Dead Horse Beach in Salem, Massachusetts

Dead Horse Beach is a free public beach in Salem, Massachusetts. The beach is a small sandy and rock beach located near the mouth of the Danvers River facing Beverly Harbor.

Free parking is available at the newly constructed Dead Horse Beach lot. Public restrooms are available at Salem Willows Park as well as restaurants and concession stands.

Have you been to Dead Horse Beach? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it!

Why Is It Called Dead Horse Beach?

The name “Dead Horse Beach” originates from the fact that it is a historical site that was once used as a dumping ground for various waste materials, including the carcasses of dead horses and other animals.

Dead Horse Beach History:

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Salem was a bustling port city, and Dead Horse Beach served as a place where the remains of deceased horses and other large animals were disposed of.

It was a common practice at the time to dump such carcasses into the ocean or bury them along the shoreline. The beach area became associated with this practice, and over time, the name stuck.

As the understanding of environmental impact evolved, so did waste disposal practices. Over time, societies recognized the health hazards and ecological consequences of improper waste disposal, leading to the development of more regulated and sanitary methods.

Dead Horse Beach’s significance as a dumping ground declined as awareness of environmental issues grew. Efforts were made to clean up and rehabilitate the area. As Salem’s waterfront underwent changes, areas that were once used for industrial or disposal purposes were repurposed for recreational and public use.

Today, Dead Horse Beach is no longer used for such purposes and has undergone significant changes. It has been transformed into a public area and park, known as Salem Willows Park, and efforts have been made to clean up and restore the site.

The area now offers scenic views of the water and serves as a place for recreational activities and relaxation.

Dead Horse Beach stands as a reminder of Salem’s historical connections to maritime trade, industrialization, and changing waste disposal practices.

While its history may be associated with less environmentally conscious practices, the beach’s transformation reflects society’s increasing awareness of environmental stewardship and the importance of preserving and restoring natural spaces.

Address: 158 Fort Ave, Salem, Ma


“15 of the Best North Shore Beaches To Visit This Summer 2023.” North Shore Magazine,
“Dead Horse Beach.”,
“Salem Willows.”,
“Explore the Park.” Salem Willows Arcade and Park,

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. In addition to his website, William has contributed travel stories and articles to various travel publications, and his work has been featured in several magazines and online platforms. He also collaborates with tourism boards and travel companies to promote sustainable and responsible travel practices. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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