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Bradley Palmer State Park
Bradley Palmer State Park is one of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts. Park visitors will enjoy tranquil trails, lovely views, and a glimpse into diverse ecosystems. Managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, this park offers the perfect break from your everyday routine. Its Topsfield, MA location is easy to access. Learn more about the Bradley Palmer State Park, including its history, trails, events, and hours. Another great play to visit.
The History Of The Bradley Palmer State Park
The 721 acres of the Bradley Palmer State Park are now public land, but they have a fascinating 20th-century history. This land used to be owned by noted local attorney Bradley Palmer. In between his legal duties, Mr. Palmer farmed the land and raised horses. He was so passionate about horses that he built an elaborate racetrack on the estate and hosted frequent races.
Mr. Palmer was an active community leader. He loved the beautiful scenery of his property and wanted to share it with others. After his death, he left the land to the people of Massachusetts so they could enjoy it as well. The estate was used to train Massachusetts Civil Defense Training Academy students in practical emergency skills during the 1960s and 70s. It was eventually transformed into the Bradley Palmer State Park that you can visit today. Find out more.
Bradley Palmer State Park Trails And Other Attractions
The Bradley Palmer park offers a range of trails suited for many outdoor activities. Head out on a dirt trail and you’ll find hikers, bikers, runners, and horseback riders. You can enjoy the full range of Massachusetts’ natural environments on interpretive trails which pass through wetlands, meadows, and forested areas. Other popular activities include canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. You can even try cross-country skiing or snowmobiling in the winter.
If you’re feeling up to a longer journey, the Bay Circuit Trail and the Discover Hamilton Trail both pass through Bradley Palmer. The park borders other destinations like the Ipswich River Nature Sanctuary, Teal Pond, Harold Parker State Forest, and Willowdale State Forest. There’s plenty of nature to explore if you have the time!
Bradley Palmer State Park Events
Bradley Palmer’s restored home, Willowdale Estate, can still be found within the park. Willowdale Estate is a striking mansion that blends Tudor and Craftsman Revival design elements. Originally built in 1901 and 1902, the building has been fully renovated to offer modern amenities as well as historical charm.
Willowdale Estate isn’t always open, so you’ll need to plan carefully if you want to visit. The state park offers public tours, seasonally themed events, open houses, and more. The estate is also a popular wedding and event venue.
Bradley Palmer State Park Hours And Location
The Bradley Palmer State Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. There’s a daily parking fee between May and October. Expect to pay $5 to park with Massachusetts license plates and $20 for out-of-state vehicles. Bradley Palmer State Park is located at 40 Asbury St, Topsfield, MA 01983.