You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Eastern Region
Lowell-Dracut State Forest
Chickadee ©
Picnic Table ©
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
Availability Search
Located in three towns, this forest contains 1,140 acres including 180 acres of ponds, swamps, and wetlands. It is the probable site of a Native American village prior to colonial settlement and later was acquired to obtain granite for canals and factory foundations. The forest has six miles of trails offering hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Hunting is permitted in season.
History of the Area
The Lowell-Dracut State Forest, located in the state of Massachusetts, has a rich history that dates back centuries. Here is an overview of the history of the forest:

1. Native American Settlements: Prior to European colonization, the area where Lowell-Dracut State Forest now stands was inhabited by indigenous Native American tribes, most notably the Pennacook and Wamesit tribes. These tribes used the land for hunting, fishing, and gathering.

2. Early Settlement and Industrialization: In the early 19th century, European settlers arrived in the region and established the towns of Dracut and Lowell. The forest area was initially used for agriculture and logging. However, with the introduction of industrialization, mills and factories were built along the Merrimack River, which runs adjacent to the forest.

3. State Acquisition and Afforestation: In the early 20th century, the state of Massachusetts acquired several parcels of land in the area, which eventually formed the Lowell-Dracut State Forest. This acquisition included areas that were previously used for industrial purposes such as quarrying and granite extraction. To restore the land, the state initiated afforestation projects, planting trees and restoring the landscape.

4. Conservation and Recreational Development: Throughout the 20th century, the focus on the forest shifted towards conservation and recreational use. The state actively protected and enhanced the forest's natural resources, establishing trails, picnic areas, and campsites. Visitors to the Lowell-Dracut State Forest can engage in activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and wildlife observation.

5. Environmental Preservation: In recent years, there has been increased emphasis on environmental preservation and ecological management in the Lowell-Dracut State Forest. Efforts have been made to conserve and restore habitats, manage invasive species, and educate the public on ecological conservation.

The Lowell-Dracut State Forest has transitioned from a land used for industrial purposes to a protected natural and recreational area. It bears witness to the region's history of industrialization, conservation, and the ongoing efforts to maintain its natural beauty.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental

1. Bay Circuit Trail: This is a long-distance trail that passes through the Lowell-Dracut State Forest, offering hikers an opportunity to explore different parts of Massachusetts' natural beauty.

2. Blue Loop Trail: A moderate 3-mile loop trail featuring beautiful wildflowers and wildlife sightings. The path has some steep sections but offers great views over the forest canopy.

3. Red Maple Swamp Boardwalks: These trails take you across wetlands on boardwalks where you can observe unique swamp flora and fauna without disturbing their habitats.

4. Yellow Diamond Trails: An easy-to-moderate hiking route marked with yellow diamonds along its length for guidance; it's perfect for beginners or those looking for a less strenuous hike in this state park area.

5. White Circle Trails: These are more challenging routes designed specifically for experienced hikers who want to test their endurance levels while enjoying picturesque landscapes throughout these paths.

6. Green Rectangle Routes: This set of interconnected trails offer diverse terrains including hills, valleys, streams and dense woods providing ample opportunities to spot local bird species as well as other woodland creatures during your trekking journey here at Lowell-Dracut State Forest.

7. Purple Triangle Paths: Ideal choice if seeking solitude amidst nature since they're lesser-known yet equally rewarding when it comes down exploring scenic vistas within this protected landmass.

8. Brown Square Tracks: A series of shorter tracks suitable even kids & elderly people due ease-of-accessibility factor coupled with relatively flat terrain making them ideal family-friendly outdoor recreational options available inside this reserve.

9. Black Star Pathways: The most difficult among all existing pathways owing rugged topography filled numerous uphill climbs/downhill descents thus recommended only seasoned adventurers possessing high fitness level plus adequate mountaineering skills.

10. Blueberry Hill Overlook Track: A short spur off main circuit leading towards panoramic viewpoint atop hill from where one could enjoy breathtaking aerial view entire surrounding region especially during sunrise/sunset hours.

11. Pine Grove Trail: A peaceful trail that winds through a dense pine grove, offering hikers the chance to enjoy some solitude and tranquility.

12. Beaver Brook Loop: This is an easy 1-mile loop around Beaver Brook Pond with opportunities for bird watching or fishing.

13. River Meadow Trails: A network of trails running along Merrimack River providing beautiful water views as well potential sightings local aquatic life forms such turtles & frogs among others.

14. Old Quarry Pathway: This pathway takes you past remnants old stone quarry site thus adding historical dimension overall hiking experience inside Lowell-Dracut State Forest.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 14 Wonderful place by Emily McArdle
park review stars; one to five
April 27 Be Aware by Walker
park review stars; one to five I was walking through the state forest from Dracuts, Gumpus Road and notice several tents set up there, and people living there. I later found coming out from the forest on the Lowell end that the owners of homes along the forest are aware of the squatters and that they are homeless people. So be careful when passing through this area of the forest.
write a review
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Berry's Grove Campground, Inc.
35 Davis St.
Tyngsboro, MA
Boston Minuteman
Box 2122 Route 2A
Littleton, MA
Berry's Grove Campground
35 Davis Street
Tyngsborough, MA
Spacious Skies Minute Man
264 Ayer Road
Littleton, MA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Granite State Rod & Reel
6 Holbrook Dr
Nashua, NH
(603) 880-6031
Mark's Wholesale Bait Co
7 Brook St
Nashua, NH
(603) 882-4934
T-Bow's Bait & Tackle
802 Lakeview Ave
Lowell, MA
(978) 453-9934
Pete's Gun & Tackle Inc
2 Dracut Rd
Hudson, NH
(603) 889-0684
Hudson Fish & Game Club Inc
53 Pine Rd
Hudson, NH
(603) 889-9875
Mark's Wholesale Bait Co
20 Pond St
Nashua, NH
(603) 881-8070
Pelham Fish & Game Club
Simpson Mill Rd
Pelham, NH
(603) 635-8311
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
businesss listing main photo
Located on over 100 wooded lakefront acres, overlooking Ashland State Park. Right out our front door you get to truly enjoy the great outdoors. Easy access to trails for hiking, and an area for swimming. Come and enjoy all that Ashland State Park has to offer, and stay at the Warren Center right next door.
29.6 miles from park*

Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest is located in north-east Massachusetts.

From the south: Take Rte. 3 north, Rte. 113 (Tyngsboro), follow onto Pawtucket Blvd. to Varnum Ave., 3 miles to Troting Park Rd. Look for signs, follow to exit 5N, and follow signs.

state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks