As I sit here in Lowell, Massachusetts it’s 80 degrees in mid-october and a stunning indian summer day. While I have lived here my entire life, I’m always grateful to be able to enjoy the beauty of the Fall in the Greater Merrimack Valley. Over the years, I have found so many beautiful places to walk and enjoy the season and below are my top 5 choices I wanted to share with you. The Greater Merrimack Valley is close to our peak season and the colder days and evenings will soon be upon us so while you have a chance I encourage you to get lost with nature, enjoy the brilliance of colors and feed your soul. You’ll be glad you did!
The Lowell Cemetery
The Lowell Cemetery is a perfect place to take a lovely walk among beautiful foliage and wildlife. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lowell Cemetery is one of America’s most beautiful Victorian garden cemeteries, home to the final resting places of many prominent local figures and heroes from the Civil War. The arboretum houses a wide variety of trees and plants, all labeled to satisfy the curiosity of plant lovers. An assortment of wild creatures, rarely seen in the city, also make their homes there, including red-tailed hawks and rabbits. The cemetery staff offers free guided tours of the property throughout the fall season. Free parking is available just outside the cemetery gates.
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Among the Merrimack Valley’s most incredible wild places is the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord and Sudbury. Great Meadows offers miles of walking trails and wildlife observation areas throughout its 3,600-acre property. One of the most valuable wetlands conservation areas in the Northeast, Great Meadows provides habitat for several species of migratory birds, deer and many other animals. Located only 20 miles west of Boston, just off of Route 2, Great Meadows offers a great opportunity for people to spend time with nature.
Battle road at Minuteman National Park, Concord
Explore the Battle Road Trail. This five mile trail connects historic sites from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of the Natioanl Park in Lexington. The main theme of the trail is the Battle of April 19, 1775, that launched the American Revolution. Much of the trail follows original remnants of the Battle Road; other sections leave the historic road to follow the route of the Minute Men, traversing farming fields, wetlands, and forests. This trail comes alive with color during the foliage season in Massachusetts.
Great Brook Farm, Carlisle
Great Brook Farm State Park stands as a jewel in northern Massachusetts! Agriculture has been part of Great Brook’s history for centuries. Holsteins have been kept here for over 60 years and current farmer Mark Duffy continues the tradition with his cows. Native Americans had previously used the area for sacred sites. Seventeenth century cellar holes comprise “the city” where early English colonial settlers worked one of numerous mill sites. The park consists of approximately 1000 acres and has over 20 miles of trails available for walkers, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders.
Walden Pond State Reservation
Walden Pond, home of Henry David Thoreau, is comprised of 335 acres of protected open space. Because of Thoreau’s legacy, Walden Pond has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. Open year round for day use, the Pond is a great location to observe the beautiful fall foliage, hike the many trails that surround the Pond or even just to take in the beautiful scenic views. Year round interpretive programs and guided walks are also offered to visitors of the Pond. Parking is available at the Walden Pond Visitor Center. Be sure to check out this Visitor Center for information on the area, revolving exhibits and specatular views of Walden Pond.
Until next time,