Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Salem Woods- Another Hidden Gem
The 2.8 mile trail takes about an hour to hike. This looped trail will take you past birch groves, apple trees left from an old orchard, up and down rocky hills. The trail is fringed with beautiful golden grass and, at the apex of the loop, the view opens to the gorgeous marsh known as Thompson's Meadow, where you can overlook acres of unspoiled wetlands and hear the unmistakable call of red-wing blackbirds. My kids and I lay on our bellies one sunny spring day and peered over the cliff into the very clear water below, where we counted hundreds of turtles either swimming or sunning themselves, just as we were. It's also not unusual to find a cache of turtle eggs dug up and the shells left behind after someone had their dinner.
Directions from the Salem Inn: when you exit the West House, go right on Summer Street. Take a left at the first set of lights and proceed down the ramp. Go left at the bottom of the ramp onto Bridge Street and then continue until the end of the street. Take a left onto Boston Street and continue until the end. Take a right onto Essex Street, which will turn into Highland Avenue. At the third light after this (you will pass Collins Middle School and North Shore Medical Center) turn left onto Willson Street. Proceed 0.25 mile past Salem High School and the Nathaniel Bowditch School to Olde Salem Green Municipal Golf Course on the right. The trail begins at the far end of the parking lot. If the golf course parking lot is closed or you fear you may be there past sunset (when they shut the parking lot gate), park at the High School. Walk to the road that exits the high school campus to your left and there is a trail that leads away from the road and up along the football field. Proceed past the field, down a wooded hill and you will be deposited by the trailhead.