The Zemko Sawmill Preserve is a remarkable property because of its history, its plant and wildlife diversity, and its unique geology. The original 72-acres of the Preserve contained the sawmill for 3 generations of Salem’s Zemko family. The property sits at the edge of the Rattlesnake Ledges that mark the upheaval of land where two continents collided eons ago. A beaver pond provides flood control, important habitat for amphibians and waterfowl, while the maple/ beech/hemlock forest is an uncommon tree community in Salem.
The main trail travels from the lower pond up through the hemlock forest to finally reaching a oak/maple/hickory forest. Steeper side trails lead to the top of the ledges and back down again.
In 2016 the Zemko Sawmill Preserve grew by 20 acres when SLT acquired the hillside to the east of Whittlesley Swamp. There are trails on that parcel also, thanks to the Salem Boy Scouts.
Please park along the side of the driveway before the chain barrier and walk in the drive. The land trust removes the chain for large groups for parking in the inner parking area. The trails start from the inner parking area.
Dogs are allowed on leashes, no hunting or motorized vehicles.
DIRECTIONS: 180 Rattlesnake Ledge Rd.
From Salem Roundabout: North on 85 for 1.9 mi., right onto Rattlesnake Ledge Rd. for 0.9 mi. Entrance/parking on the left along dirt driveway. Please park along the side of the driveway before the chain barrier and walk in. The land trust removes the chain for large groups. The trails start from the inner parking lot area.