Norton Memorial Forest
Permanently protected by New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF).
Trail Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Trail Length: ~2 mi.
The Norton Memorial Forest was given to NEFF in 1975 by Professor and Mrs. Frederick H. Norton of Gloucester. This actively managed land, consisting mostly of plantings of pine, received an award from the American Forest Institute as the Outstanding Tree Farm of Massachusetts. Professor Norton did most of the planting and road-building on the forest. The contrast between the appearance of Norton Memorial Forest and adjacent unmanaged land is startling, as Gloucester rests on bedrock with very thin soils. The property abuts Dogtown, the largest area of open space on Cape Ann, and is a popular area for hiking.
In 2011 Greenbelt, NEFF, and the Gloucester Conservation Commission cooperated with the Natti family to add Annisquam Woods to the area conserved. This provided additional connections to ancient trails running throughout Dogtown. For the past century, activity in the area has been limited to passive outdoor recreation. The wetland and forest composition and certified vernal pool provides prime habitat for many bird species, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
Parking & Access
The Norton Memorial Forest parking is limited to approximately 4 cars, and can be accessed off Revere Street in Gloucester.