The Goldthwait Reservation is a private, non-profit land trust created in 1947 by Dr. Joel Goldthwait to preserve and maintain the natural setting of approximately 12 acres of coastal property, comprised of Goldthwait Beach, the surrounding land area, and the salt marsh. Though urged to sell this land as parcels for development, Dr. Goldthwait took action to preserve this private property in the public trust for the recreation and enjoyment of all the townspeople of Marblehead.

Parking Permits

Contribute $50 to receive a parking sticker to enter the Goldthwait Reservation parking lot. Marblehead residents who contribute $75 or more will receive two parking stickers. To donate and receive your stickers, download and send in the completed DONATION FORM with your payment (or simply click on the “Donate” button below and enter an amount and note about where to send the stickers).

Beach Fire Permits

We are not issuing any beach fire permits at this time. The policy will be reviewed for the 2023 season. Any un-permitted beach fires will be subject to enforcement and fines. Thank you for adhering to our policies.

Event/Area Use Permits

If you would like to hold an event at the park or beach/dune area of Goldthwait, permits are required for parties of more than 12 people. These larger organized parties must be approved by the Officers of the Reservation prior to use and applicants are required to submit an Area Use Permit Application (PDF). Applicants must be Goldthwait donors and pay the applicable permit fee and a deposit to cover any clean-up expenses. Please contact Jeanne Kleene at 617-922-0656 or email permits.gwr@gmail.com to confirm availability of your desired date and to submit your request. For more information, see the Policies & Permits page.

Firepit Use

For use of the firepit in the park area (regardless of the number of people), please use the Area Use Permit Application (PDF).

Volunteer Today

We’re always looking for the community’s support to help keep Goldthwait Reservation clean, healthy, and ready for visitors. There are many opportunities to help out, ranging from participating in a beach/marsh cleanup, helping to remove invasive vegetation within the marsh, or joining a fundraising effort. To learn more about how you can help join the cause, email goldthwait.reservation@gmail.com.


Becoming a donor is as simple as providing an annual donation to help Goldthwait Reservation Inc. reach its goals. As a donor, you will be helping to protect and restore the nature and wildlife of the marsh, dune, beach, and recreational park area. Go to our Donate page to help. Or click here:

New Manager
We are very happy to introduce William (Bill) Godin as the new manager of the Goldthwait Property. Bill is originally from the western part of Massachusetts where his family ran a nursery and garden center in the Town of Adams. He later went on to attended the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, part of University of Massachusetts. Bill is credentialed as a Certified Arborist from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and is also a Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional with the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals. Bill currently operates a small landscaping business on the North Shore and lives in Salem, Massachusetts. He is very committed to sustainability and ecological endeavors. Bill’s responsibilities as manager of Goldthwait will include general site maintenance and planning, summer help scheduling and management, and permitting activities. Feel free to reach out to Bill at manager.goldthwait@gmail.com.

Drone Footage

Salt Marsh and Shore

For a bird’s eye view of the Goldthwait Reservation, see this beautiful drone footage provided by Timothy Curé.

Right Whales

See North Atlantic Right Whales right off Goldthwait Reservation in this drone footage by Eyal Oren.

Street Guide
Interested in learning about Goldthwait stories of yore? This book, Street Guide to the Greater Goldthwait Neighborhood, by Jackie Lynch provides insights and interesting before and after images of some of our favorite neighborhood places! Purchase one and all profits go to the Goldthwait Reservation, Inc. Thanks!

Goldthwait Reservation Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization managed by an annually-elected volunteer Board of Directors and Officers. Our mission is to support Dr. Goldthwait’s vision to protect this special area for the recreation and enjoyment by the people of Marblehead. Our responsibilities include the day-to-day management and maintenance of the property, as well as fundraising efforts to support the protection and restoration of the reservation. The reservation is not subsidized or maintained in any way by the Town of Marblehead. A lifelong elected Board of Trustees are responsible for the long-range planning and vision and ensuring that the management of Goldthwait Reservation holds true to its founder’s original charter. With the help of neighbors and citizens, we seek to preserve:

  • the natural beauty and character of the area to be used for outdoor education, recreation, and enjoyment by Marblehead residents;
  • the ecological integrity of the salt marsh, including the native plant species that grow there and the fish and wildlife that use the marsh for food, shelter, and nursery grounds; and
  • the reservation as a fun and safe place to host gatherings, events, and educational activities.