This month I was enjoying the beautiful leaves and enjoying long walks with my dog before scurrying off to all my other priorities and I thought it might be best to remind ourselves of the many wonderful and beautiful parks we have around us to enjoy. Below is my list of ones I know of that are close to me. I am sure I missed some but it is a good start and these are great if you have not been to them.
Great Brook State Farm
This is a wonderful local park to take your kids to year round. It has 20 miles of trails and over 1,000 acres of land. In the summer, it has homemade ice cream stand and a farm with a robotic milking system. You can see the animals and they give tours of milking the cows.
Lots of people run or ride their horses on the trails, they have cross country meets here as well. In the winter when there is snow you can rent cross country skis or snow shoes or bring your own and enjoy some outdoor time and some exercise. It does cost $2 to park there.
NARA Park in Acton
This park is open year round but is only manned in the summer. In the summer, you can enjoy the beach with lifeguards for a fee or you can enjoy a concert at the amphitheater, check out the website for a calendar of events. http://www.acton-ma.gov/312/NARA-Park . In July they have a fantastic 4th of July show but you need to get there early as it does get crowded.
Manning State Park in Billerica
This park has some nice short trails great for cross country skiing and they include a new fitness circuit to make them more challenging. In the summer it has a splash Pad. It does have restrooms as well.
Lowell Heritage State Park Lowell MA
Enjoy canal rides at this fun park that is connected to the bigger Lowell Historical Park. It has a bike path and many exhibits on the trail. There is a pretty Victorian garden in the heart of the downtown area, and over two miles of landscaped esplanade which allows for summer concerts. Swimming and boating in the Merrimack River are offered as well as a boat ramp so you can bring your own.
Rogers Forth Hill Park Lowell
This park is being renovated and is includes 11 acres of paths and gardens, and 23 acres of woods. There are Heritage trees in the park, including Beach trees, Japanese and Sugar Maples. The upper part of the park has mostly been restored and now they are working to restore the part with the restoration of the spring house and the addition of a pergola, I am excited to see it when it is done, it will be a beautiful addition.
Lowell Dracut Tyngsboro State Forest
These 1,140 acres offer six miles of trails offering hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, as well as hunting in season. 180 acres of this are ponds and wetlands with some pretty viewing areas.
Walden Pond Concord
Home to Henry David Thoreau this park include 102 feet deep kettle hole ideal for swimming and fishing on 335 acres of wooded land, has lots of trails around the pond and in the summer they do interpretive guided walks.
Willard Brook State Forest
This beautiful forest contains 2,597 acres and is located in the towns of Ashby and Townsend, and includes tumbling brook and quick water amid groves of classic New England pine woods. This state park includes campsites, hiking, fishing, swimming and trails.
Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary
This 421 acre sanctuary includes a lot of granite ledges and rocks and is home to 100 species of birds and plants. There is a nice 3 mile trail to walk through the sanctuary.
Minuteman National Historic Park Concord and Lexington
The Old North Bridge in Concord is just one of the highlights on this park system. Battle Road is a five mile trail with houses along the way that are open to the public in the summer for tours. This is a beautiful and fun day to spend exploring both Concord and Lexington and there are many activities in the park.
So go out and explore and enjoy these parks, spend some quality time outdoors and remind ourselves to stop and admire what is around us.