LAWRENCE HERITAGE STATE PARK; CANALWALK:
MERRIMACK RIVER TRAIL; PEMBERTON PARK RIVERWALK:
MERRIMACK RIVER TRAIL; LAWRENCE RIVERFRONT STATE PARK:
SPICKET RIVER GREENWAY:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: October 10, 2023
Length: Northern Canalwalk/Lawrence Riverfront SP Loop Trail/Pemberton Park Riverwalk/Ellen Swallow Richards Park Trail Combined Loop; 5.6 mile Loop
Lawrence Riverfront State Park Loop; 0.8 mile Loop
Spicket River Greenway; 2.6 miles
Difficulty: Combined Loop; Easy. Mostly flat paved, stone-dust trail w/some on-road sections.
Lawrence Riverfront State Park Loop; Easy. Flat paved trail.
Spicket River Greenway; Easy. Mostly flat paved trail or sidewalk.
Lawrence Heritage State Park; Canalwalk:
To Start from the Lawrence Heritage SP Visitor Center; From I-495 take exit 44 to Merrimack St and travel right. Turn right on S Union St and cross over the Merrimack River. Turn left on Canal St, then right on Mill St. The parking lot is on the left.
To start from Lawrence Riverfront State Park; From I-495 take exit 44 to Merrimack St and travel right. Turn left on S Broadway St then right on Shattuck St. Take another right on Rowe St and you'll come to the Park straight ahead.
Spicket River Greenway:
To start from Manchester Street Park [Northwestern End]; From I-93 take exit 43 to Route 110 east. Bear left on Woodland St and follow to a traffic circle. Follow around to Manchester St, traveling underneath the old RR bridge and take your first left into the Park. Note; There are no Park entrance signs.
The Lawrence Heritage State Park opened to the public in 1986. Starting with the Visitor Center in an original mill worker boardinghouse, the Park has grown to include Visitor Center Park, the Northern Canalwalk, Pemberton Park, Riverfront State Park and the Bashara Boathouse. The Merrimack River Trail; Pemberton Park Riverwalk and Merrimack River Trail; Riverfront State Park are also part of the regional Merrimack River Trail , a planned Greenway along the Merrimack River through Massachusetts. It will also include the future Merrimack River Trail; Merrimack Riverwalk. For more information visit; LAWRENCE HERITAGE SP .
I've mapped out a Loop Route that begins from the Visitor Center and follows the Northern Canalwalk West (along the Northern Side of the North Canal) before turning South, crossing the Merrimack River where it will connect to the future Merrimack River Trail; Merrimack Riverwalk. From here you can connect on-road to the Lawrence Riverfront State Park Loop Trail. Looping back, you travel East through the Pemberton Park Riverwalk, then back along the Northern Canalwalk (along the Southern Side of the North Canal). You then head South again, Looping around the Ellen Swallow Richards Park Trail. Finally you return West (along the Northern Side of the North Canal) back to the Visitor Center. You may also access the Spicket River Greenway from the Eastern End of the Northern Canalwalk.
The Spicket River Greenway is an urban trail connecting various parks and trails along the Spicket River. It consists of paved off road paths, as well as, utilizing sidewalks through Lawrence. It connects to the Methuen Rail Trail at its Northwestern End and the Lawrence Heritage SP; Canalwalk at its Southeastern End. A wide White Stripe guides you along the myriad of twists and turns through urban Lawrence. For more information visit; SPICKET RIVER GREENWAY .
Lawrence Heritage SP; Canalwalk:
Starting from the Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitor Center; After checking out the Visitor Center head out to Canal St and turn right. The Northern Canalwalk travels West alongside the North Canal utilizing sidewalk and bricked paths. You may also ride on-road (low volume street). Informational sign boards are located along the canal. Brick mill buildings line the opposite side of the canal. Use the cross-light when you reach Amesbury St and continue along the canal. Come to the junction of Broadway, Canal & Water Streets at 0.6 miles.
