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Mine Falls Park in Nashua is a 300-acre-plus urban park with a network of approximately 9.7 miles of a variety of trail types. This forested park offers an extraordinary nature experience in the heart of New Hampshire’s second-most populous city along the Nashua River. The park is a beacon of recreational opportunities; in addition to the trail network, the area boasts historic exploration, wildlife viewing, ball fields, and ample fishing spots.
The Nashua River and Nashua Canal both cut right through the park, providing an interesting glimpse into the city’s past. The Nashua Manufacturing Company built the canal to channel water from the river downstream to a dam, creating a crucial power source for the mills and industrial movement in the area during the 1800s.
Before you head out, it’s a good idea to bring along a map of the park developed by the City of Nashua, available at nashuanh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2328. The park is organized by a series of color-coded trails and corresponding numbers posted along the trails to help you navigate. The city map details all of this information. Several access points make it easy to get to the park from several places, and three primary routes traverse the park from east to west.
One great starting point for the trail is the Mine Falls Gatehouse/Dam trailhead, located on the western side of the trail system, between the Nashua River and Mill Pond, accessible from Stadium Drive. The impressive Mine Falls Dam appears right next to the parking area; here, you can also glimpse a gatehouse (currently being restored) constructed by the Nashua Manufacturing Company in 1886 as part of the canal system that is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mine Falls Park extends to the east, immediately presenting you with three primary pathway options. Following the northern side of the Nashua Canal, the old towpath travels east directly alongside the water. In 1.2 miles, you will cross under US 3/Everett Turnpike and come to a trail junction at the Whipple Street trailhead. There are many different trail connections throughout the park, and three bridges cross the canal.
Staying along the northern side of the canal for the remaining 1.1 miles, the trail makes its way to the eastern edge of the park. Beautiful views of the river, wetlands, and wildlife abound on the northern side of the trail overlooking Oxbow Lake and The Cove. The Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District is located just one block east of the park at Clocktower Place and Factory Street Extension.
In addition to the canal towpath, a trail on the northern edge of the park closely follows the south bank of the Nashua River. Just after passing under US 3/Everett Turnpike, you can opt to continue straight toward the eastern side of the park or turn left to make a small loop through the wooded area that runs adjacent to the southern side of the river.
To the south, a paved trail segment begins just off of Stadium Drive near Stellos Stadium and closely follows the southern edge of the canal for the length of the park. If you choose to follow this section, you can also access the 1.3-mile Nashua Heritage Rail-Trail—which runs parallel to West Hollis Street—by turning right onto a trail junction about 2.3 miles from the stadium parking lot. To the left is a trail bridge that will take you to the northern side of the canal. From the trail junction, head straight onto North Seventh Street and go 0.3 mile, passing ball fields and a parking area. Cross over North Groton Street and enter the Nashua Heritage Rail-Trail, which heads east or west along the north side of West Hollis Street.
Throughout the park, trails suitable only for hiking offer a unique wilderness experience right in Nashua.
To reach the Mine Falls Gatehouse/Dam trailhead from US 3/Everett Turnpike, take Exit 5W, and merge onto SR 111/W. Hollis St., heading west. Go 0.5 mile. Turn right onto Riverside St., and in several hundred feet, turn left onto Stadium Dr. Go 0.2 mile, and follow signs to Mine Falls Park. You will turn right and pass Stellos Stadium on your left before entering the park. After passing the boat launch on your left, look for trail parking on your left near the gatehouse.
To reach the Whipple St. trailhead from US 3 S/Everett Turnpike, take Exit 5E if coming from the north, and merge onto SR 111/W. Hollis St. After crossing over the highway, immediately turn right to get on US 3N/Everett Turnpike. Take Exit 5A and follow signs for Simon St. Turn left onto Simon St., and go 0.2 mile. Turn left onto Whipple St., and go another 0.2 mile to the park entrance and parking.
