Thompson Road Reservation

Gloucester, MA
The Old Tompson Road is a great trail for history enthusiasts. It runs through the woods from Bray Street to Concord Street in West Gloucester. The trail was the old cart road used by early settlers in the late 1600s & early 1700s. Parking and trailhead located at 125 Bray Street. Moderate level hiking. 


3.7 Miles

Hike Time

1.5 Hours

The Old Thompson Road was once used to travel from Gloucester to Ipswich – wow, that must have taken a few hours by horse and wagon. Today, it has some open areas, but most of the trail is overgrown and has narrowed, making it more challenging to hike.

An altar and some benches on Bray Street end mark the spot where early settlers of West Parish (West Gloucester) had a meeting house/church. Several old paths lead off the trail where the inhabitants accessed their woodlots.

We had to go off-trail to get by a very boggy section of the path – there must be a natural spring nearby because the rest of the area is pretty dry.

Along the trail is the site of the First Meeting House in the Second Parish West Gloucester 1713 – 1846. I think some people still come up for Easter services.

The greenbrier has turned yellow so it really stands out in the woods now. We used to call it “pickle leaves” when we were kids. In the spring the young shoots are edible and contain lots of protein.

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