Note; Future construction in Fall 2024 will construct a trail North from here along the old Manchester & Lawrence RR bed that crosses Water St straight ahead. The future Lawrence Rail Trail would then connect to the existing Methuen Rail Trail, in Methuen, Ma. Both of these trails utilize the rail bed of the old Manchester & Lawrence RR which continues into NH through the towns of Salem, Windham, Derry, Londonderry and South Manchester. Trails have been constructed along this rail bed in all of these towns, however, as of 2023 gaps still exist. See; Manchester & Lawrence Rail Trail for more information.
Turn left (South) along Broadway and cross over the North Canal. Check out the old RR
Bridges crossing both sides of the canal.
Continue across O'Leary Bridge over the Merrimack River (Great
Stone Dam on your right) alongside another
old RR trestle from the former Manchester and
Lawrence Branch of the Boston and Maine
Continue across O'Leary Bridge over the Merrimack River (Great Stone Dam on your right) alongside another old RR trestle from the former Manchester and Lawrence Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad.
Note; Future plans call for constructing the 1.3 mile Merrimack River Trail; Merrimack Riverwalk along the Southern Side of the Merrimack River along your left. See; LAWRENCE RIVERWALK & MAP .
Next you'll cross over the South Canal
before reaching Broadway & Merrimack
Streets at 0.9 miles.
Note; A BIKE LANE follows Merrimack St East for 1 mile. Only eastbound, not westbound.
Note; To check out the Lawrence Riverfront SP Loop; From Broadway & Merrimack Streets; [Re-zeroing Mileage] Continue along Broadway St and turn right on Shattuck St. This is on-road with a sidewalk available. Turn right along Rowe St after the sharp curve and follow to Lawrence Riverfront SP Loop at 0.4 miles. Continue straight into the park past the playground to your left and turn right along the paved trail. This will take you Southwest alongside the Merrimack River. Well shaded. Pass by an intersection at 0.7 miles and continue straight. This will bring you to the Bashara Boathouse. Return back along the trail to the intersection and head right up a slight hill through the Park. Side trails along your left lead to overlooks. Travel past the tennis courts and playground and exit the Park at 1.2 miles after a 0.8 mile Loop. Return to Broadway & Merrimack Streets after 1.6 miles and Broadway, Canal & Water Streets after 1.9 miles. [2.8 miles Total].
Continuing from Broadway, Canal & Water Streets; [Continuing Mileage 0.6 miles] Turn left (South) along Broadway and cross over the North Canal. Turn left between two brick buildings down N Canal St. This will bring you to the Pemberton Park Riverwalk. Follow the paved trail right where it brings you down along the Merrimack River. The trail now heads Northeast along the Northern Side of the river before encountering Casey Bridge and turning left. Travel up to the Pemberton Park parking lot, then right past the parking lot to a tunnel underneath Amesbury St on your right at 1.1 miles. Travel right through the tunnel and continue straight to a large parking lot. Head left through the mill parking lot, past the large brick chimney, then right alongside the North Canal to the Pacific Mills Bridge in front of the brick Lower Pacific Mills building. Here the paved Northern Canalwalk takes you East alongside the North Canal to the Washington Mills Bridge (270 Canal St) in front of the brick Washington Mills. Continue alongside the North Canal via a grass path to a 2nd Washington Mills Bridge (250 Canal St). The grass path ahead is blocked so you'll need to head left across the bridge to Canal & Mill Streets at 1.5 miles.
Note; You can return to the Lawrence Heritage SP Visitor Center by continuing straight up Mill St [4.3 miles Total].
Continue right, East, on-road along Canal St, next to the North Canal. Pass by the old North Canal Bridge before coming to a restored RR bridge over the canal.
Note; Check out this restored bridge that crosses North Canal to the old Pemberton Mill building. Check old the clock tower past this mill building. However no trail on this side.
Continue along Canal St to the Union Crossing Bridge and turn right across the canal. Old Lawrence Duck Company mill building (now Duck Mill at Union Crossing building) here. Head left, East, on-road (low traffic) along Island St, passing by the Essex Art Center and Union Crossing parking lot on your right before coming to another *Canal Bridge on your left. Just past the *Canal Bridge turn right past the parking lot and continue straight to the Union Crossing Playground next to the Merrimack River. Here you'll pick up the stone-dust Ellen Swallow Richards Park Trail at 2 miles. This trail travels East along the Northern Side of the Merrimack River. Come to an intersection.
