Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lowell Heritage State Park

One bright Saturday morning we went over to the local AAA office to talk insurance.  We had some time to kill before we went off to a barbecue so we decided to stroll the banks of the Merrimack River along Pawtucket Boulevard in Lowell.  We parked down by the UMASS Lowell boathouse.  There you can rent kayaks for an hour or for a day to go for a paddle.  Then we strolled with the Little Dude down towards the swimming beach.

For a sunny, summer-like day the paths were not too crowded.  There were plenty of walkers with dogs and babies.

The Little Dude got hungry.  So I settled on a park bench and sent the Big Dude off to get me a snack at the Dunkin' Donuts across the way.  We had an impromptu picnic watching the people biking, walking, and roller blading.  There were some people out on the water as well.  During the school year, there are crew races held out of the boat house.  Those days the park is packed with college students.    

Sampas Pavilion is the site of many events including concerts and classic car shows. In August you'll find the river here being used for the Southeast Asian Water Festival.  That day there were several children playing and running around.  Across the street from the pavilion is Heritage Ice Cream.  Big Dude was disappointed that we didn't swing on over but lots of food was in our future.  Heritage is hosting a free concert series every Monday night this summer.  

Across the river you can see part of the canal system.  Tours are lead by the National Park Service.  There is also the Riverwalk, another walking path through Lowell.    

The Vandenberg Esplanade is actually only a mile long and is probably the most frequently used path in Lowell.  Along with the sights in these photos you can find a swimming beach which is generally packed in the hot weather.  

This is a nice little urban park to take a stroll.  More information and directions can be found at the Lowell Heritage State Park website.     
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