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Historic Dogtown: A Walk Back in Time

Sunday, October 17

10:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.

Outdoor Walking Tours

Dogtown walk

On Cape Ann, the name “Dogtown” conjures up many things – vast woodlands and trails; stone walls and cellar holes; tales of witches and widows; an ill-fated bullfighter; pastures, picnics and blueberries. A sea of rocks.

Dogtown is all of these things and more. But first, it is a place where proud people once lived and worked, at the center of Gloucester, for nearly 150 years – until it became “Dogtown” and died out.

This tour will take you down the main roads of this early settlement, to meet some of the people, see where they lived and hear their stories. You will learn how Dogtown got its name, why people left, and how it has changed in the 200 years since the last house came down. You will hear about writers and artists who were inspired here, and reservoirs that were built here. Finally, you will see some of the inspirational word-boulders along the trails that are the lasting legacy of entrepreneur and philanthropist Roger Babson, and a symbol of the enduring nature of this special place called Dogtown.

This walking tour is three miles and will take approximately two hours. The route is over hiking trails that are generally easy, but uneven, with rocks and roots underfoot. Hiking attire and footwear advised; also, walking poles if you use them. Bring water and insect repellent. The tour will start at the main entrance to Dogtown, off Cherry Street. Meet at the parking lot a short distance up Dogtown Road, on the right. There is parking for a few cars in the lot; otherwise, park along the right side of the road, after the parking lot, or along Cherry St. Please arrive 10 minutes early. The tour will depart on time.

Cost is $15 for CAM members and $25 for Non-members.

Space is limited; reservations required. Call (978) 283-0455 x110 or email info@capeannmuseum.org for details. 

Not a member of the Museum? Join now

Upon arrival, you will need to show your reservation confirmation (either printed or on a mobile device). By making a reservation, you agree to the following guidelines:

  • Dogs are not permitted
  • If you or anyone in your group feels unwell or has symptoms of COVID-19, please visit the Museum another day.

Photo by Barbara Erkikla. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.

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