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Manchester Essex Woods

Massachusetts > Cape Ann


This is the large expanse of conservation land across from Agassiz. It runs from Southern Ave. to Pine Street. I've explored here a bit. With a few exceptions, most of the rock is broken outcrops and smaller boulders. The most concentrated area of rock seems to be along the broad ridge between the main swamp and the Manchester Essex Road. There is the potential for more development especially in the lower grades (V0-V2).

The land is part of the Manchester Essex Conservation Trust organization, which may not be as well disposed to climbers as other local conservation organizations. They have publicly floated the idea of banning climbing on their property before, and they consider this area a wilderness preservation. Keep a low profile and avoid excessive cleaning if you visit, but don't be discouraged.

The first outcrops can be found by walking down the main road and turning right onto the boardwalk. Small broken walls will appear once the boardwalk ends. To reach other boulders, follow the main road until it joins the old Manchester Essex Road, a colonial era road the once linked the towns, then start exploring the right side of the path.

Getting There

This is located just off exit 15 on Route 128. Head into Essex. Park directly across from Agassiz Rock in the obvious parking area.

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Bear's Den Flake.
[Hide Photo] Bear's Den Flake.

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[Hide Comment] Anyone looking for hard super projects should definitely check out the Bear's Den on this property. Would be classic if it goes. May 28, 2017
Tim McGivern
Medford, ma
[Hide Comment] I took a stroll through here yesterday. I went to check out two cliffs some guy told me about. One was Prospect Ledge (the chossy ledges right across from the swamp), and the other was a cliff way over near exit 16 in the Cheever. Prospect had one or two cool looking lines, and the cliff over in Cheever was total choss. I didn't have time to make it to Bear's Den and Man Sex, but I'll go back to check those out. Bear's Den looks pretty amazing in the photos I found. Jun 1, 2018