Gingerbread Lane

The entrance to Gingerbread Lane, which looks like a country lane, is found on the left off Beacon Street, just past Little Harbor. This narrow dirt road leads to a fork; bear left towards Old Burial Hill and Redd’s Pond. Continue straight along a grassy path bordered by a stone wall on the left. This path becomes a narrow paved road at the point where it turns right before ending on Norman Street. Cross Norman Street and continue up Gingerbread Hill (See second map below) following it around to the right at the top of the hill. Continue along until you arrive at #26 Gingerbread Hill. To the left of this house you will find a well-defined 10-foot path leading between two stone walls. Follow this path across the open area and down the hill to return to Norman Street.

Gingerbread Lane


Gingerbread Lane entrance from Beacon Street
1. Gingerbread Lane entrance from Beacon Street
Turn to the right then left to follow the path
2. Turn to the right then left to follow the path
Path through the woods
3. Path through the woods
End of the path
4. End of the path
Gingerbread Lane entrance from Norman Street
5. Gingerbread Lane entrance from Norman Street


Fuller Lane

This paved lane off Ocean Avenue extends for 342 feet. A sign on the chain link fence at the end claims the beach beyond is private property.


1 Fuller Lane entrance
1. Fuller Lane entrance
2 Fuller Lane sign
2. Fuller Lane sign


Desmoulin Lane

This mostly-paved lane runs 254 feet from Ocean Avenue all the way to the water. A narrow path at the left end of the pavement leads through trees and brush to a rocky beach prized by local fisherman for bass fishing.


1. Desmoulin Lane view
2. Path through the trees and brush


3. Rocky beach


Cove Lane

This 20-foot wide lane begins on Kimball Street and continues for 225 feet to the low water mark. A set of wooden steps leading to a small cove and beach can be accessed by crossing a lawn (which is a public way) beside the stone wall.


Cove Lane entrance off Kimball Street
1. Cove Lane entrance off Kimball Street
Cove Lane wooden steps to cove and beach
2. Cove Lane wooden steps to cove and beach


Castle Rock

Castle Rock Lane leads from Ocean Avenue to Castle Rock with its magnificent view. Steps to the left of the rock descend to a small beach and some deep tide pools full of sea stars and anemones.


1 Castle Rock entrance
1.Castle Rock entrance
Castle Rock from the middle of the path
2. Castle Rock from the middle of the path
Castle Rock stairway to the beach
3. Castle Rock stairway to the beach


Alley – Market Square

Mechanic Street to Market Square

This public way near the Old Town House at #4 Mugford Street begins as a paved pathway divided by a wooden railing.  The alley leads uphill to stone steps with a rusted iron railing, exiting at the top near #22 Mechanic Street.


Alley entrance from Washington Street
1. Alley entrance from Washington Street
Lower section of alley
2. Lower section of alley
Top secton of Alley
3. Top section of Alley
Alley entrance from Mechanic Street
4. Alley entrance from Mechanic Street


Alley – Elm to High

Elm Street to High Street
Across from #17 Elm Street, just west of the corner of Elm and Dunn’s Way, are seven stone steps leading to a small landing then four more steps. From there the alley becomes a partially-paved, mostly dirt path up a hill to High Street where one encounters a stone wall.  While appearing to be private property, with abutters storing boats on either side of the path and cars parked at the High Street entrance, it is nevertheless a public way.


Alley entrance from Elm Street
1. Alley entrance from Elm Street
Alley entrance from High Street
2. Alley entrance from High Street


Alley Steps

The Alley Steps, a set of steep granite steps located between #11 and #15 Washington Street, provides a shortcut to High Street. Traditionally lined with hollyhock flowers, the Alley Steps were once used by fishermen to climb the hill to their fish flakes – fish spread on wooden racks to dry.


Alley Steps entrance from Washington Street
1. Alley Steps entrance from Washington Street

Half way up Alley Steps
2. Half way up Alley Steps
Alley Steps entrance from High Street
3. Alley Steps entrance from High Street


What’s coming next?

The Marblehead Conservancy has embarked on a project at Lead Mills to enhance and continue the restoration work already done.

In 2012 the Town of Marblehead and City of Salem acquired this property, rescuing it from commercial development. Remediation was done to address known lead contamination at the site. Then, to better understand its potential as an open conservation space, a study was carried out that outlined topography, soil composition, climate zones and other natural characteristics at the site. With the study’s findings in mind, the Conservancy undertook a huge task: converting this former contaminated site into a space that would include trees, shrubs, grasses and a wildflower meadow. While many hours of volunteer work on this task have been logged to date, and many positive changes have been made, more work remains to be done.

Five annual Earth Day / Arbor Day celebrations sponsored by the Conservancy have involved volunteers in the planting of several thousand square feet with native wildflower plugs. Getting these wildflowers to settle and proliferate has been a slow process and has included much trial and error. But progress has been made.

In the fall of 2019, the Conservancy decided to put a push on this conversion to a native wildflower meadow by seeking professional guidance from outside sources. An ad hoc Wildflower Committee was formed, chaired by Don Morgan and including Jody Howard, Nina Robertson, Mary Krull and Kathy Krathwohl. Consultants were solicited and evaluated. With input assistance from science teachers at Tower School, which has worked with the Conservancy on other projects, this new planning effort morphed into a native wildflower / native pollinator project with a focus not only on native wildflowers, but also the native pollinators they might draw.

As is well documented, honeybee populations are in sharp decline, resulting in serious challenges for produce growers nation-wide. Additionally, wild pollinators, a diverse and perhaps less well-known group, are also in decline.  They have suffered due to the disappearance of their natural habitats, monoculture farming, pesticides, predation from other insects, diseases, and more. It turns out that most efforts to restore pollination systems to date have focused on a few common bee and butterfly species, rather than on the range of wild pollinators needed for a healthy and resilient ecosystem. The Conservancy hopes to address this issue.

We invite the public to help. As maintenance is key to the success of this project, weeding expertise would be especially welcomed! As an added educational benefit, Landscape Interactions will be available to teach a short seminar on pollinators, perhaps at a future ED/AD celebration.

Smile on the Conservancy with AmazonSmile!

Are you an Amazon shopper? Have you heard of AmazonSmile? AmazonSmile provides buyers with a simple and automatic way to support their favorite charitable organizations without adding any cost. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of an item to whatever charitable organization you designate on the Foundation list. The Conservancy has added its name to the AmazonSmile list of charitable organizations. Eligible products are marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.

Visit today!  If it’s your first visit, simply select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before shopping. Every eligible purchase after that will result in a donation. We hope you select the Marblehead Conservancy!

If you’ve already signed up for AmazonSmile, visiting will show you which charity you have selected.  Note that purchases must be made with a web browser (not your phone or tablet/iPad) and you must use the URL to shop.  Amazon will remind you to select AmazonSmile if you go to the normal Amazon URL.  Unfortunately, orders from the Amazon app on your mobile device (phone or tablet/iPad) are not eligible for AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is not associated with AmazonPrime, so AmazonPrime members must still go to to activate AmazonSmile.

The Marblehead Conservancy appreciates your interest and contributions!