of America’s oldest settlement corridors, the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. Feel the sea breeze as you pedal through pristine natural habitat, with stops to see stately homes, local art and architecture, and gauge what has or has not changed since the days of the schooner. Learn and observe how the waves have shaped the land by listening to a local author and naturalist.




Highlights

• Engage in a cycling discovery of rich marine habitats, country roads, historic homes, and the rocky coasts.
• Explore the largest concentration of 17th-century houses as you ride through the rich Colonial and maritime history of Ipswich and Newburyport.
• Learn more about the historic architecture, unique history and famous residents that called Salem, and other North Shore towns, home.



Activity Particulars

Daily rides of 35-40 miles over rolling terrain at 11 mph; walks of one to two miles, stairs unavoidable; bike/helmet rentals available.




Date Specific Information

9-21-2014, 6-21-2015, 9-20-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Ipswich, 3 nights; coach to Newburyport, 2 nights; departure.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Ipswich

With more 17th-century houses than any town in the nation, historic Ipswich spans 33 miles of rolling landscape in northeastern Massachusetts. Abundant natural beauty accounts for the many nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries in the area.



Accommodations
Lovely 19th-century B&B and a charming historic inn.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Gordon Harris

Gordon Harris has been a cycling aficionado since 2000, leading groups throughout Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, New Hampshire, Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Quebec’s Eastern Townships and Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail. In 2005, Gordon moved to Ipswich, Mass., on Massachusetts’ North Shore and focuses his rides through the picturesque seacoast towns of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Essex and Newburyport. He knows all the best stops for fried clams and ice cream.
 
Bill Sargent

Bill is a consultant for the popular science show NOVA and author of a dozen books on science and the environment. He studied plankton at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and was the first director of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He has taught science writing at Harvard University and marine biology at the Briarwood Field Station in Bourne. Bill’s research on horseshoe crabs in Pleasant Bay was used in the creation of a reserve for this strategic biomedical resource.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Ipswich B&B or Kaede B&B at Town Hill
  Ipswich, MA 3 nights
   The Essex St Inn and Suites
  Newburyport 2 nights
 Ipswich B&B or Kaede B&B at Town Hill
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: There are two bed and breakfasts used for this program. The Robert Jordan House Circa 1863 (aka the Ipswich Bed and Breakfast) is an extraordinary Victorian home with fine Italianate detail. It sits on nearly an acre of terraced perennial gardens with walkways through the property designed to create a tranquil atmosphere. All bedrooms have a private bath, TV., queen beds and air conditioning. All are recently renovated and beautifully decorated. Contact the Ipswich B&B at (978) 356-2431, or visit their website at www.ipswichbedbreakfast.com. The Kaede B&B at Town Hill was built in 1850 and formerly known as the Coburn House, the Kaede B&B is located in a nationally registered historic district overlooking Ipswich center. They are steps from the Choate Bridge, considered one of the oldest stone arch bridges in the country, and minutes from Crane Beach. Contact the Kaede B&B at Town Hill at (978) 356-8000, or visit their website at www.kaedebb.com.
  Contact info: 2 East St or 16 North Main St
Ipswich, MA 01938 USA
phone: 978-356-2431 xor9783568000
  Room amenities: Ipswich B&B- All rooms have a private bath, TV, queen beds and air conditioning. All are recently renovated and beautifully decorated. Kaede B&B- All rooms feature brass beds and comfortable mattresses, private baths, 5 have fireplaces (decorative only).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call B&B for pricing/booking. Please contact Ipswich Inn or Kaede B&B to book additional nights.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 The Essex St Inn and Suites
Type: Inn
  Description: The Essex Street Inn and Suites is a charming, historic Inn nestled on a tree-lined street in the heart of downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts.
  Contact info: 7 Essex St
Newburyport, MA  USA
phone: 978-465-3148
web: www.essexstreetinn.com/index.html
  Room amenities: For the comfort and convenience of each guest, all rooms and suites feature private baths, high speed internet/wi-fi, air conditioning, satellite television, hair dryers, coffee pots, as well as other personal amenities that make each room truly your “home away from home”.
  Facility amenities: The Essex Street Inn and Suites also has a cozy breakfast room, complete with fresh-brewed coffees and teas, homemade muffins and pastries, jams, and the morning paper!
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: TBD Please call the Road Scholar Boston Office for more details, 617-521-5373.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in begins at 2:00 pm. Please meet at the Ipswich Inn at 4:00 pm. You will be receiving a call from the RS Coordinator to let you know which Inn you have been assigned to. You will be staying at Ipswich B&B or Kaede B&B at Town Hill that night.
  End of Program:
Check-out by 11 am at the Essex St Inn. You will be staying at The Essex St Inn and Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Please fill out and return the bike information form. You mail, email or fax this form to Road Scholar Boston Programming Office. Details can be found on the form.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ipswich, MA
  Nearest city or town:  Ipswich
  Nearest highway: Route 1A, Route 133, Route 1, Route 95
  Nearest airport:  Logan Airport, Boston
  From End of Program
  Location:  Newburyport
Travel Details
 

