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Walking the Clam Flats


Clam Flats [5,6,9]

Detail Map (60k)
Area Map (60k)

Eagle Hill (# 5 on the locus map) can be reached from Eagle Hill Road, a left turn off Jeffrey's Neck Road just before 'the Necks'.

To reach Richards Grounds on Clark Beach (#8 on the map) park on Bay View Road on Great Neck (park as far off the road as possible) and walk down the dirt road to the beach. (Occasionally, you can walk out to Sea Bees flat near Patterson Island to the right off Argilla Road by Trustees sign.)


General Information

Clamming as a vocation or for recreational purposes has been practiced in Ipswich since the days of the Indians. The large sea clams most often used for chowder are found at very low tide from a single big hole usually in a beach area; quahogs and razor clams are found just below sand or mud surfaces in sheltered waters.

The most plentiful and best known of the clams is the steamer which is found in the clam flats in the Rowley River, Eagle Hill River, Plum Island Sound, the Ipswich River, Ipswich Bay, and the Essex River and Essex Bay.

It is necessary to have a boat to reach most of the flats but several are easily accessible from land at low tide. We list these as different and interesting places to hike.

You may walk the flats at any low tide. Should you wish to dig clams you will need a license. This is available from the Ipswich Town Clerk in Town Hall along with information on regulations as to when the flats are open and restrictions as to amounts. Shellfishing in Ipswich is under the control of the Shellfish Constable who may be reached at 356-6671 or through the Police Dept. at 356-4343.