Dogtown Common

Gloucester, Massachusetts 01931

Dogtown Common

Dogtown Common Professional Review and Guide

"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."

More Dogtown Common Professional Reviews and Guides

"The trails in Dogtown offer a mix of challenging, rocky terrain and smooth, fast doubletrack roads. Riders will find that the trails are often not crowded and the assorted scenery (overlooking Babson Reservoir and peering through the woods in the northern part of the park) can help calm the nerves of even the most frazzled city dweller.

Terrain: Doubletrack fire roads covered with small rocks, dirt fire roads, technical singletrack. This is a fairly dry ride and the only perpetually wet areas are at the stone dam and on some lower doubletrack roads."

"The towns of Gloucester and Rockport, 30 miles north of Boston. The terrain is rolling, with regular short climbs and descents. Several of the single-track trails on the eastern side of Dogtown are covered with rocks, making them barely passable. Local mountain bikers often congregate in the parking lot."

"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."

Dogtown Common Reviews

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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

Activity Feed

Oct 2018