Who We Are

Imagine being able to travel from the revitalized mill town of Amesbury to the beaches of the Salisbury Beach State Reservation; from shopping in historic Newburyport to the natural sites of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newbury – all without getting in your car.

The Coastal Trails Network is an emerging 30-mile, public system of multi-use off-road bicycle and pedestrian trails and bike lanes linking the unique coastal features, town centers, neighborhoods and transportation hubs in the communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. With over 20 miles completed the trail network offers residents and visitors a healthy, alternative means of exercising, shopping, commuting or simply enjoying the region’s abundant natural, historic and cultural resources.

Who We Are

Coastal Trails Coalition (CTC) is composed of citizens and communities in the Lower Merrimack Valley who work together to advocate for and develop the Coastal Trails Network, a public system of interconnected bicycle and pedestrian trails that is enhancing local recreation, conservation, education, and tourism opportunities.

CTC is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to assist in developing the Coastal Trails Network, a 30-mile network of rail trails and bikeways connecting the communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. Formed in 2004 with the support of the Essex National Heritage Commission, the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program, and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, CTC continues to be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization with no paid employees. Donations to CTC are tax deductible as charitable donations. CTC invests 100% of donations, grants and membership contributions in the trail network.

Activities and sites along the trail

The Coastal Trail Network is ideal for walkers, runners, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, wheelchair users, hikers and others who want to enjoy the region’s natural beauty and historic resources.

Wildlife and Wetlands:  Passing through one of the most pristine natural areas on the East Coast, the trails offer tremendous opportunity to observe a variety of animal and bird species and plant life.

Beaches and Recreation:  The trails connect miles of sandy ocean beaches that offer swimming, fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing and kayaking.

Historic Treasures: Lying within the federally-designated Essex National Heritage Area, historic and natural sites along the trail illuminate nearly 400 years of our nation’s history.

Dining, Cultural Activities and Shopping:  Delightful regional dining offerings and a large arts community provide unique trailside shopping and cultural activities.

Current Status of Trails

See The Trail Network pages for more information about the individual trails and an overall network map;

Future Plans

See the Coastal Trails Coalition 2017 Progress Report for information on trail projects now underway.

How are trail development and related projects funded?

The Coastal Trails Network is being built using a combination of federal, state, local and private funds, including foundation grants and donations from corporations and individuals.