Trust hosting hikes in Gloucester, Manchester | News

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MANCHESTER — The Manchester Essex Conservation Trust is hosting two hikes, one in Gloucester this Saturday, and the other in Manchester on May 22.

“Spring is fleeting, and these walks are a great way to experience the changes in greenery, lighting, and even the smells of spring”, said Patrice Murphy, the trust’s executive director.

Held on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4, these hikes over local conservation land are free for participants. Each hike is led by local experts. Register at to receive more details.

The hikes are:

”The Amazing History of Stone Structures” on May 15. Mary and James Gage, a mother and son team, have been researching stone structures in the Northeast for the past 30 years and are authorities on the subject. They’ve authored several books and appeared on “Chronicle” and on the Discovery Channel, sharing their knowledge of historic agricultural farm structures, Native American ritual stone structures, and early stone quarrying technology and methods.

This hike will take place at the Annisquam Woods, off Hutchins Court in Gloucester, on a loop less than a mile in length. The Gages will share the secrets of stone structures on Cape Ann.

”Your Backyard, Powder House Hill, Manchester,” on May 22. Anita Brewer, Olga Hayes, and Francie Caudill lead this hike on a set of trails in the center of town. Many know about the Powder House, but did you know about the vernal ponds and the old standpipe foundation? The trails were recently improved. Park along School Street in Manchester and enter the woods behind the Boy Scout House at 74 School St., Manchester.

Manchester Essex Conservation Trust has worked for 59 years in local land conservation in Manchester and Essex, preserving natural beauty, wildlife and resources. For more information about membership and volunteering, visit

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