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Northeast

Appleton Farms

Hamilton & Ipswich

658 acres

Appleton Farm from the paddock

Wander past crop fields and cow pastures at one of the country’s oldest continuously operating farms.

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Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions
  • What You'll Find
  • Facilities
  • Venue Rental
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories

Overview

Rolling grasslands, grazing livestock, stone walls, vegetable crops, and historic farm buildings comprise this 1,000-acre pastoral landscape, offering a rare glimpse into New England’s agricultural past. A gift of Colonel Francis R. Appleton, Jr., and his wife Joan, Appleton Farms is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country, established in 1638 and maintained by nine generations of the Appleton family. Dairy cows graze out on pasture and are milked each morning while our free-range grass-fed beef herd are found on the rolling hills of the Great Pasture. During the haying season, the farm produces enough hay to feed the livestock all winter, and farm waste is composted and turned out on our fields. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and Appleton Farm Store provide farm fresh products and locally sourced artisan goods all year long.

Appleton Farms is home to a diverse mosaic of plant and wildlife species. The grasslands provide habitat for one of New England’s largest populations of bobolinks and meadowlarks, while the wetlands provide important spring feeding stops for migrating marsh birds and are home to frogs and salamanders, including the rare blue- and yellow-spotted salamander. Deer, fox, coyote, and mink are found in the fields, while the elusive fisher is common in the woodlands. Fall brings migrating hawks, and pine stands shelter owls in winter.

Ideas for Your Visit

Start your visit at the white farmhouse affectionately called the “Old House,” and easily find your way to our many hiking and walking trails. Follow the paths to Sunset Hill, Wilson’s Field, Briar Hill, The Great Pasture, The Plains, and beyond. Six miles of footpaths, bridle paths, and farm roads (easy walking and great for jogging strollers), some of which are part of the Bay Circuit Trail, crisscross the farm. Visit our busy events schedule online to sign up for guided tours, pasture walks, birding hikes, farmstead story hours, and our many other programs for all ages.

Pizza Picnics

Fridays, 3-7PM | Saturdays, 3-7PM | Sundays, 12Noon-4PM
(weather permitting through November)

Pizza Picnics at Appleton Farms features pizza baked in our wood fire oven, made fresh by hand when you order! Non-alcoholic beverages and assorted sweet treats are also available to purchase, as well as beer or wine from one of our local featured vendors (be sure to bring your ID!). Pick a spot anywhere on the grass for a picnic-style meal – picnic blankets are strongly encouraged!

Add a hayride through the farm on Friday evenings!

Tours

Guided tours are offered seasonally to explore this very special place and experience Appleton’s beauty, agricultural and ecological diversity, and history firsthand. Guests meet at the farmhouse affectionately called the “Old House,” the center of life at the farm for many decades and make their way over the railroad tracks and through the idyllic fields and pastures beyond. Space is limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended. Purchase tickets.

Admission & Hours

Nonmember parking fee: $5 weekdays/$10 weekends and holidays.

Members always park for FREE.

Directions

219 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
Telephone: 978.356.5728
Email: appletonfarms@thetrustees.org

Get directions on Google Maps

From Rt. 128, take Exit 20A, Rt. 1A North. Travel about 6.5 miles north on Rt. 1A and turn left at the Appleton Farms entrance sign (about 1/4 mile after the entering Ipswich sign on your left). Once inside the property, after the welcome gate, bear to the left for the CSA barn and bear to the right for the farm offices, farm store curbside pickup, trails, and public events and programs.

What You'll Find

While you are here, order online from our Appleton Farm Store at and pick up your local dairy, produce, meats and pantry staples before you leave. Or, pick them up during your visit and enjoy a picnic in the gorgeous Stone Paddock across from the Carriage Barn or in one of our many idyllic open meadows.

Appleton Farm Store – Now Open for Pick-Up Orders!
Tuesday – Friday: 11AM – 7PM
Saturday & Sunday: 10AM – 4PM

There are two ways to place an order at Appleton Farm Store:

In Advance: Pre-order items prior to your visit and they’ll be ready when you arrive. If you are a CSA member, order in time for your CSA pickup.

