Let’s face it, New Year’s Resolutions aren’t always the easiest promises to honor. With the day-to-day grind of everyday life, it’s easy to lose track of your personal goals at month 2 (or day 2). Luckily, the Merrimack Valley has some great spots to help you keep your goals, explore the local area, and even have a little bit of fun along the way.
So, today, let’s explore a few popular New Year’s Resolutions and how a few great nearby locations in the Merrimack Valley can help motivate you.
Resolution #1: Get Outside And Get Active
The resolution that makes many people’s list every year is getting outside more and amping up your personal fitness. So here are some accessible year-round outdoor spots that you can visit to take a brisk cardio-friendly walk or really get your heart rate pumping with jogging, biking, and much more.
Be sure to bring your Fitbit or Apple Watch, because we’re getting our daily steps in!
Explore Trails At The Walden Pond State Reservation
The Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord, MA, is one of the best spots around to get outside and explore nature while getting your daily steps in. In the winter, visitors can take part in hiking (bring your snow boots!), cross-country skiing, and snow-shoeing. In the summer, the reservation features great opportunities for swimming, jogging on the trails, canoeing, and more.
Walk The Nashua River Rail Trail
The Nashua River Rail Trail runs 11 miles through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable. Here, you’ll find ample opportunities for walking and jogging (if conditions are safe enough, of course). You can also take part in seasonal special activities, such as cross-country skiing, rollerblading, swimming, and biking. Oh, and there are also plenty of spots for fishing (hey, it counts!).
Jog The Pearl Hill State Park Trails
The Pearl Hill State Park in West Townsend, MA, is a wonderful place to visit all year round. The 1000-acre acre state park allows visitors to participate in all the traditional cardio activities, such as running, walking, and biking. In addition, the park offers its own various seasonal activities, educational programs, cross-country skiing, hunting, snowmobiling, swimming, and more. And if you are feeling especially outdoorsy, you can even reserve a campsite and stay overnight.
Resolution #2: Learn Your Local History
For some, New Year’s Resolutions offer an opportunity to actively pursue knowledge and learn more about the history that surrounds us. And of course, it’s always wonderful to achieve this by cracking open a few more historical books this year.
But why stop there? Here in the Merrimack Valley, we are surrounded by New England history. This provides visitors and residents alike with the opportunity to immerse themselves and explore sites where historical events actually took place.
Whether your interests lie in colonial New England, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, or some of the nation’s most legendary literary figures, there is so much to explore!
Visit The Boott Cotton Mills Museum
Ever wanted to experience what life was like in 1920s industrial mills? The Boott Cotton Mills Museum located within the Lowell National Historical Park puts you right inside a weave room with fully operational power looms. Here, you’ll experience what life was like for those living during the Industrial Revolution through interactive walking exhibits and in-depth video programs. Oh, and be sure to stop by the Museum Store before you leave to take home a few historical treasures.
Explore The Minute Man National Park
When it comes to immersing yourself in the Revolutionary War, why not start at the beginning? The Minute Man National Park allows visitors to explore the very grounds where the Battle of Lexington and Concord took place–the first armed conflict in the American Revolution. Here, you can walk across Old North Bridge, the site of “shot heard round the world,” which kicked off the fighting.
Visitors are also welcome to explore the various sites themselves, such as hiking the Battle Road Trail, taking in history along the way, or can join the various guided programs offered.
Resolution #3: Learn A New Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to unwind after a long day and allow your mind to focus on something creative and fun. For those who don’t nearly dedicate enough time to ourselves, a hobby might be just the New Year’s Resolution we need.
Here are some fantastic locations in the Merrimack Valley area to either nurture your favorite hobby or learn a new one!
Create Ceramics At The Pottery Mill Clay Studio
This community ceramic studio in Lowell, MA, is a great place to pick up your next creative and calming hobby. The Pottery Mill Clay Studio describes itself as “a communal space where anyone can develop their love, curiosity, education, and creativity for clay.”
The studio offers special events, private classes, one-time workshops, and group reservations, with options for all ages. Here, you can learn how to use a pottery wheel, hand build your own clay creation, and even purchase a take-home kit to practice on your own!
Take An Art Class With A Local Artist
The Western Avenue Studios & Lofts is an old textile mill complex turned into a creative campus for local artists in the Merrimack Valley area. Here, not only can you explore the various galleries and purchase unique works of art, trinkets, and more, but you can also take an art class yourself.
Many of the artists that call Western Avenue home offer their own art classes in various disciplines. So if a new creative hobby is what you’re after, there’s no better place to visit!
Learn How To Ski (or Snowboard)
There’s still plenty of time to hit the slopes at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, MA. So whether you’re blowing the dust off your old skis or looking to pick up a new skill, Nashoba Valley is a great nearby beginner-friendly ski area to get you started. The ski area offers skiing and snowboarding classes in a group or private setting for ages three and above.
Keep Exploring And Keep Going After Your 2022 Goals!
These are just a few of the many places you can visit this year to help achieve your New Year’s Resolutions. So be sure to keep exploring as you create some new great habits. Remember, whether you’re seeking a new hobby, to get outside a bit more, or to immerse yourself in history, the Merrimack Valley is the perfect place for you!