Dogtown Common

Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931

Dogtown Common

Dogtown Common Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Meandering footpaths weave through beech woods piled high with granite rubble, skirt swamplands, and pass overgrown cellar holes and boulders engraved with words of inspiration. Named for the many dogs that watched over the women and children of the village while the men were at sea, Cape Ann’s Dogtown is seemingly as mysterious as its name.

Because of Dogtown Common’s rugged terrain and interweaving trails, both named and unnamed, it is a good idea to bring a map, a compass, and plenty of water."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes With Dogs Boston & Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Jenna Ringelheim
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"The name alone should spark enough interest for you and your pooch to check this place out. Once a farming community, Dogtown Commons represents one of the few deserted villages in New England. Settled in the early eighteenth century, it was abandoned by 1830, leaving only dogs to roam the area. Today, this open space is comprised of 3000 acres of fields, forest, reservoirs, and marshes, with so much terrain that you and your pup will keep coming back for more. Most of Dogtown is dense woodland, crisscrossed and bisected by trails and old roads that make it very easy to get lost, so bring a snack and some extra water, just in case. Special notes: Hunting season is October 19 through April 1, Monday-Saturday. Wear bright colors , and proceed with caution."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Essex National Heritage Area, 978-740-0444
Local Contacts
Available at parking lot
Local Maps

Trail Log