To reach the easternmost trailhead on Pine St. Ext. from US 3/Everett Turnpike, take Exit 6 for Broad St./SR 130 toward Hollis. Head east onto NH 130/Broad St. (signs for Nashua), and go 0.4 mile. Turn right onto Broad St. Pkwy., go 1.1 miles, and turn right onto Pine St. Ext. In a few feet turn left to stay on Pine St. Ext., go 0.1 mile (the road will turn right), and then turn left again to stay on Pine St. Ext. for another 0.2 mile. Turn left into the small parking lot.
went last week for a bike ride. didnt seem to busy, parking was easy to find. has a good amount of trails to pick from so u can loop yourself different ways, and they aren't too difficult. just enough space to kill park of your day outside:) lots of great views by the water. good for walking jogging or biking.
we love it does not really say enough.
This trail is almost in my back yard, but I've never tried it because it's not all paved. Then I remembered that the old Schwinn Mesa Runner that I ride here was sold as a mountain bike, so I decided to give it a try. I was glad I did.
Don't even think about trying this on a road bike or a hybrid with thin tires, but any beefier hybrid or mountain bike will work great. I would think one of the new fat tire bikes would be awesome in this area. For reference, I run 26x1-1/2" Bontrager H2 tires, which I think would be amount the minimum you'd want.
I covered most of the major trails, which are mostly packed dirt. There are a few spots of soft sand, but those seem to be rare. Some tree roots, but not bothersome. There's a nice paved segment off the Whipple Street entrance if you don't like dirt, but it's short. I started at Lincoln Park, where you can follow the paved entrance to the paved section, but I decided to follow the dirt to the south and do the loops.
I wondered about the isolation of these wooded trails, but at 3pm when I went there was a pretty good collection of walkers ranging in age from teens to 80 year olds. Some dog walkers and strollers, but they were all very good about sharing the trail. Bikes seem to be less numerous, but there were a few out besides me.
Overall it's a really nice peaceful ride in the shade while mostly following the river and the canal. More adventuresome mountain bikers can take some of the interior rough trails. If you want a pleasant quiet ride, I recommend this place.
I have used the trails for exciting mountain biking, running and walking a super high energy dog, and no matter what you are doing, there are good trails for you. You can walk the large, easy trails or bike or hike the tough trails. I am always considerate of bikers when with my dog, but I have noticed this year that there are people taking dogs there off leash.
Started off from the Gate House Entrance the trail starts off asphalt then to gravel, some grassy area depending what trail you follow. We took the trail along the canal which is nice it can get a little rough in some areas with tree stumps/roots and can get slippery with the pine needles but still a nice ride nice scenery and fun for the whole family...
This trail is really a series of trails in a downtown Nashua park. The park itself is amazingly peaceful and scenic given its location. Most of the trails are gravel, but there is an asphalt section that is a a mile and a half or so.
The biggest problem with this trail is that it is crowded with lots of non-bikers. This is normally not a bad thing, but in this case bikers are a very small minority. Accordingly, the dog-walkers, baby stroller pushers, lovers, and everyone else feel no need to make room for people on bicycles. It's as if bicyclists are seen as intruders. Having to dodge so many people on so many occasions made the ride pretty stressful. This is really too bad since it's a surprisingly scenic place.
I would, however, recommend this trail to people with younger children who are learning how to ride a bike. It's a great escape from urban traffic. I'd also recommend it to people who can't get out from the city itself. For its faults, it's still better than the congested streets of Nashua.
I was slightly surprised to find such a beautiful trail in the middle of Nashua! It's nice and peaceful and gorgeous, too! I can hardly wait to see the snow melt away and see how beautiful it is in the spring and summer. The few people that I encountered were very nice and helpful as well. All around, a good experience that I'm excited to repeat!
Such a wonderful, well kept trail and park. Not a lot of people, just enough runners and fishermen to make you feel not completely alone if you need anything (ask for directions etc). Can't wait to go back.
This is one of my favorite trails. It's right in the middle of Nashua. It doesn't cross any roads. There are multiple off shot paths you can take and explore. The path is made up of paved and dirt trails. On some parts are made for mountain bikes and hikers. But the majority of the trail is level ground that road bikes handle without any issues.
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