Greenwood Farm
Ipswich, MA
216 acres
Bird Watching Cross-country skiing/Snowshoeing Hunting Mountain Biking Not Permitted Walking/Hiking (Easy) Picnicking Guided Tours Historic House or Structure

About Greenwood Farm

Wander through an open field and enjoy a memorable view of the historic Paine House, with the broad estuary of the Ipswich River extending beyond.

What makes Greenwood Farm a special place?
The pasture that greets you at Greenwood Farm reveals little of the property’s splendor. At first, you only see fields cleared by generations of farmers, a stand of trees, and brambles entwined around a rock wall. After a short walk, the estate begins to reveal itself: several small structures and a root cellar appear, then a rambling clapboard farmhouse and the late First Period Paine House. It is the view of the marsh, however, that dominates the landscape.

The reservation takes its name from Thomas S. Greenwood who built the 19th-century white farmhouse. To its rear, the Paine House (1694), a yellow clapboard saltbox, is a remarkable example of First Period (1620–1725) architecture. Three generations of the Paine family made their home here, including Robert Paine, foreman of the Salem witch trial jury in 1692. From 1916, Greenwood Farm was a summer retreat for the Robert G. Dodge family, who used the Paine House as a guesthouse. Furnished with a fine collection of American furniture and decorative arts, it radiates with Colonial Revival ambiance. Recent archaeological investigations revealed a rare survival of an 18th-century milk room or dairy inside the house.

As you wander the reservation grounds on a typical summer day, you may see swallows, waxwings, and dragonflies swooping over the fields for small insects, or a red-tailed hawk riding high on a thermal. Great blue herons and snowy and American egrets wade through the marsh. Occasionally at dawn or dusk, the air quivers with the soft hooting of a great horned owl or the raspy bark of a red fox. Bobolinks nest in the fields.

The property includes several islands on the salt marsh, the three largest being Diamond Stage, Homestead, and Widow’s Island. The islands are drumlins created by the Wisconsin glacier more than 10,000 years ago. Access to the islands is prohibited to protect the salt marsh.

The channels through the marsh lead to the Ipswich River, which begins its journey to the sea 35 miles west in Burlington. In this area, flooded twice daily by the tides, blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) attach to rocks and soft-shelled clams (Mya arenaria) burrow in the mudflats. At low tide, green crabs (Carcinus maenus) emerge from burrows within the Spartina roots to prey on mussels and clams.

2.5 miles of trails. Easy walking.

When to Visit
Grounds: year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.
The Paine House is open for the program Ipswich is First Period every November. Please visit our “Things to Do” page for more details.

Regulations & Advisories

  • Mountain biking is not allowed.

  • Seasonal hunting is permitted. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions, requirements, and rules. Learn more about hunting on Trustees reservations >>

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

  • Trail to islands in salt marsh is closed to visitors.

  • Photography is not permitted inside the Paine House.

The Trustees reserves the right to photograph or video visitors and program participants for promotional use, and usage of our properties implies consent. Find the full policy here.


47 Jeffrey's Neck Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
Telephone: 978.356.4351

Latitude: 42.6944
Longitude: -70.8213

Get directions on Google Maps.

From Rt. 128 Exit 20A, follow Rt. 1A North to the Ipswich Town Green, continue straight onto County Rd. (turns into East St.). Follow for 0.9 mi., bear left onto Jeffrey’s Neck Rd., and follow for 0.7 mi. to entrance on right and parking (10 cars) is 1/4 mile down driveway, on left.

From Rt.1A/133 South at Lord's Square in Ipswich, continue straight onto High St. and turn left onto East St. at stop sign. Follow for 0.4 mi. and bear left onto Jeffrey’s Neck Rd. Continue as above.


When to Visit
Grounds: year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.
The Paine House is open for the program Ipswich is First Period every November. Please visit our “Things to Do” page for more details.

Grounds: FREE.

Property History

Settled shortly after the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the property was part of a land grant from the Town of Ipswich to Robert Paine, and soon became known as the Paine Farm. Robert Paine, Jr., graduated Harvard in 1656. He served as jury foreman for the Salem witch trials in 1692.

Robert Paine, Jr., is considered the first occupant of the Paine house (circa 1694). The house is a fine example of first period architecture, a form that flourished in New England from 1625 until 1725. The Paine House is an integral lean-to, with the rear room and sloping saltbox roof part of the original construction.

The Paine family owned and managed the farm for three generations. By 1828, Thomas S. Greenwood, had built the large farmhouse adjacent to the Paine House. In 1911 the property was sold to Major Guy Murchie, who may have made some cosmetic changes to the two houses.

Robert Dodge, a prominent Boston attorney, purchased the property from Murchie in 1916. In 1920–21, the Dodges constructed all of the outbuildings seen on the property today, as well as doing major renovations to Greenwood’s farmhouse. Mrs. Alice Childs Dodge collected furnishings for the Paine House and oversaw its restoration in 1936–37. At the request of the Dodge family, The Trustees of Reservations will preserve the Paine House as a museum. The farmhouse is used for private staff housing.

Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift of Miss Sally Dodge and Mrs. Alice Dodge Wolfson in 1975. Additional land given by bequest of Sally Dodge in 1979; Mr. and Mrs. George R. Desrochers in 1980; Mrs. Sophie Villanti in 1998; and the Town of Ipswich in 2000.

Archival Collections
Archival material related to Greenwood Farm is available to researchers at the Archives & Research Center in Sharon, Massachusetts.

Greenwood FarmGreenwood Farm Collection
(90.0 linear feet)
Regarding the history of Greenwood Farm, the Dodge Family, and The Trustees of Reservations’ management of Greenwood Farm, 1840s–1993.

The Archives & Research Center welcomes donations of documents, manuscripts, records, photographs, maps and memorabilia that pertain to a particular property. Please contact us at 781.784.8200 or


Grounds: year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Paine House: guided and self-guided tours 11AM–3PM on the first Saturday of the month, June through October, in conjunction with Essex County's 17th Century Saturdays program. Pricing is free the first Saturday in June, and members free, nonmembers $8 thereafter, through October. Allow a minimum of 1 hour, 2 hours if taking Paine House tour. Groups by appointment. 

Conservation and Stewardship

Management Planning for Our Properties

Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have worked to protect special places in Massachusetts and maintain them to the highest standards. To ensure these standards are met, a program of careful planning and sound management is essential. Comprehensive property management plans are created for each reservation and are completely updated approximately every ten years. We often work with volunteers, property users, and members of the community to carry out this planning, which typically involves several steps:

  • Describing in detail the site’s natural, scenic, and historical resources; identifying management issues related to the protection of those resources. 

  • Describing how visitors use the property; outlining the opportunities that the property provides for people to become involved in the work of conservation and caring for their community.

  • Developing a detailed list of management recommendations, a work plan, and a description of financial needs for implementing the actions.

  • Developing a prescribed routine management program for the reservation that will guide staff work plans, volunteer involvement, and the allocation of human and financial resources.

Maps and Resources

Printed trail maps are distributed free from the bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.

Planning Your Visit

Community Links
Ipswich Online

Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.

Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:

  • Protect wildlife and plants.
  • Guard against all risk of fire.
  • Help keep air and water clean.
  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
  • Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
  • Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
  • Enjoy and share the landscape with others.

Click on links below for further visitor information:

Before Setting Out

Enjoying Trustees Reservations


About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land