Wander past crop fields and cow pastures at one of the country’s oldest continuously operating farms.
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.
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.
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.
Nonmember parking fee: $6 weekdays/$10 weekends and holidays.
Members always park for FREE.Advance Tickets
219 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
From Rt. 128, take Exit 45B, 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.
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 – Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm
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.
Public restrooms are located in the Carriage Barn. During events and programs at the Farmhouse, restrooms in that building are also available.
Accessible bathrooms for the general public at the Carriage Barn (currently available on weekends and/or during public programs). During private events that use the Old House/Farm Offices, there are accessible bathrooms in that building for event attendees to use.
Accessible parking spots at both the Old House/Farm Offices and the Grass Rides. There are signs posted designating those parking spots. There are two of them at the Old House, right along the side of the building, close to the side door, and one of them at the Grass Rides, right near the pay station location.
Some trails might be considered wheelchair friendly. The ones on the Farmstead side of the property, around the Old House, Farm Store, and a few of the trails over our railroad bridge and onto the other side of the property are wide, flat, dirt roads.
Appleton Farms, a one thousand-acre property located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, is known for its preserved New England charm. Spring events will be backdropped by blooming wildflowers, song birds and the deep greens of the working farm. In the fall, the venue will offer cascades of oranges and yellows when the ancient Maple trees that line many of the fields change for the new season. Our pastoral vistas, historic farmhouse, hours of walking trails, and wide variety of programming provide an idyllic setting and immersive experience to celebrate any occasion.Learn More
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.
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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.
Beautiful serene setting. History-filled. Great staff. A picture perfect view of New England.
– Troy Nielsen, Facebook Review
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