3 Merrimack Valley Bike Paths To Try This Spring

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Are you itching to get outside?

There’s nothing quite like the beginning of spring. As the snow begins to melt and the temperatures start to rise, it truly does feel like a renewal, especially here in New England.

In the past, we featured a few of the many great walking paths in the area. Today, let’s speed things up a bit and explore the many scenic bike paths in the Merrimack Valley area.

The Nashua River Rail Trail

the nashua river rail trail

The Nashua River Rail Trail provides 11 miles of scenic trails, making it not only a fantastic bike path but also a wonderful tour of the Merrimack Valley’s natural areas. The bike-friendly rail trail runs through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable. Much of the trail is a straight and paved path, making it an accessible tour for both casual and advanced cyclists. Visitors can also take part in other recreational activities, such as walking, jogging, rollerblading, swimming, and more.

You can find rail trail parking and access at these locations:

  • Ayer Center Parking Lot
  • Groton Center Parking (Court Street 10-15 spaces)
  • Groton Sand Hill Road Parking (10-15 grace spaces)
  • Dunstable State Line Parking (10 grave spaces)

Concord River Greenway

Concord River Greenway

While this ambitious trail is still under construction, the Concord River Greenway is an excellent spot for cyclists looking for an outdoor adventure. The completed sections of the trail are open to the public and provide accessible biking paths in Lowell, Massachusetts, which can be accessed at:

  • 51 Davidson Street (The Concord River Greenway Park)
  • 1001 Lawrence Street (Shedd Park)

When completed, the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust and the city of Lowell hope to have this trail join the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, connecting the regional trail network–providing visitors with walking and cycling pathways to explore the Merrimack Valley. One of the project’s overall goals is to provide alternate means of transportation between Lowell’s neighborhoods and downtown areas.

Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest

Source: https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/massachusetts/lowell-dracut-tyngsboro-state-forest/photos

The Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro is part of the Massachusetts State Park System. The over 1000-acre state forest offers around 6 miles of trails, perfectly suited for mountain bikers. It is worth noting that since these trails are a little more “natural” than others found on this list, inexperienced mountain bikers should take it slow. DCR Massachusetts recommends that bicyclists “control your bike–do not skid” and “avoid startling horses and hikers–announce yourself.”

In addition, the trail is also a great place to hike, fish, fish, and hunt, offering plenty of opportunities to view the area’s ponds, swamps, and wetlands up close. Since this is a large state forest, be sure to stay on designated trails and roads, observe all posted rules, and be highly alert of other trail users. 

The trail can be accessed at the main entrance on Trotting Park Road in Lowell, MA.

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