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Corn Island

Corn Island is a beautiful forested island off of the coast of Massachusetts. It is considered to be part of Essex County, Massachusetts. Corn Island is very isolated, and not accessible unless a personal boat is used. However, Corn Island is near Great Bank, and very close to Essex Bay Marshes. These marshes are much easier to access. Great Bank is close to the Crane Wildlife Refuge. The Crane Wildlife Refuge is part of seven islands located in the Essex River Estuary. Crane Wildlife Refuge is home to over 200 species of birds, and many rare species of plants and animals are located there. There are three and a half miles of gravel roads and foot trails to explore. There are guided hikes and a variety of family programs that run year-round. Find out more here.

A historic building known as the Proctor Barn, which was built in 1778, still stands on an island close to the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Essex Bay Marches are situated near Corn Island and Dilly Island. Castle Neck River Reservation is home to sweeping hayfields, woodlands, and salt marshes. There are a variety of tree species in Castle Neck, and tours are available for the majority of the year. The land is considered a historical site, as it used to be home of the Agawam tribe. The famous Pawtucket sagamore Masconomet resided here, and was buried on the island. 

Avid nature enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to do on Corn Island and the surrounding area. There are great opportunities for photography, birding, dog walking, hiking, nature studies, snowshoeing, trail running, and mountain biking. Castle Neck River Reservation has elegant herons, egrets, and waterfowl in the marsh area. If Castle Neck River Reservation is not of interest, Warren Weld Woodland is part of the Manchester-Essex woods. These woods are a testament to the practices of Indigenous people long ago, who grew trees in a healthy manner, and in enough of a quantity to provide for the tribe. When standing near the blueberry bushes, all sorts of wildlife can appear, such as opossum, red fox, skunk, otter, deer, and flying squirrels. Another great place to visit in the area.

In the spring, it is also possible to see spotted turtles and salamanders. At the Allyn Cox Reservation, there are incredible views of New England’s salt marshes. This is a great place to get artistic inspiration, or paddle around the marsh in a kayak. This area is also historic, and once belonged and was farmed by the Pawtucket and Agawam tribes before colonization in the 1600s. The area was a dairy farm for hundreds of years. When scanning over the fields around the reservation, it is possible to see bobolinks, meadowlarks, and bluebirds. 

Essex County, where Corn Island is based, has two commuter rail lines that make it easier to get to landing areas to explore the islands. When visiting Corn Island, there are other historic surroundings, such as North Shore, Cape Ann, and lower portions of the Merrimack Valley. These historic areas are well worth the visit, and the peace that is garnered from these areas is a peace like no other.



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