Salem is a historic, coastal city on Boston’s north shore — a significant seaport in Puritan history, the location of the 1692 witch trials, and now a popular visitor destination with a vibrant downtown. We’ve put together a 5 mile ‘runseeing’ tour of this historic town, following a modified version of the red-lined Heritage Trail.
Start at the National Park Visitors Center opposite Salem Common. We start with a 1/2 mile loop of the Common. Then head south on Essex St., past the wonderful Peabody Essex Museum & Witch History Museum. Turn RIGHT on Washington St., to Federal St., where there are interesting older homes in this historic residential district. At Rt. 114, turn RIGHT and hop onto the bike path for 1/2 mile along the river, coming back on Flint St. and then Federal St. north, back to Summer St. RIGHT on Summer, and then LEFT on Norman, where you’ll then do a nice waterfront section, along Derby, the Harborwalk around Pickering Wharf, down the pier to the Derby Wharf Light Station (Salem Maritime Historic Site), then passing the House of Seven Gables at Turner St., until Derby reaches Blaney St. (ferry stop). Double back, to Orange St., then RIGHT on Orange St., passing the Customs House, LEFT on Essex St., returning to the start.
This route can be modified, using the attached Salem historic tour map. For a longer jaunt, we recommend exploring more of the historic side streets, or continuing north along Derby St. to Fort Ave.
- 4.9 miles
- 110 feet
- Visitor Center, Salem Common
- Salem is accessible by ferry and commuter rail
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