Easy Merrimack Walking Trails for Fall and Winter

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During the colder months, it’s important to get outside and exercise to keep the seasonal blues at bay. One of the best ways to do this is to grab some friends and take a stroll along one of the easy walking trails you can find in Merrimack Valley. Put on your walking shoes and grab a jacket for a leisurely walk outside.

Walk Among the Gardens

Most people assume that an arboretum is only worth visiting in the spring and summer. However, this is incorrect, as the Acton Arboretum in Acton, MA is a lovely place to walk year-round. 

There are three major trails at the Acton Arboretum; the Orchard Loop, the Wildflower Loop, and the Highland/Bog Loop. The Orchard Loop trail is the easiest for most amateur walkers, being a mere 0.2 miles long. The trail is gentle and handicap accessible, allowing you to take a leisurely stroll past the Japanese arches and wetlands that are lovely even in fall and winter. It also has plenty of places to rest, including benches along the trails, picnic tables, and a stone reading circle. 

Walk in Thoreau’s Footsteps

Author Henry David Thoreau is one of Merrimack Valley’s most celebrated figures. He was not only a local but spent two years living in a cabin by Walden Pond in Concord, MA, where he walked the woods daily. You can follow in his footsteps with the trails at Walden Pond State Reservation.

You can Walk Around the Pond with Thoreau and perhaps experience your own journey of discovery. It’s a scenic walking trail that takes visitors past glacial-formed coves to a replica of Thoreau’s own cabin in the woods. The dirt path provides an easy walking trail that will allow you to slow down and appreciate nature.

There’s also Thoreau’s Path at Brister’s Hill, which is located a few hundred feet from Walden Pond. Thoreau was a frequent visitor to the hill and his words are incised in granite and cast in bronze throughout the landscape. You can even make a game of spotting them as you walk along the trail!

Walk Along the River

The Concord River is a beautiful sight in fall when the waters reflect the colorful leaves and in winter when there’s a light coating of frost along the edges. If you’d like to see for yourself, the paved trails at Concord River Greenway Park in Lowell, MA are the way to go.

The river is both historic and scenic, acting as a haven of natural beauty hidden within the City of Lowell. You can walk the paved pathways along the river, making it an easy stroll on a brisk afternoon. As you meander along, take in the mills, dams, arch bridge, and even the famed section of the river that Thoreau had to carry his boat across.When you’re feeling cooped up inside and are craving some light exercise and fresh air, it’s time for an easy relaxing walk along the trails of Merrimack Valley.

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