Photos in this post were taken on three separate outings in early to mid-October when the foliage was plentiful and very colorful. Recent wind and rain storms have blown off most of the leaves. In the coming months we'll explore the park in snow.
Mine Falls Park is one of the most popular areas in the city. The park is located in the heart of the city and covers 325-acres that include forest, wetlands, and open fields. The park is bordered on the north by the Nashua River and on the south by the Millpond and canal system.
The park property was part of a large complex owned by the Nashua Manufacturing Company, which harnessed the river's flow to power its textile mills downstream on Factory Street. When the mills closed in 1948, a new owner sold the Mine Falls land to the a group of local businessmen, the Nashua, New Hampshire Foundation.
The name Mine Falls dates to the , when low quality lead was thought to have been mined from the island below the falls. In the early the potential of the River to drive the wheels of industry was recognized. Workers used shovels and mules to dig a three-mile long canal. It's no longer used for industrial purposes, and the walking trail along the canal was bursting with fall colors 2 weeks ago when we walked it.
In 1987, the River Canal and the Manufacturing Company Historic District (the ) were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992, the park trails were designated as part of the New Hampshire Heritage Trail system, which extends 130 miles along the River from Massachusetts to Canada.
In addition to the walking/hiking trails, Mine Falls Park has a lot of other sport and recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and biking with no admission or parking fees. Several sports fields are used for baseball, lacrosse and soccer. Park trails are used for high school cross country training.
Mine Falls Park is located within the second largest city in the state of NH. Yet, when we're out walking, there's no distracting sounds, aside from humans, dogs and wildlife on the trails. In addition to its extensive trail network, the park has several wildlife viewing points like the one below.
In late spring to early June, large-mouth bass and sunfish can be seen in the canals. The wetlands provide nesting sites for red-winged blackbirds, song sparrows, and mallards among others. We've also seen Canada Geese, herons and swans on our walks.
Of course, the trees are home for many bird species, including year-round chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays and woodpeckers. Chipmunks, squirrels, beavers, muskrats, turtles otters and raccoons are usually spotted the river and canal or in the woodlands. During a recent walk, Grenville found a conveniently located tree seat.
Fortunately for us, Mine Falls Park is a short walking distance from our apartment. The mill residence we live in was formerly the Nashua Manufacturing Company.
We go to the park as often as possible and appreciate that it's so close to our residence. It's a very scenic way to exercise. Thanks for coming along; hope you enjoyed the views.