Exploring Beyond Halloween: Officials Revise Salem Heritage Trail

Photo: Brooke McCarthy / WBZ NewsRadio

SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The magical tours of the "Witch City" is about to receive a fresh new coat of paint, as part of an effort to revamp the Salem Heritage Trail.

Destination Salem has worked for the past two years to expand the SHT's website, develop an app, and pick ten sites that highlights Salem's unique history. The "red line" that guided tourists through the route, has been replaced with a dotted yellow line, though officials have planned to replace that with a permanent solid golden line towards the project's completion.

Executive Director of Destination Salem Kate Fox told WBZ's Brooke McCarthy to consider the SHT Salem's version of the Freedom Trail in Boston.

"It is very faded and has been in need of fresh paint for a few years now, and we took that as an opportunity to consider what the line is, what the SHT is, and what it really could be," Fox said.

According to SHT's website, the organization has recognized the phrase "Red Line" has a negative connotation, marking a time when redlining was a discriminatory practice that denied financial services based on things like race, ethnicity, or demographic. Because of that, the SHT was reborn with a new color and inclusive interpretation of sites.

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Sites along the SHT's route includes the House of Seven Gables, the Salem Common, and Salem Witch Museum among its multiple stops. Fox says she hopes the new and improved trail will help bring light to the less known aspects to Salem's history.

"Fewer know about the great age of sailing and our maritime history, even fewer are aware of the indigenous stories, the African American heritage, the women's history," Fox said.

Fox says Destination Salem hopes to have the trail's companion app up and running before the end of August, allowing for tourists to explore at their own pace.

WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports.

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