Note; Right takes you down to where the Spicket River enters the Merrimack River.
Travel left, North, bearing right above the Spicket River on your right to a pavilion. Here you’ll find an overlook of a dam where the North Canal drains into the Spicket River. Next, the trail continues West, alongside the North Canal returning you back to the *Canal Bridge at 2.4 miles.
Note; If you cross the bridge to Canal St and head right along the narrow sidewalk up Canal St it will split. Right will bring you to a small Park overlooking the Spicket River and North Canal after 0.2 miles.
Note; You can access the Spicket River Greenway by crossing the bridge to Canal St, then crossing Canal St to the Everett Mills parking lot. Head right through the parking lot where you'll pick up the paved Spicket River Greenway straight ahead after 0.1 miles.
Continue straight, West, back along Island St to the Union Crossing Bridge. Cross back over the canal to Canal St and head left on-road back to Mill St. Turn right returning to the Lawrence Heritage SP Visitor Center after 2.8 miles [5.6 miles Total].
Spicket River Greenway:
Starting from Manchester Street Park [Northwestern End]; From the parking lot travel past the community garden and playground along the paved trail to a promenade that overlooks the Spicket River with the old Arlington Mills across the river.
Note; Heading straight, North, the paved trail quickly comes to an intersection. Here a spur on your left brings you up to the Methuen Rail Trail. Continuing straight you cross an old RR bridge over the Spicket River to the Polartec parking lot after 0.1 miles.
Heading right, East, the paved Spicket River Greenway follows a wide white stripe alongside the Spicket River. A granite post marks the trailhead. Travel between the refurbished old brick Mill buildings, across an old iron bridge by a dam and out to Broadway at 0.3 miles. A cross-walk takes you over to a sidewalk where you head right, South, through a commercial district.
Note; If biking I would suggest riding on-road along Broadway and then crossing over at Daisy St. The sidewalk is narrow and not a good fit for bikes.
Turn left at Daisy St where the trail continues East along a sidewalk (Bikes on-road). Pick up the paved trail as you enter William Kennedy Community Park. The trail travels around the park and alongside the river. Informational signs located along the trail. Pass by a promenade overlooking the river before crossing Hampshire St and continuing alongside the river. Turn left when you reach Bennington St, cross the river and turn right next to Erving Ave. The paved trail continues along the river, past Hayden Schofield Playstead and up a short boardwalk to Lawrence St. Turn right and cross the river, then left to pick up the paved trail as it travels through a Greenway alongside the river. Cross Short St and continue along the Greenway where the trail splits.
Note; If you bear right out to Chestnut & Short Streets you can cross over to access O’Neil Park (sports fields & courts).
Continuing straight you’ll pass by an
before reaching Jackson St. [This next section utilizes sidewalks, so if biking,
it's mainly on-road]. The trail follows a sidewalk left
along Jackson St, then right along Avon St. Cross E Haverhill St where the trail
continues right to Brook St. Head left. Here you’ll find a promenade overlooking the Spicket
River on your left. You soon pick up the paved trail as you
enter Dr Nina Scarito Park at 1.8 miles. Again the trail skirts the park
alongside the river now traveling South, passing by a playground, pavilion and community garden
before rejoining Brook St. Follow the sidewalk left (Bike
on-road) up to Union
St and continue left. Take your second left down Summer St where you'll pick up
the paved trail. Cross Allen St and travel through Misserville Park. Basketball courts and
Skateboard Park. Exit back onto Allen St and head left out to General St. Turn
left along General St, crossing over the river. Cross General St when you come
to the entrance to Lawrence General Hospital. This will bring you to a
paved trail that travels past a parking lot, over the river, through a Greenway
and out to the Everett Mills parking lot next to Canal St at 2.6 miles .
Note; If you continue straight through the parking lot, then left out to Canal St you'll spot the *Canal Bridge across Canal St. From here you can check out the Lawrence Heritage SP; Canalwalk . See Above.
CLICK HERE FOR MERRIMACK RIVER TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR SPICKET RIVER GREENWAY MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT