As the weather continues to warm up, the Merrimack Valley has so many great things to do outside!
So be sure to pack your sunscreen because we’re heading into the great outdoors to have some fun in the sun and get some much-needed Vitamin D.
Below, you will find a few excellent (mostly family-friendly) ideas to get your outdoor adventures started.
Go For A Scenic Walk
Sometimes, the best thing to do outside is to go for a brisk walk – or perhaps a jog or bike ride, if you’re feeling ambitious.
Luckily, the Merrimack Valley has plenty of walking trails and paths to visit throughout the area, each providing all the scenic beauty that Massachusetts is known for.
1. The Nashua River Rail Trail (Ayer, Groton, Dunstable, MA)
Walking the Nashua River Rail Trail provides an 11-mile, primarily paved walking path that features incredible views of the Nashua River through Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable. Restrooms and scenic viewing areas are available on the trail.
2. The Battle Road Trail (Lexington & Concord, MA)
The Battle Road Trail has it all. Here, visitors can walk, hike, and take in the fascinating local history. Stretching from Mariam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington, the trail follows much of the same path taken by the colonial militia during the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
3. Willard Brook & Pearl Hill State Park (Townsend, MA)
With around 3,500-acres of scenic land to explore, these connections are fantastic spots to stretch the legs. A 4-mile (about 3 hours) walking trail connects the parks.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of the various walking trails in the Merrimack Valley, be sure to visit our recent blog, “8 Walking Trails Near Lowell, MA To Visit This Spring.”
Get Outside And Play
For kids and kids at heart, going outside to play is one of the best parts about the warmer weather in New England. Here are some fun things to do outside to get you started.
4. Merrimack Valley Golf Courses
The Merrimack Valley is littered with fantastic golf courses, each with its own unique scenic views, challenge levels, and accompanying amenities. We couldn’t possibly list all of them here but if you’re looking to reserve your next tee time, be sure to check out our blog, “12 Great Golf Courses in the Merrimack Valley Area.”
5. MVP Family Fun Center (Tewksbury, MA)
The Merrimack Valley Pavilion Family Fun Center provides enough outdoor (and indoor) fun for the entire family. Here, guests can show their putting skills on the Tiki-Island mini-golf course, conquer the ropes challenge course, watch family-friendly drive-in movies, and grab a delicious ice cream.
6. The Discovery Museum (Acton, MA)
The Discovery Museum is a great place to visit for family-friendly and educational outdoor activities. Visitors of all ages can experience STEM-based activities indoors and explore the beautiful 4.5–acre outdoor campus – complete with nature-based educational activities and the chance to play in the Museum’s fully-accessible giant treehouse.
Or, dine al fresco, as the Italians say. Here are some great restaurants and cafes to visit if you’re looking to eat delicious food while catching a few rays.
7. Cobblestones of Lowell (Lowell, MA)
Located within the historic Yorick Building (1859), the Cobblestones Restaurant has become one of the most popular restaurants in Lowell, MA. The location is known for its hand-cut steaks, juicy burgers, and local seafood, such as oysters. There’s also a vast wine, beer, and cocktail selection. Best of all, you can experience all this from outdoor seating when available.
8. Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus (Lowell, MA)
Brew’d Awakening is a warm and friendly cafe for all who enter its doors. Here, guests can grab a delicious cup of gourmet coffee made from freshly roasted beans, smoothies, sandwiches, and much more (including cocktails!) and enjoy outdoor sitting.
9. Heritage Farm Ice Cream & Restaurant (Lowell, MA)
One of the most popular ice cream spots in the Merrimack Valley, a visit to Heritage Farm is a great way to get outside for a bit (and enjoy tasty ice cream). The ice cream stand also has a full restaurant menu and hosts various community events, such as a free concert series in the summer.
Take A Walking Tour
With so much to see and do in the Merrimack Valley, why not take a tour? Better yet, let’s go on a guided walking tour of all the best spots.
10. Lowell Walks (Lowell, MA)
Lowell Walks hosts guided walking tours every Saturday morning during the summer. Each walk features a unique topic hosted by a different tour guide, ensuring that you’ll have something new to learn every tour. The tours begin at 10 am at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center.
11. Lowell Cemetery Tours (Lowell, MA)
The Lowell Cemetery is a Victorian-era, garden-style cemetery in the heart of Lowell, MA. Here, visitors can enjoy the beautiful and historic grounds while hearing stories of Lowell’s Founding Fathers. Free guided tours are offered during the Spring and Fall seasons.
12. The Minute Man National Historical Park (Lexington & Concord, MA)
Alongside the Battle Road Trail, the Minute Man National Historical Park has so many things to see regarding American history in Massachusetts. And this includes guided tours! Whether taking a guided tour of the grounds led by park rangers or exploring the inside of historical buildings, there’s plenty to see and do.
Remember To Keep Exploring!
Lowell, Massachusetts, and the surrounding Merrimack Valley area have so many exciting things to do, places to see, and adventures to behold, especially when it comes to getting outside.
So be sure to keep exploring. Who knows? You may even find a hidden gem or two!