Nature & Parks

From History to Hiking: 18 National Parks to Explore in Salem, MA

Salem, in the state of Massachusetts, USA, is widely recognized for its rich history and cultural heritage. However, it is also home to some exceptional national parks.

Offering a beautiful balance of picturesque landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and recreational activities, these parks serve both as a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and as a source of education and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

From maritime treasures to forested reserves, national parks in Salem, MA, provide a glimpse into the region’s natural beauty and ecological diversity.

1. Salem Armory Regional Visitor Park


The Salem Armory Regional Visitor Park is a fascinating destination located in Salem, Massachusetts.

It is one of the national parks that offer visitors a unique blend of historical relevance and natural beauty. The park provides an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history of the region.

It is named after the historic Salem Armory, which played a significant role in the city’s military past.

The armory’s presence in the park adds a touch of historical authenticity to the surroundings. Despite its historical significance, the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Park is not just about the past.


It also boasts a lush, green landscape that provides a breath of fresh air and a sense of tranquility. The park is a haven for nature lovers, offering picturesque views.

Rating: 9

Address: 136 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

2. Salem Maritime National Historic Site


The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is a must-visit national park located in Salem, Massachusetts.

Covering an area of 9 acres, this historic site offers a unique opportunity to explore the history of sailing ships.As you step into this park, you are transported back in time to the era of sailing ships.

The park is a tribute to the seafaring history of America, especially focusing on the Age of Sail. This was a period when international trade and naval warfare were dominated by sailing ships. Notably, the historic site features various original and restored buildings.


These structures provide a glimpse into the architectural style prevalent at that time. They also serve as a testament to the thriving maritime trade that Salem was known for during the 18th.

Rating: 9.2

Address: 160 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970, United States


3. Gallows Hill Park


Gallows Hill Park is a well-known attraction located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is one of the national parks that offer a peaceful and refreshing environment for humans and their furry friends. The park is a haven for dog lovers.

It proudly allows dogs within its premises, making it a perfect destination for those who want to spend quality time with their pets. You can take your dog for a walk, play fetch, or simply enjoy the beautiful landscape.

The park is an excellent place to help your dog get some exercise and fresh air. In addition, Gallows Hill Park has a friendly and welcoming environment for dogs. The park authorities ensure that all dogs are safe and well cared for during their visit.


There are designated areas for dogs to play and run around.

Rating: 8.2

Phone: +1 978-744-0924

Address: Mansell Pkwy, Salem, MA 01970, United States


4. Salem Woods Highland Park


If you are in Salem, MA, USA and looking for a serene destination where you can enjoy tranquil nature hikes, Salem Woods Highland Park should be at the top of your list.

This park is a large woodland area that provides an oasis of calm and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

The main attraction of the park is its network of marked trails that traverse through the lush woodland. These trails are well-maintained, making them suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

The landscape of the park is dominated by a variety of trees, creating a dense canopy overhead. As you walk these trails, you will be enveloped by the peaceful sounds of nature.

Rating: 8.8

Phone: +1 978-744-0733

Address: F3VQ+9X, Willson St, Salem, MA 01970, United States


5. Charlotte Forten Park


Charlotte Forten Park is one of the noteworthy national parks located in Salem, MA, USA.

Named after Charlotte Forten, a prominent African-American abolitionist and educator, the park holds a significant place in the city’s history. The park is known for its serene environment, making it a perfect spot for those seeking peace and tranquility.

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk amidst the lush green surroundings or relax on one of the many benches scattered throughout the park, soaking in the beauty of nature. Charlotte Forten Park is also a great venue for outdoor activities.


Children can play freely in the spacious playground area while adults can engage in a friendly game of basketball on the basketball court present within the park’s premises.

Rating: 8.6

Address: 289 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970, United States


6. Forest lore tour


One of the prominent national parks in Salem, MA, USA that is worth visiting is the Forest Lore Tour. amidst lush greenery, this park provides a serene environment ideal for nature walks and relaxation.

The Forest Lore Tour is particularly appealing to dog owners because it is a pet-friendly park. Dogs are allowed in this park, which is a rarity in many national parks. This makes it a perfect spot for dog owners who wish to have a fun day out with their furry friends.

This park’s dog-friendly policy ensures that your pet can accompany you on your tour, exploring the forest and its wonders together. Whether you have a small puppy or a big hound, all dogs are welcome here.

