The Ipswich River is a "local watering hole". Camping is restricted, which is cool because it keeps the riffraff at bay. I had to become a member of the Mass Audobon Society to be able to rent one of their three beautiful sites on Perkins Island. The most recent night we went I rented all three as to not share such quiet nature with other transients or Cub Scout groups.
The best time out on the Ipswich is for the day. You can go for 3-5 hours, picnic at Perkins island(illegal according to the sign) Foote Bros' swampy site at "Something Or Another" Island, or float your lazy ass the entire way through the towns of Wilmington, Reading, North Reading, Middleton, Topsfield, Hamiltion and Ipswich out towards the sea(the later three being the best sections). You're on river time, and yet closer to work than I live.
photos by Rick Beaty & Bryan Harland