Exploration begins with curiosity, but it doesn’t really have an ending in natural open spaces because they are constantly changing. The information on these pages offers glimpses of what you will find in the open space areas serviced by the Marblehead Conservancy, along with maps and site information to help you select and locate a area of interest and to navigate its trails. A downloadable and printable map is available for each area, or you can just view them from the web site on your smart phone or tablet. To go directly to maps, see Just Maps (part of the Resources menu).

In addition to open spaces, Marblehead is also fortunate in having “secret” passageways that preserve the walking paths from Marblehead’s earliest history as public ways.  See “Secret” Passageways for more information.

In addition to town-owned conservation areas serviced by the Conservancy, other natural open spaces in Marblehead, privately owned by Mass Audubon, the Trustees of Reservations, and the Goldthwait Reservation are available for public enjoyment.  Each of these open spaces is listed in the Explore section, with some overview information on these areas and a link to each organization’s web page for its particular land.

Responsible Use of Open Space

Marblehead’s natural open space is shared space.  In most weather, you’ll find other people walking the trails and enjoying the views, and even in the snow, you’ll see the footprints of many others who have walked before you.  As our appreciation for open space and our use of it increases, so does our responsibility to maintain its unspoiled beauty not only for our friends, families and visitors, but also for the generations to come.  That’s probably the most important thing to remember when exploring.

To help define what’s encouraged, permitted or prohibited, the Town has adopted a set of bylaws for Marblehead’s Conservation Areas.  In short form:

Encouraged: Nature study, hiking, biking, horseback riding, ski touring, and snowshoeing, and picnicking.

Permit Required: Trapping, fishing, camping, placing signs or placards, powered vehicles of any sort, cutting or removing trees.

Prohibited: Littering, swimming, animals at large, drinking alcohol, possessing weapons

To see the complete list of bylaws for Conservation Areas, click here.