The Danvers-Wenham SwampWalk – A Wildlife Gem Right off the Rail Trail.
The SwampWalk is a wooden, pile-supported walkway across the southern portion of Wenham Great Swamp and Ipswich River Basin (which includes Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary). The walkway straddles the Towns of Danvers and Wenham and loops about a third of a mile through a remote tussock marsh area. You can enter the walkway via access points at each end of the loop, off the Danvers-Wenham Rail Trail.
The boardwalk crosses two small islands, and includes an open viewing platform with a picnic table and benches. There are additional benches along the way.
Beavers actively work the area in and around the SwampWalk, maintaining two large beaver lodges and a fairly long beaver dam. Trees felled by the beavers can be seen all along the boardwalk. Other wildlife include painted and snapping turtles, frogs, various snakes, occasional deer, eagles, hawks, and other birdlife.
During the mid to late 1900’s the pond was used for private duck hunting by the owners of Choate Farm.
Getting to the SwampWalk.
Parking is available at the trail crossing at Route 97 in Wenham, across the street from Putnamville Park on Wenham Street, Choate Farm off Locust Street, or the Hobart Street lot in downtown Danvers.
From the Route 97, its about ½ mile walk/ride south though Great Wenham Swamp to the northern SwampWalk entrance.
From the Choate Farm parking, area you walk about 1/3 mile though the Choate Farm forest area (paths are marked) down on to the Danvers Rail Trail, where you turn left and walk another 1/3 of a mile to the southern SwampWalk entrance.
From the Hobart Street lot, the SwampWalk is about a 2.5 mile walk/ride north from downtown Danvers.
The SwampWalk is supported through an all-volunteer effort. Contributions are gratefully accepted to maintain the walkway and keep the trail clear. Checks should be made out to: Town of Danvers – SwampWalk, and addressed to Susan Fletcher, Planning Dept, Danvers Town Hall, Danvers MA 01923.
More info on the SwampWalk in Facebook.