Gloucester, Massachusetts

Total Acres: 16

Year Conserved: 1992

 

Property Description:

This unique property offers a beautiful tranquil setting, a rare habitat and an unusual connection to the distinctive human history of the city. The ecosystem of Seine Field is a habitat type known as an "Open Heath" or "Relic Sandplain Grassland," which is characterized by arid, sandy soil and scarcity of humus-rich topsoil. This habitat type was once common along the Essex County coastline, but is now quite rare in New England. Only the unusual circumstances of the property's history have kept the Seine Field in this early successional stage of vegetative growth.

Relic Sandplain Grassland occurs primarily near the coast on flat plains consisting of glacial outwash. They are essentially treeless communities dominated by native grasses and plants with sparse shrubs and patches of bare soil and lichen.

 There's a geocache here! Learn more here.

Special Features:

When the first wealthy Bostonians established their summer homes here in the early part of the 19th century, it is thought that they may have used the property as a small golf course; later in the 19th and throughout most of the 20th century, landowners allowed seine fisherman to repair and dry their large fishing nets on the field, the practice that gives the property its name. Today, if you visit the property on the right day in June you can still find one or two fisherman carrying out this tradition. The Seine Field I also a very popular spot to pick low-bush blueberries in season.

The area surrounding Seine Field, known as Eastern Point, has been recently designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The IBA designation lends regional, national and international recognition of this property as important habitat of native and migrating birds, such as bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. Birds of prey such as American Kestrels and Northern Harriers are seen in the summer and fall.

The Seine Field is located along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, part of the congressionally designated Essex National Heritage Area. The Area’s extensive historic, cultural and natural resources tell the story of the region’s role in the nation’s early settlement, maritime trade and industrialization.

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Parking

Park at the entrance, but please do not block the gate. Parking is limited to three or four cars.

Parking GPS Location
Latitude: 42.595165
Longitude: -70.647742

Directions

From Route 128N
Go north on Route 128 to the end where it meets Route 127A in Gloucester. Go straight through two sets of lights to East Main Street. In 1.6 miles, bear left onto Farrington Avenue. (Note: East Main Street becomes Eastern Point Boulevard). Trailhead and parking are 0.35 miles ahead on the left. Space for 2-3 cars.

 

Seine Field
42.595892
-70.646723
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Photos

  • Blueberries and lichen
  • WEastern Meadowlark
  • Seine fisherman nets drying in the field
  • Low Bush Blueberries ripe for picking
  • Low Bush Blueberries
  • American Kestrel
  • Seine Field Kiosk

Address

Farrington Avenue, Gloucester

Use Type

Public

Activities

  • Birding
  • Dog Walking
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Hiking
  • Nature Study
  • X-C Skiing

Landscapes

  • Historic

Maps