Parks Profile

Tree, flowers and walkway in Riverfront park

​Public parks are here for your enjoyment. Visit, play, relax, appreciate nature, improve your health, and interact with your community.

Find a park

EXPLORE locations and features of a park near you by using the Park Finder application, or view a list of parks and addresses by area of town. 

The Salem Public Library has explorer backpack kits that can be used at your local park. They will be available when the library has completed its reconstruction late summer 2021. 

Reserve a facility

Plan your next event whether it is a family picnic, ball game, wedding or other important event. View our reservable facilities by visiting our reservation site.

Salem parks by the numbers

  • Number of parks: 90

  • Park acreage: 2,338 acres 
  • Activity permits: 1,356 special activity permits were issued in 2019. 

  • Volunteer hours: On average, Salem park volunteers contribute approximately 80,000 hours annually. That is almost 39 full time workers.

  • First City park: Englewood Park is Salem's first city park. The seven acre site was purchased in 1926.

Park classification system

Salem parks deliver recreation benefits by providing open fields for programmed or drop-in play, trails for jogging, walking, and exploring nature, playgrounds for social interactions between kids and adults, and natural areas for education, relaxation, and reflection. Parks are classified into certain types to organize how activities are provided to residents in a way that creates the most benefit and least impact to neighborhoods and the environment. 

Park classifications

  • 47 Neighborhood parks: Neighborhood parks are local parks serving surrounding residents within walking and biking distance and providing access to basic recreation amenities. A typical neighborhood park is about 4-7 acres in size.

  • 10 Community parks: Community parks, such as River Road Park or Woodmansee Park, are large scale parks that serve the entire community and allow for a variety of recreational activities such as organized sports, group picnics, and playgrounds. They can also include significant natural resources such as creeks, wetlands, and tree groves.

  • 7 Urban parks: Urban parks, such as Riverfront Park, help to meet the recreational needs of the entire city and may attract visitors from throughout the region. They can have large areas of open space reserved for festivals, music events and open-air theater.

  • 6 Linear parks / Connector trails: Linear parks and connector trails include natural or built corridors that connect parks and neighborhoods and provide linkages through the city. The Union Street Railroad Pedestrian Bridge is an example of a Connector Trail that links Riverfront and Wallace Marine Parks.

  • 4 Special use facilities: Special use facilities generally are sites that serve unique purposes, and may provide recreational, cultural, or educational uses. Center 50 + and Gilbert House Children's Museum are Special Use facilities.

  • 4 Historical areas: Historical areas serve multiple purposes. These areas contain features of cultural and historical significance requiring sensitivity to use and management of the site. Bush House and Deepwood Museum and Gardens are examples.

  • 10 Natural areas:  Natural areas are primarily undeveloped lands left in a natural state for conservation, and they may provide opportunities for passive recreation. Minto-Brown Island Park is our largest natural area with close to 19 miles of trails.

Volunteer in Salem Parks

Individuals, families, friends, and groups can help the community as well as have fun and enjoy the outdoors by volunteering in Salem parks and with any of our partnering groups such as Mission Street Parks Conservancy, Lord & Schryver Gardeners and Deepwood Gardeners . Volunteering opportunities range from one-time events to ongoing park assistance.

Tell me more about park volunteer opportunities​

Park governance 

The Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is an advisory board to the Salem City Council. The board recommends to and advises City Council on park land and recreational facilities, recommends heritage tree designations, and issues decisions on city tree removal permit appeals.

Contact us

Parks and Recreation
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301
Phone: