Exploring New England's Parks: Massachusetts

Exploring New England's Parks: Massachusetts

This week we've been exploring all of New England's national parks, historic sites, landmarks, monuments, and scenic trails that fall within the protection of the National Park System, in honor of National Park Week, which ends today.

National Park week is a celebration of 'America's Best Idea' - it's a week-long celebration of America's amazing places and spaces, our heritage and our history. With so much in our backyard, this week seeks to highlight these special places by offering free admission and special events. What better way to honor this NPS initiative than by exploring some of the parks that we have access to, right here, in New England? If you've missed our posts over the last few days, don't worry, you can read up on all that content at the links below!

Maine || New Hampshire || Vermont || Connecticut || Rhode Island

Overall, we've learned a lot through this "digital" exploratory - we may not get to see and explore them all in person (yet), but it's incredible that they're here and we have access to such wonderful landmarks from our history. We're inspired to see all these wonderful places and we hope you find some inspiration too! Now, for our last installment, let's explore Massachusetts!


Adams National Historic Park

Located in Quincy, MA, Adams National Historic Park tells the story of five generations of the Adams family, including two Presidents (John Adams and John Quincy Adams), their wives, U.S. Ministers, historians, writers, and additional family members who supported and contributed to their success. The park protects John Adams birthplace, John Quincy Adams birthplace as well as the Stone Library, which is believed to be the first Presidential Library.

Boston African American National Historic Site

Located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, the African American National Historic Site commemorates the brave men and women who led the city and the nation in the fight against slavery. The site was designated in 1980 to "preserve and commemorate original buildings that housed the nineteenth-century free African-American community on Beacon Hill." (source: Wikipedia)

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor

The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is dedicated to the history of the early American Industrial Revolution and is made up of 24 cities and towns, including historic mill towns. It surrounds a stretch of the river from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI.

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

Located in Boston Harbor, this NRA protects 34 islands and peninsulas, many of which are open to the public. Attractions within the Recreation Area include hiking, beaches, a Civil War-era Fort (Fort Warren) on Georges Island and the oldest lighthouse in the U.S., Boston Light, on Little Brewster Island.

New England National Scenic Trail
(MA, CT)

The New England National Scenic Trail is a 215-mile-long trail running from Long Island Sound in Guilford, CT to the Massachusetts & New Hampshire border. The trail includes most of the three single trails Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, Mattabesett Trail and Metacomet Trail. Though coming to an end at the MA/NH border, future talks to extend the trail to the summit of Mount Monadnock in NH are being strongly encouraged.

Washington–Rochambeau National Historic Trail

Designated a National Historic Trail in 2009, the Washington-Rochambeau Trail (or Revolutionary Route),  is a 680-mile-long series of roads used by the Continental Army and the Expédition Particulière under the command of George Washington and Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau during the march from Newport, Rhode Island, to Yorktown, Virginia in 1781.

Appalachian National scenic trail

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,185 mile long public footpath extending between Spring Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail passes through 14 states and is one of three trails that make up America's Triple Crown of long-distance hiking. The AT travels through the Berkshires as it passes through Massachusetts, and is comprised of just over 90 miles of trail within the state.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Founded by John Winthrop the Younger, the first integrated ironworks site was in operation from 1646 and approximately 1670 and is located just 10 miles northeast of Downtown Boston in Saugus, MA. The site includes includes the reconstructed blast furnace, forge, rolling mill, shear, slitter and a quarter-ton drop hammer.

Cape Cod National Seashore

Created in 1961 by President Kennedy, Cape Cod National Seashore protects 43,607 acres and nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing shore of Cape Cod. The area includes ponds, woods and of course, beaches, and protects a diverse range of sites, including; Marconi Station, site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission, and the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District, a district of shacks that's home to artists and writers from the 1920's to today.

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

This Brookline, MA historic site protects "Fairsted," the world's first full-scale professional office dedicated to landscape design, and Frederick Law Olmsted's home. Housed within the site is nearly 1,000,000 original design records detailing work on notable American sites such as the U. S. Capitol and White House; Great Smoky Mountains and Acadia National Parks; Yosemite Valley and New York's Central Park.

Springfield Armory National Historic Site

The Springfield Armory, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, was the primary center for the manufacture of military firearms in the United States from 1777 until its closing in 1968. The site also features the world's largest collection of historic American firearms.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

12 historic structures, 1 replica tall-ship and about 9 acres of land along Salem's waterfront make up Salem Maritime National Historic Site. This Historic Site interprets the triangular trade during the colonial period, when cargo ships would depart Salem for the Far East.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site

This National Historic Site protects the birthplace and childhood home of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and is also located in Brookline, MA. The Kennedy home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, and was established as the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site on May 26, 1967.

Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

For almost fifty years, this historic site was the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of America's most notable poets. Prior to his residence, it  served as the headquarters to General George Washington during the Siege of Boston (July 1775 - April 1776). The house is located in Cambridge, MA and was designated a National Historic Site in 1972.

Lowell National Historical Park

Lowell National Historical Park protects a variety of different sites in and around the city of Lowell, MA - all of which are related to the era of textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. Unlike many other mill towns, Lowell's manufacturing facilities were built based on a planned community design and was built as a reaction to the overcrowded and cramped mill communities in Great Britain.

Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Historical Park's 970 acres commemorates the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War. The sites within the park include Concord's North Bridge, the 5-mile Battle Road Trail, and the Wayside, a home to authors  Amos Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

This Historical Park encompasses 34 acres, dispersed over thirteen city blocks, and commemorates the heritage of the world's preeminent whaling port during the nineteenth century.