Boston's North Station to Ipswich

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
MBTA Newburyport Line http://mbta.com

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$8.75 (+ $2.00 rush hour surcharge if ticket is purchased on board, not at kiosk in Boston)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

50 minute ride to Ipswich 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Board any Newburyport bound train from North Station. Train arrivals/departures are infrequent outside rush hours. Check schedule at www.mbta.com. Purchase Zone 6 tickets from MBTA kiosks in any subway station or in North Station. Upon arriving at the Ipswich Station, walk or take a taxi northeast down Market St. Stay left and Market St. turns into N. Main St. Stay left again on N. Main Street, and the Kaede B&B will be on your right. The Ipswich Inn B&B is at the end of N. Main St. on East St.

 

Newburyport/Rockland Line to Boston's North Station.

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
MBTA Newburyport Line http://mbta.com

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$8.75 (+ $2.00 rush hour surcharge if ticket is purchased on board)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

6 minute drive 

 

Distance:

 

1.3 miles

   

The program ends in Newburyport, MA. Newburyport is the northern terminus of the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail system. From the Inn, head northwest on Essex St toward State St and turn left. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exist onto Newburyport Turnpike/Traffic Circle. Turn left toward Hill St, then turn right onto Parker St. Take the 1st left onto Boston Way and the station will be on the right, 25 Boston Way. Take inbound train to North Station located in Boston.

 
Driving Directions
  Coming From Maine and Points North IPSWICH INN BED & BREAKFAST: Take Route 95 South to Exit 54 Route 133 East. Cross Route 1, follow 133 to Ipswich Center. Turn left at center. As you start up the hill two churches will suddenly come into view. Bear left immediately in front of the church in front of you. Follow the road, North Main Street, 3/10 of a mile to the end. At the end of North Main Street you will be at another intersection. There will be a small traffic island to your left. Our house is across the street. It has a flag on the front porch. Park out front, come up the stairs and ring the bell. Alternate Route from Maine and Points North: To avoid the downtown area coming south on Route 133, just stay straight at the Dunkin Donuts. There will be a cemetery to your left. You will be on High Street. High Street becomes East Street after about a half mile. We are the first house on East Street on the left, number 2. KAEDE BED & BREAKFAST: Take Route 95 South to Exit 54 Route 133 East. Cross Route 1, follow 133 to Ipswich Center. When you see the Choate Pub on the right corner, turn left. As you start up the hill two churches will suddenly come into view. Bear left immediately in front of the church in front of you. Follow the road, North Main Street, and Kaede B&B will be on your right - on street parking is available.
  From Logan Airport, Boston and points South IPSWICH INN BED & BREAKFAST: Take 95 North to exit 50 Route 1 North. Follow Route 1 North (Past Topsfield Fair grounds). About 4.4 miles to the third traffic light. Turn right. You will be on Ipswich Road, which becomes Topsfield Road; this road takes you to downtown Ipswich, about 5 miles. As you are coming into the downtown area you will go over railroad tracks. Follow the road you are on for a short distance. You will come to a main intersection and the Choate Bridge Pub will be to your right. Turn left crossing the intersection and up the hill. As you start up the hill two churches will suddenly come into view. Bear left immediately in front of the church in front of you. Follow the road, North Main St to the end. At the end of North Main Street you will be at another intersection. There will be a small traffic island to your left. Our house is across the street, number 2 East Street. Park out front, come up the stairs and ring the bell, or drive around back and use the back office entrance. KAEDE BED & BREAKFAST: Take 95 North to exit 50 Route 1 North. Follow Route 1 North for about 22 miles (Past Topsfield Fair grounds). Turn right at Ipswich Road, which becomes Topsfield Road and finally turns into Market St; this road takes you to downtown Ipswich, about 5 miles. Once in downtown Ipswich, you will stay on Market St and cross over Route 1A/133 and continue up the slight hill. Turn Right at N. Main St, followed by taking your three Lefts (also N. Main St.) to circle around. Kaede B&B will be on your right - on street parking is available.
  From Newburyport to I-95 From the Inn, head northwest on Essex St toward State St and turn left. Turn right onto High St, then take a slight left onto Storey Ave. This road will take you to I-95.
Elevation Note: 50 feet above sea level

