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Eco-Bike Adventure Travel | Great Freedom Adventures
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Salt Marsh & Songbirds MA Eco-Bike Adventure

Salt Marsh & Songbirds MA Eco-Bike Adventure

per person

easy-bike-tours-2

3 Day MA Eco-Bike Adventure

Songbirds and Spring Blooms
Explore the vast richness of Massachusetts’ Great Salt Marsh and national wildlife refuges on this three day guided bike tour through the Boston, MA North Shore. Discover a destination world famous for nature study, encompassing thousands of acres of salt marsh, one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. The Spring eco-bike tours are timed to coincide with the return of songbirds to one of the finest bird-watching destinations in the eastern United States and the bloom of colorful native azaleas and rhododendrons.

Shorebirds, Waterfowl and Autumn Foliage
On the three day fall eco-bike tours, view some of the 25,000+ waterfowl, including loons, grebes, and teals. Discover the favorite haunts of the snowy owls and the “haul-out” locations of harbor and grey seals. Watch for great blue and green herons, snowy egrets and glossy ibises among other wading birds, as well as beaver, muskrat and turtles.

eco-bike-adventure-4Barrier Beaches and Grand Estates
Pedal flat roads on this easy bike tour through a diverse habitat of barrier beaches, dunes, tidal salt marshes, mudflats, salt pannes, and coastal forests. Inland, bicycle alongside old stone walls tracing colonial-era farms, clear ponds, and meandering rivers. Depending on the season, view blossoming orchards and cherry trees or colorful fall foliage, pumpkin fields and ripened apples. Visit the grand Crane Estate, a National Historic Landmark, and stroll the magnificent grounds atop Castle Hill with its stunning views to the Atlantic.

Salt Marsh and Songbirds MA North Shore

Seafaring History and Colonial Gardens
Enjoy evenings in the heart of the vibrant seaport town of Newburyport, where the handsome mansions built by sea captains line High Street, testament to the seafaring history of the town. Today the beautifully restored first and second period Colonial, Federal, Queen Anne, Georgian and Empire homes along with their splendid flower gardens make strolling the streets of town fascinating. Plentiful shops, unique galleries, maritime museums, a scenic waterfront boardwalk, lantern- and flower-lined streets, numerous eateries and a lively arts scene make Newburyport an enchanting town, eminently historic yet delightfully livable.

Tour Highlights:

  • Stay in an elegant boutique hotel and national historic landmark
  • Bike flat roads through bewitching scenery for an easy bike tour with options for additional mileage
  • Learn about the ecology of a diverse habitat of barrier beaches, dunes, tidal salt marshes, mudflats, salt pannes, and coastal forests on this eco-bike tour
  • Birdwatch and view wildlife at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, one of the nation’s finest birdwatching areas
  • Visit picturesque Plum Island Light
  • View coastal pitch pine forests and habitat of the threatened Piping Plover at the Crane Wildlife Refuge
  • Enjoy mesmerizing views and soft sand on Crane Beach
  • Walk trails and boardwalks through wildlife refuges
  • Tour the Crane Estate and grounds, a National Historic Landmark
  • View gardens designed by the Olmsted Brothers
  • Visit a winery and orchard
  • Explore the historic towns of Ipswich and Newburyport
  • Enjoy exceptional service and friendly guides throughout your three day bike tour
1

Day 1

eco-bike-adventure-great-freedom-adventuresMeet in Newburyport in the early afternoon. Enjoy lunch while your guides fit your bike then begin your discovery of Newburyport’s charming streets while biking to Joppa Flats wildlife area. Bike a long causeway to Plum Island and the scenic Plum Island Light. Cycle past marsh and salt pannes to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Listen for lyrical calls of songbirds such as the American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager and Wood-Warbler and watch for harbor seal pups which sometimes rest on the beach. Traverse a cross section of this barrier island on boardwalks through eco-rich marsh, sand dunes, black pine and beach heather while learning about the ecology and importance of these complex ecosystems. Return to Newburyport to explore a bit more of town before heading to dinner. Biking Mileage: 20
2

Day 2

eco-bike-adventure-tour-8After breakfast, bike inland past some of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country en route to the next wildlife refuge at Castle Neck. Walk stunning trails through dunes carpeted with beach heather and through coastal forests watching for deer, turkeys and fox, all while being serenaded by songbirds. Stroll a bit of the four miles of Crane Beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the eastern seaboard. Bike and walk the grounds of the magnificent Crane Estate at Castle Hill and view the architecture of the 59-room mansion. Enjoy lunch while admiring panoramic views of beach, ocean and gardens deigned by the Olmsted Brothers. Bike through serene salt marsh on the way to Ipswich, and if you like, stop at a winery/orchard/farmstand en route. Explore a bit of Ipswich viewing some of the first period homes, the largest collection of such homes in the US. Riders choosing the longer option continue to a peninsula with panoramic views of Plum Island Sound and Crane Beach and Wildlife Refuge before returning through historic towns and salt marsh to Newburyport. Enjoy dinner at a popular waterfront restaurant. Biking Mileage: 27, 36 or 50
3

Day 3

north-shore-bike-tours-8The bike tour continues through grasslands harboring New England’s largest populations of Bobolinks and Meadowlarks. Pedal serene roads alongside reservoirs, rivers and small farms where horses, cows and llamas are pastured. Return to the Garrison Inn to shower and check out. Guests traveling by train to Boston will be transported to the train station. It will be hard we know to say goodbye to this lyrical place of songbirds and salt marsh. Biking Mileage: 15

garrison-innGarrison Inn, Newburyport, MA - 2 NightsThis luxurious and elegant boutique hotel is also a National Historic Landmark. The inn is centrally located in the heart of the historic district, steps to fine shops, galleries, restaurants and the waterfront boardwalk. Enjoy innovative breakfasts served in espresso bar fashion.

Three Day Eco-Bike Adventure

2017 Dates

May 12-14 | May 27-29 | August 13-15 | August 20-22 | September 4-6

2017 Prices

$950. Per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $425

Trip length

3 days, 2 nights

Start/Finish

Newburyport, MA

Cycling level

Easy

Daily Mileage

15-27 (15-36 or 50 for longer options)

Terrain

Relatively flat with occasional short hills.

Bikes: You may bring your own bike or use one of ours. GFA bikes are high quality, lightweight, available with either drop or straight handlebars and are equipped with computer, mirror, waterbottle, handlebar bag, map case and seat pack with essentials. What's Included:
  • 3 days of bicycling
  • Bicycle and helmet rental
  • 2 nights lodging
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 2 dinners
  • Walks at wildlife areas, reservations and estates
  • Admission to:
    • Grounds of the Crane Estate
    • Crane Beach
    • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
  • 2 knowledgeable guides
  • Van support
  • Daily snacks and cold drinks
  • Maps and cue sheets for each day’s ride
  • Gratuities at group restaurants and inn
  • Transport from/to the Newburyport train station
  • Featherweight, high visibility, reflective mesh vest
  • Waterbottle
Frequent Adventurers, GFA alumni, may deduct 5% from the tour price. Please contact us for youth and group rates. Custom dates and duration are available for groups of six or more.

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