Rating: 10

Address: 75 Willson St, Salem, MA 01970, United States

7. Forest River Conservation Area


Forest River Conservation Area is a unique and special place in Salem, Massachusetts, USA. It is a national park designed for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The park is characterized by a diverse range of natural features. It is home to expansive forests that provide a haven for local wildlife and a breathtaking sight for visitors.

The dense greenery provides a sense of serenity and tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere. In addition to the forest, the conservation area also boasts open fields. These are perfect for picnics, outdoor games, or simply basking in the sun.


The fields are beautifully maintained, providing an ideal spot for a family outing or a quiet afternoon.

Rating: 9.2

Address: 408 Loring Ave, Salem, MA 01970, United States


8. Salem Armory


“Salem Armory” is a notable place in Salem, MA, USA that might captivate your interest.

Although it doesn’t qualify as a national park, the Armory embodies a significant part of Salem’s rich history and holds a special place in the hearts of the locals.

It’s not just a building or a landmark; it’s a symbol of the city’s past, a testament to its resilience and spirit.

Unfortunately, the Armory’s specific features and detailed description are unavailable at the moment, making it difficult to provide a comprehensive overview of what the site offers.


However, this does not diminish the worth of visiting this remarkable location.

Rating: 9

Phone: +1 978-740-1650

Address: SALE-35_0212, Salem, MA 01970, United States


9. Salem Witch Trials Memorial


The Salem Witch Trials Memorial in Salem, MA, USA offers a poignant reflection of the city’s tumultuous history.

This site serves as a solemn testament to the events of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The memorial is designed in a unique fashion that symbolizes the hardship and injustice faced by the victims of the witch trials.

It features an arrangement of stacked granite stones. These stones are not randomly placed but are carefully inscribed and arranged in a specific pattern, providing a physical representation of the historical event.

Each stone is engraved with the name of an accused witch, their execution date, and the means of their execution.

This inscription on the granite stones brings a personal touch to the memorial, reminding visitors of the real lives that were unfair.

Rating: 9.2

Address: 24 Liberty St, Salem, MA 01970, United States


10. Misery Islands


Misery Islands, located in Salem, MA, USA, is a unique national park that’s worth a visit. It’s in the picturesque setting of Massachusetts Bay, offering a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean.

This park is actually a pair of islands – Great Misery Island and Little Misery Island. Great Misery Island is the larger of the two, spanning an area of 83 acres.

It boasts a vast network of trails that take you through dense woodland, coastal shrubs, and grassy meadows.


The trails are well-marked and suitable for all skill levels, making it a perfect destination for families, casual hikers, and nature lovers.

Rating: 9.4

Phone: +1 978-526-8687

Address: Salem, MA 01970, United States


11. Salem Common


Salem Common is a historical site located in Salem, Massachusetts, United States. This is not just a typical park; it is a village green that holds significant historical value.

It was founded in the 17th century, making it one of the oldest parks in the region. The park is home to several monuments, a testament to its rich history. These monuments add an air of solemnity to the park, reminding visitors of its past.

They are a significant part of the park’s identity, contributing to its unique character and charm. One of the most intriguing aspects of Salem Common is its usage during the early years.


The park was not merely a recreational space but served a crucial role in the local community.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 978-744-0180

Address: N Washington Square, Salem, MA 01970, United States


12. Winter Island/Waikiki Beach


Winter Island/Waikiki Beach is a stunning beachside park located in Salem, MA.

This picturesque locale is not just a beach; it is a multi-faceted recreational area that serves as a sanctuary for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. One of the key features of Winter Island/Waikiki Beach is its camping facilities.

The park offers areas for tent and RV camping. This allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the park and enjoy a unique experience of staying overnight amidst the soothing sounds of the sea.


The camping sites are well-maintained, ensuring a comfortable stay for all campers. The park is also home to a historic lighthouse, which adds a touch of history and charm to the area.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 978-745-9430

Address: 60 Winter Island Rd, Salem, MA 01970, United States

13. Forest River Park


Forest River Park is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Salem, Massachusetts. This park is not your ordinary outdoor space, as it is uniquely situated along a riverfront, providing stunning views of the serene water body.

The park offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. The park’s beaches are a perfect spot for those who love the sun, sand, and water. You can sunbathe, swim, or enjoy the beautiful waterfront scenery.

