Gonyea Park is one of Salem’s newer parks. It is also one of Salem’s invisible parks.
Gonyea Park was established in 1997 to serve the families in the Northey St. area. Before that park was built, the nearest public parks were Salem Common and, further yet, the Collins St. Park. Even the closer Common is “on the Moon” as far as Northey St. is concerned, separated by busy Bridge & Winter Sts over a half-mile away.
It’s a neighborhood park that’s so well hidden that you can’t even find it from nearby Howard St., which now has the northern end of the huge Jefferson complex. It is accessible from there through Woodbury Court, and it is on the very end of Northey St. @ Smith St.
Behind the park is the Veterans Riverway and the commuter rail tracks. There’s a buffer of bushes that effectively shields the park from the Riverway below. (Northey St. is one of a few streets along the Riverway that does not have an entrance to the bike path.)
It wasn’t the easiest task to calculate the square footage. Gonyea Park is a rough trapezoid (emphasis on “rough”) with a rectangular playground area. Between the winter-stiffened turf and the irregular shape, it’s a wonder I could get the measurements.
Best I could do, using PowerShell and the Bing math page on trapezoids, is 23,452 square feet for the park including the playground area and part of the entrance leading up to it. All of my square footage estimates have included sidewalks and driveway areas.