Equipment Requirements: It is expected that most participants will bring their own bicycles and helmets. If not, a limited number of bicycles and helmets are available for rent. Participants can rent either hybrid or road bikes for $100 for the week. Contact Mr. Harris at Bike New England to reserve a bike for rental, (978) 979-6598 or bikenewengland@yahoo.com.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and registration/Orientation/ Optional ride to Jeffrey's Neck
(Sunday, September 21)

Note: Optional Ride (10 miles)



   
 Arrive To: Arrive on Sunday afternoon and check in at your designated Inn. You will receive a call from the Road Scholar Boston Coordinator prior to the program, letting you know which Inn you have been assigned to. Everyone is to meet at the Ipswich Inn by 4:00 pm. Get bikes fitted and checked. We'll take a short optional ride to Jeffrey's Neck. Crossing the Great Salt Marsh, enjoy a spectacular view of Plum Island, Cape Ann and the Atlantic.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner together
 Evening: Orientation will include introductions and an informal talk about the Ipswich area and the upcoming week's program.
   
Accommodations: Ipswich B&B or Kaede B&B at Town Hill
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Historic Salem
(Monday, September 22)

Note: Today's ride is 32 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy homemade breakfast at the B&B.
 Morning: After breakfast at the inns, we head out past scenic meadows on an easy ride through neighboring Hamilton. Crossing the harbor to historic Salem, we stop for a break at the Salem Visitors Center, run by the National Park Service.
 Lunch: Lunch in Salem
 Afternoon: After lunch, we spend a couple of hours in town so that you have the chance to visit the Salem Witch Museum, the House of Seven Gables or the Salem Maritime National Historic Site! Our return takes us through historic downtown Beverly and Hamilton and past scenic Appleton Farm.
 Dinner: Dinner in Ipswich.
 Evening: This evening enjoy an interpretive visit to the Ipswich Riverwalk Mural by artist Alan Pearsall. Learn more about the history of Ipswich during this beautiful and relaxing walk.
   
Accommodations: Ipswich B&B or Kaede B&B at Town Hill
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Manchester by the Sea/Cape Ann
(Tuesday, September 23)

Note: Today's ride is 35 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy homemade breakfast at the B&B.
 Morning: Today's 35 mile ride takes us along the wooded back roads until we reach Manchester by the Sea on Cape Ann. After a short break, we'll continue along the rocky Atlantic shoreline in tiny Magnolia.
 Lunch: Lunch at Lobsta Land in West Gloucester.
 Afternoon: Long distance cyclists may wish to continue to Stage Fort Park in Gloucester to view the Fisherman's memorial statues along the waterfront. After lunch, our route circles back past glacial erratics and through the salt marsh to historic Essex, one of colonial America's first ship-building towns. Essex has over thirty antique shops within a mile of each other, all housed in antique buildings.
 Dinner: Dinner in Essex
 Evening: Enjoy a presentation and slide show by Bill Sargent, naturalist.
   
Accommodations: Ipswich B&B or Kaede B&B at Town Hill
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Ipswich River Ride Through Essex National Heritage Area/Topsfield/Crane Beach/ Transfer to Newburyport
(Wednesday, September 24)

Note: Today's ride is 20-25 miles with a free late afternoon in Newburyport.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy homemade breakfast at the B&B.
 Morning: Once we check out of the inn, we'll ride some of our favorite scenic roads in the Essex Natural Heritage Area, passing through beautiful preserved lands owned by the Trustees of Reservations, Massachusetts Audubon, and the Massachusetts park system. After turning on to stone-walled Waldingfield Road, we'll enjoy an easy ride on the paved path through Bradley Palmer State Park.
 Lunch: Lunch is not included but your Program Leader will make some excellent recommendations for lunch restaurants in Ipswich.
 Afternoon: After lunch participants may wish to cycle 5 miles out to Crane Beach. Then we will depart 15 miles to our second accommodation in Newburyport, a gorgeous, small city on the Merrimack River. Once you are settled, you will have the chance to explore this on your own!
 Dinner: Dinner on own
 Evening: Free evening to rest or go to the optional basic bicycle tune up and repair workshop with your tour guide.
   
