Fall Foliage in Lowell
Fall could easily be renamed to "Instagram Season" here in Lowell. Fall foliage is one of Lowell's many hidden secrets. Lowell's foliage season usually begins mid to late-September and extends into late November. The 'peak' foliage can be found at many different times and places as the season unfolds.
Here are some of our favorite places for an urban fall foliage experience in Lowell and their little stories. We suggest you book your stay at one of Lowell's Hotels and plan your trip early!
Jack Kerouac, an iconic novelist and poet, began his life and career right here in Lowell, MA. Kerouac Park was dedicated in 1988 to celebrate his life and work, which often touched back upon his Lowell roots and upbringing. Standing among the granite pillars with excerpts of his writings, all you need to do is turn around and see Lowell’s history. This is a great place to stop if you’re heading to Boarding House Park, or for a walk along the Merrimack. The Hamilton Canal is right behind you, Arthur’s Paradise Diner is across the street, and the Boot Mills are just steps away. This spot is a calm retreat from the arduous day of walking from one historical backdrop to another.
Lowell Memorial Cemetery
This may sound creepy, but coming into Halloween and all, I hope you hear me out. This place is beautiful, holds events for the public throughout the year, and celebrates a piece of history unlike that which you can find in any of the mills. In 1998, this cemetery was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. These picturesque grounds are a respite for those looking to connect with this history of influential Lowell leaders, or simply seeking a quiet backdrop to take in some nature. Definitely an easy walking trail for you walking enthusiasts. A must-see this fall.
Lowell Heritage State Park
This has been one of my favorite spots since I was in High School. Lowell Heritage State Park has everything anyone needs for a good time outside. There is a long scenic walking/running trail right along the Merrimack River. Like Boarding House Park, there is a stage where you can catch a show in the summer months. If you have a boat, you can drop it! If you want to swim, well, you can do that too! If you’re more of a ‘watch and see’ type person, go across the street to Heritage Ice Cream and sit on one of the many benches and listen to the water and watch a sunset. Friendship Field is also right across the way, so if there’s a festival going on, you are at the right place. When I was a kid, my friends and I would walk along the river while there was a show going on and talk about going to UMASS Lowell, which is the backdrop of the boathouse. A nostalgic stop for me, and I’d bet for plenty of other people.
I have visited this park on so many occasions. It's a perfect spot to take a posed picture with a backdrop of rhododendrons in spring, and to have a quiet conversation about life with an old friend. It started as part of a larger promenade with grass and trees that was commonly paired with Mill yards of its time. These “malls” were a place where the mill girls could walk and take in a bit of greenery, which was a sharp contrast to the backdrop of brick, wooden beams, and metal that surrounded them during their 60 or so hour work week. Even though this contrast was once considered important for the worker’s well-being, this small garden is all that remains after the rapid growth in Lowell in the late 1800s. After being dedicated to Mary Bagigalupo in 2005, it’s received a well-deserved, Victorian-style face lift. It’s a great spot to sit with a coffee and read on your tablet. Lots of trees block the sun, so if you love paper-backs, there is a bench for you right on the outside of the garden. Otherwise, I would stick to an eBook!
Rogers Fort Hill Park
This park’s history goes way back past the raising of the textile mills! It got its name when the local Pawtucket Indian Tribe’s Chief, Wannalancit, created a fort there. Zadock Rogers then purchased the 300 acre parcel in 1805 to create the Fort Hill Zoo, only to leave it to his daughters who later sold most of it for both development and to the city to form Rogers Fort Hill Park. Over the years, there has been both highs and lows for this park. It followed the city’s path of prosperity and decline. In the past 20 years, reinvestment has brought about improvements, better security, and more visitors putting it back on the map. Rogers Fort Hill Park has been the scenic backdrop for engagement and family pictures, music videos, and even a movie about the creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, according to the Fort Hill Park Facebook page. With 11 acres of fields and 23 acres of forest, there is all the room anyone could want to spend a day. Running, mount biking, and even just taking pictures of the sunset are all feature past times at this great spot.