Families visiting the park will appreciate the picnic areas. These spaces are ideal for outdoor meals and allow families to enjoy a relaxing day out in nature. The park’s playground is another family-friendly feature.


Children can play and make new friends while adults relax.

Rating: 9.2

Address: 32 Clifton Ave, Salem, MA 01970, United States


14. Winter Island Park


Winter Island Park is a hidden gem located in Salem, Massachusetts, USA. It’s a destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance.The park is situated on a peninsula, which provides stunning waterfront views.

The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, perfect for individuals seeking solitude or families looking for a fun day out. Winter Island Park features various walking trails, ideal for those who love exploring nature.

The trails are well-maintained, making them suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. One of the main attractions at Winter Island Park is Fort Pickering, a historic military fortification that dates back to the 17th century.


Visitors can tour the fort and learn about its historical significance.

Rating: 9

Phone: +1 978-745-9430

Address: 50 Winter Island Rd, Salem, MA 01970, United States


15. Sidney’s Pond Conservation Area


Sidney’s Pond Conservation Area is a gem of nature tucked away in the heart of Salem, Massachusetts. This national park is a haven for both locals and tourists alike seeking a tranquil escape from the city life.

This conservation area is a natural wonder, brimming with an abundance of flora and fauna. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers.

The park’s greenery and tranquility offer a truly refreshing relaxing atmosphere. Of course, the main attraction of Sidney’s Pond Conservation Area is the pond itself. The pond is a beautiful sight, changing hues as the seasons change.


It is surrounded by a network of trails that lead to scenic.

Rating: 10

Phone: +1 978-538-5900

Address: 80 Granite St, Peabody, MA 01960, United States


16. Fort Pickering


Fort Pickering is one of the notable national parks in Salem, MA, USA. Located on Winter Island, this park is a treasure trove of historical significance and natural beauty. Being a former military fortification, Fort Pickering offers a unique blend of history and adventure.

The fort was initially built during the American Revolutionary War and later used in the War of 1812 and Civil War. Thus, it presents an opportunity for history buffs to delve into the rich historical past. The park is not just about history. It is also a haven for nature lovers.

The sprawling greenery and the majestic trees make it an ideal spot for picnics or a leisurely stroll. One can enjoy the serenity and tranquillity of this place.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 978-745-9430

Address: 50 Winter Island Rd, Salem, MA 01970, United States


17. Eagles Hill


Eagle’s Hill is one of the national parks located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a beautiful park that offers visitors a serene atmosphere and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The park boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna, making every visit a unique experience. One of the notable features of Eagle’s Hill is that it is dog-friendly. This means that visitors are allowed to bring their four-legged friends along with them.

This is a significant advantage for dog owners who love to spend time outdoors with their pets. The park provides a perfect setting for a day out with your furry companion. The park has specific areas where dogs are allowed to roam freely.


This makes it a favorite spot for dog lovers.

Rating: 9

Address: Salem, MA 01970, United States

18. Narbonne House


The Narbonne House is a remarkable site located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is not just a mere building, but a slice of history that echoes the life and times of the 17th century. The house was built in 1675, making it one of the oldest structures in Salem.

This historical site is named after its first owner, Simon Willard, a local butcher and tanner.

It was later acquired by the Narbonne family, who inhabited it for several generations, thus giving the house its current name.


The Narbonne House is a classic example of the “First Period” architecture, representing a period when English settlers first colonized New England.

Rating: 9.6

Phone: +1 978-740-1650

Address: 71 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, United States



National parks in Salem, MA, USA are rich in historical and cultural importance, providing both citizens and tourists with educational experiences and recreational activities.

The most notable example is the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which not only showcases Salem’s maritime history but also offers stunning views and diverse natural attractions.

Overall, these parks are cherished assets that preserve the city’s heritage and natural beauty.

Photo of author

Neal McGovern

Massachusetts, located in the heart of New England, is a captivating destination with a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. As a tour guide in this northeastern U.S. state, I'll take you on a journey through its historic cities like Boston, where you can explore the Freedom Trail and visit iconic landmarks like Fenway Park. Immerse yourself in the academic and intellectual atmosphere of Cambridge, home to Harvard and MIT. Discover the scenic charm of Cape Cod's sandy beaches and the tranquility of the Berkshires. With a blend of colonial heritage and modern vibrancy, Massachusetts offers a diverse and unforgettable experience for every traveler. LinkedIn

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