Accommodations: The Essex St Inn and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: The Merrimack River/The Great Salt Marsh/ Free Evening
(Thursday, September 25)

Note: Morning ride: 23 miles. Afternoon ride: 10 miles



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy homemade breakfast at the B&B.
 Morning: This morning's 23 mile ride takes us on the Clipper City Rail Trail, past the Artichoke Reservoirs and along the Merrimack River to West Newbury. We cross the historic Rocks Village Bridge and return along the north side of the river in Amesbury. Crossing the river again at the Chain Bridge, we ride past elegant Federal era homes on High Street back to downtown Newburyport for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at downtown Newburyport
 Afternoon: This 10 mile ride takes us through historic neighborhoods to the South Green in Newbury. Along the way we pass the Sweet-Ilsley House circa 1670 and the Spencer-Little Farm, built in the late 17th Century. We continue past Old Town Hill into the heart of the Great Salt Marsh before returning to town. The 24 mile route goes to West Newbury and includes a few miles along the river. The 15 mile route skips West Newbury and the river ride.
 Dinner: Dinner in Newburyport with a free evening and/or leisurely walk through historic neighborhoods of Newburyport!
   
Accommodations: The Essex St Inn and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Plum Island/Parker River Wildlife Refuge
(Friday, September 26)

Note: Today's ride is 16 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy homemade breakfast at the B&B.
 Morning: We'll head out a little earlier this morning for a scenic 16 mile ride that takes us out to America's first national seashore. We make a brief stop at the Joppa Flats Audubon Center on our return to the inn, in time for 11:00 am checkout and departure.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Ipswich, MA Free afternoon
On day 4 there is a free afternoon, when there are many, many options. Right in Ipswich is beautiful 4 1/2 mile long Crane Beach, several hundred acres of walking trails through the properties owned by the Trustees of Reservations (Appleton Farms, the Crane Estate, Greenwood Farm), hiking and biking trails along the Bay Circuit Trail, Willowdale State Forest, Bradley Palmer State Park, Strawberry Hill, and a number of trails in the Essex County Greenbelt; three historic houses to visit; the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary; canoeing on the Ipswich River. Very close to Ipswich are all the beautiful and interesting towns of Boston's North Shore: Gloucester, Salem, Rockport, Newburyport, Beverly, Danvers, etc. Boston is just a 53 minute train ride away. Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a 35 minute drive and Maine is just an hour away.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


House on Ipswich Marsh


Author: Sargent, William


Description: As suggested reading we recommend "House on Ipswich Marsh" by Bill Sargent. If you are really ambitious, any history books on 17th century Puritans, historic homes or colonial life in New England will set the mood for your journey back in time to this historic area.



Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony


Author: George Francis Dow


Description: Product Description: Comprehensive, reliable account of 17th-century life in one of country’s earliest settlements. Contemporary records, over 100 historically valuable pictures vividly describe early dwellings, furnishings, medicinal aids, wardrobes, trade, crimes, punishment, much more. "...beautifully made, interestingly illustrated."—New York Times.



Additional Books


Author: Various


Description: If you are really ambitious, any history books on 17th century Puritans, historic homes or colonial life in New England will really set the mood for your journey back in time to this historic area.



The View From Strawberry Hill: Reflections on the Hottest Year on Record


Author: William Sargent


Description: Science writer William Sargent had intended to take a break from writing about the world’s environmental crises to “tend to his own garden.” Yet, as the hottest year on record unfolded with a series of massive fires, floods and the most devastating storm ever to hit the East Coast, it became increasingly difficult to keep the focus inward. What results is a raucous jaunt from his home in Ipswich Massachusetts to the far corners of the Globe to chronicle these events. In the end he draws hope from science, nature and his own deep and abiding sense of the earth and universal spirituality.





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