Entering into its 18th year, Trails & Sails is an event series that brings awareness and appreciation for heritage resources around the county. Historically, Trails & Sails has focused on outdoor activities such as guided hikes and excursions on the water but over the years the event series has grown to include tours of historic houses, lectures on Essex County history, and demonstrations for cultural activities.
Trails & Sails is organized and coordinated by Essex Heritage, the regional non-profit working to preserve and enhance natural, cultural, and historic resources around Essex County. Essex Heritage relies on many non-profit, community, and small business partners to offer a taste of heritage during Trails & Sails. This can take many shapes, for example, a historical society might offer a lecture, a conservation group could lead a guided hike, an arts consortium might coordinate open studios, or a local sailing vessel might offer free harbor tours on one of the Trails & Sails event days. Once events are in the works, Essex Heritage becomes the marketing engine to promote Trails & Sails. This is done through the publication of a printed guide, an online and mobile friendly website for event listings, and the digital and print promotion of the entire series.
Essex Heritage believes that if residents and visitors get a taste of the thousands of heritage assets found in Essex County, they will be more likely to promote and support those places over time. Through Trails & Sails, awareness and appreciation of heritage resources can be catalyzed and all ages can enjoy what Essex County has to offer.