Clipper City Rail Trail to the Harborwalk, Newburyport, MA

The Clipper City Rail Trail (3.3 miles, paved) connects the MBTA commuter rail station to the Harborwalk along the waterfront. A newer section follows the bank of the Merrimack River to Water Street and connects through the South End under High Street to Parker Street in Newbury.

Here are the details about this trail:

  • 📍 GPS: You can access the trail from many locations, but we recommend 40 Parker St. (see info below) – windmill located at end of lot
  • 🅿️ Parking: this is the lot that Riverwalk Brewing Co. is located in. Very large lot near the trail.
  • 🥾 Length: 3-4 miles
  • ⛰️ Elevation gain: 49 ft
  • ⚙️ Difficulty Rating: Easy (see our Trail Rating & Pace Guide)
  • 🕥 Time: we recommend 2-3 hours since there is so much to see and do
  • 🚶🏽 Pace: Stroll to Moderate so dogs can sniff
  • 🐕 Reactive Dog Rating: Level 3-4 (see our Reactive Dog Comfort Level Chart) – busy during warm weather
  • ✔️ Restroom: There are seasonal port-a-pottys near Cashman Park at the Harbormaster’s Office
  • 📱 Cell service (we use Verizon)
  • 🚫 Hunting: not allowed
  • 🐶 Dogs must be on leash
  • 💩 Please pick up your dog’s waste and carry out
  • 🌐 Website
  • 💧 Dogs can access the water at low tide (see below)
    The trail showcases sculptures, a gallery of local paintings, gardens, a model train, and many other fun novelties.

There are several areas to park for free and walk the trail. You can find this information at CoastalTrails.org.

Usually, we park in the large parking lot where the Riverwalk Brewing Co. is located. Take a left out of this parking lot and meet up with the trail. Follow it to the waterfront for as far as you want to walk.

There are lots of great places to stop along the trail for pictures. This part of the trail is usually quieter although you will encounter bicyclists. The area off the paved trail is grassy and wide so you will be able to easily redirect your dog and step off trail if needed.

At the waterfront, you can turn left towards Cashman Park and walk the short path to the end where you will find a port-a-potty (seasonal). There is also a small field for off-leash play with your dog from 7:30 – 9:00am and 4:00 – 7:00pm daily as well as swimming opportunities along the shore depending on the tides.

If you turn right at the waterfront, you walk towards town along the Harborwalk along the Merrimack River where you may encounter many people and dogs. This becomes a busy area in warm weather and may not be a comfortable environment for your sensitive dog. There are, however, many fun areas to try urban parkour.

After you have finished exploring, backtrack to the Riverwalk Brewery and enjoy lunch and a beer at the outside dog-friendly patio. Dogs are not allowed inside so you need to access the outside patio around the end of the building.

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