On Property: Place an order while on the property and choose “Pick Up” at checkout – your order will be ready within an hour. You’ll receive an email or text when ready.

Facilities

Restroom facilities are available at the Old House/Farm Offices building during public programs only

Venue Rental

Hold your wedding or special event at Appleton Farms. Visit here for more information or contact us at appletonfarms@thetrustees.org.

Property Map

More than six miles of footpaths, bridle paths, and farm roads, some of which are part of the Bay Circuit Trail, provide numerous opportunities to experience Appleton Farms’ stunning vistas and striking diversity of landscapes, both natural and man-made.

Another six miles of trails perfect for walking, hiking or running, are available at the connected Appleton Farms Grass Rides, where dog walking is also allowed.

Trails are open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset, see map below. When visiting, allow a minimum of 2 hours, 3 hours if also visiting Appleton Farms Grass Rides. You can download a Property Trail Map here.

Paths you’ll find on the property trail map include:

The Plains Loop – accessible from the farmstead’s Old House/Farm Offices parking lot or the Grass Rides parking lot, this 1.8-mile loop features leisurely walking and stunning views across the farm.

Farmstead Loop – accessible from our Farm Store or Waldingfield Road parking lots, this 1.3-mile loop offers a chance to view some of our working farm’s operations and the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Grass Rides Loop – accessible from the Grass Rides parking lot, this 2.0-mile loop takes you through the woodlands to Round Point, at the center of the Grass Rides.

C.L.A. Mile – named after Charles Lanier Appleton, this one-mile journey takes you through the woods, along the Great Pasture and past Pigeon Hill, which offers a spectacular view of the farm stretching out in front of you.

There are several additional maintained trails and roads which are available for walking, hiking, running, cross-country skiing or horseback riding. They will take you to historical spots like Briar Hill or across our cultivated fields, past wetlands and woodlands to the wide-open space of Williams Field.

We ask that you stay on marked paths and roads, observing which are for pedestrians and which for equestrians. Please note: Dog walking is allowed at the Grass Rides only.

While enjoying our trails, please remember that this is a working farm and respect livestock, farm equipment and electric fences. Vehicles are allowed on main entrance driveway and parking is permitted only in designated parking lots.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Authorized hunting is allowed on this reservation. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions, requirements, and rules. Regulations: Please stay on marked trails and avoid non-public areas.
  • Please do not open gates, disturb livestock, or interrupt farming operations.
  • Please be aware of – and respect – electric fencing and lines.
  • Dog walking is not permitted at Appleton Farms, but it is allowed at the adjacent Appleton Farms Grass Rides.
  • The reservation closes at sunset.
  • Public vehicles are allowed on main entrance driveways only.
  • Please respect the speed limit and yield to pedestrians and animals.
  • Please observe all posted signs.
Before Setting Out
More to Explore

Appleton Farm Store

Now Open for Pick-Up Orders!

 

There are two ways to place an order:

 

1. In Advance: Pre-order items prior to your visit and they’ll be ready when you arrive. If you are a CSA member, order in time for your CSA pickup.

2. On The Property: Place an order while on the property and choose “Pick Up” at checkout – your order will be ready within an hour. You’ll receive an email or text when ready.

Shop Online Now

Advance Passes

Advance parking passes may be purchased and are suggested for weekends at Appleton Farms.
Passes
Upcoming Events

Appleton Farms History

Appleton Farms is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in America. Established in 1638 by Samuel Appleton, who emigrated from Little Waldingfield, England, the farm is among the most influential in America’s agricultural history. For nearly four centuries, and over nine generations, the Appletons preserved their farm and maintained a successful agricultural operation.

The View From Here
See What People Say

Beautiful serene setting. History-filled. Great staff. A picture perfect view of New England.

Troy Nielsen, Facebook Review

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