Old Salem

Old Salem is an historical district that is partly residential and partly open for interpretive tours. It also is the site of Salem College. From eastbound Business I-40, take the Old Salem exit. From westbound Business I-40, take the Main Street exit and immediately take two lefts onto Liberty going south. Park at the Visitor Center and walk over the covered bridge to Church Street one block east, or turn left into Old Salem at Academy Street and park on the street. For more parking and direct access to the cemeteries, use Stadium Drive from Salem Avenue to the east or Cemetery Street to the north.

Walk north along Church Street past the College and Salem Square. Many birds can be found in backyards of the old homes. Check shrubs and cedars especially in spring, and watch for Cooper's Hawks. The Moravian Cemetery, known as God's Acre, has flat, identical stone markers. The large Bald Cypress trees are active year round and can have many different species in spring. This is a good place for Common Nighthawk during summer.

Down the slope to the east and north is Salem Cemetery. The trees and shrubs between the two cemeteries can hold numerous migrants in spring and fall. The shrubs throughout are excellent for wrens and sparrows. Red-tailed Hawk, Kestrel and Common Raven are seen fairly regularly. The ravens nest downtown near Fifth and Vine Streets. The large magnolias, oaks and conifers toward the east hill are favored by spring beauties such as grosbeaks, tanagers, orioles and warblers.

The walk that leads south from the lower parking lot near the cemeteries passes the Salem College Fine Arts Bldg. to the back campus area. The May Dell Amphitheater below the Science Bldg. has been a nesting site for Great Horned Owl. The big old Tulip Poplar trees also house Kestrel and Screech Owl.

The large oaks along the Strollway on the Visitor Center side of Old Salem Road can be good for migrating warblers. Any overgrown grassy areas can have many sparrows. One block west along Academy is Tanner Creek. Brushy areas along this creek are also worth visiting.


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