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Enjoy an easy ascent to a coastal hilltop that rewards you with panoramic views of Crane Beach and the Essex River estuary.
What makes Stavros Reservation a special place?
While most of this reservation protects more than 50 acres of salt marsh, its most popular feature is Whites Hill, a coastal drumlin that offers unobstructed views of Crane Beach, the Crane Wildlife Refuge, and Halibut Point.
A loop trail leads you along a field and up the hillside to a broad, open meadow. Here stands the fieldstone base of a 50-foot, three-level tower built by Lamont G. Burnham in the 1880s. It was said that, in its day, the structure was used as a pumping tower to supply water to the Burnham farm. It’s also rumored that a sentinel stationed in the tower would look for coal barges belonging to Mr. Burnham rounding Halibut Point. When the signal came, Mr. Burnham would ride a fast horse to Newburyport to put a price on the cargo.
As you loop back down the hill, you’ll trek through a thicket of Devil's walking stick, broken only by a small hillside clearing that offers views over the salt marshes to Castle Hill.
Reservation is located along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, part of the congressionally designated Essex National Heritage Area. The Area’s extensive historic, cultural and natural resources tell the story of the region’s role in the nation’s early settlement, maritime trade and industrialization.
3/4-mile trail. Moderate hiking.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of ½ hour.