Mine Falls Park

Whipple Street, Nashua, NH

Mine Falls Park is one of the most instantly recognizable and vital parts of the city of Nashua. The park is located in the heart of the city and was purchased in 1969 with city and federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) monies. The 325-acre park includes forest, wetlands, and open fields; it is bordered on the north by the Nashua River and on the south by the Millpond and canal system. Park provides numerous passive recreation opportunities such as walking, boating, fishing, cross-country skiing, and biking. The park includes several fields for organized sports.  Route 3 bisects the park.

The name "Mine Falls" derives from the 1700s, when low-quality lead was thought to be mined from the island below the falls. In the early 1800s the potential of the Nashua River to drive the wheels of industry was recognized. Workers used shovels and mules to dig the three-mile long canal, which provides a vertical drop of 36 feet at the mills.

The Gatehouse near the falls was built in 1886—with the first gates being built in 1826—and it still brings the river to the Millpond. Currently, the gatehouse is the focus of a middle school student-lead restoration project. The hydroelectric plant near the falls was built in 1984.

In 1987 the Nashua River Canal and the Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District (the Millyard) were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992, the park trails were designated part of the New Hampshire Heritage Trail system, which extends 130 miles along the Merrimack River from Massachusetts to Canada.

Viewing Information

Even though Mine Falls Park is surrounded by city, it boasts a wide variety of wildlife-viewing opportunities.  From mid-May to June, look for evidence of large-mouth bass and a variety of sunfish nesting in the canals.  The wetland in the middle of the park provides nesting sites for  red-winged blackbirds, song sparrows, common yellowthroats and mallards.  The large trees are summer homes for scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles and red-eyed vireos. Year round birds include chickadees, nuthatches and blue jays.  Evidence of muskrat, beaver, otter, mink and raccoon can be found along the wetlands, river and canals.

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Mine Falls Park

Key to map points:

  1. Mill Pond — Entrance provides access to the Mill Pond and the canal for canoes and small boats, and entry to the Mine Falls trail network east and west. Parking is available in the adjacent commuter lot.
  2. Stellos Stadium — Westernmost park entrance includes a boat launch for access to the Nashua River above the dam. It is also the nearest entrance to the 1886 historic Gatehouse. The entrance is through the stadium access road.
  3. Lincoln Park — Located at the south end of Coliseum Avenue, Lincoln Park offers tennis courts, ballfields, and easy access to the Mine Falls trail network via the Nashua River footbridge. This is the only access north of the river.
  4. Nashua High School South— A paved trail enters the park from the back of the school parking lot along the canal.
  5. Whipple Street — Entrance accesses the trails along the Nashua River, canal, soccer, and softball fields, and is located at the midpoint of the paved trail system.
  6. North 7th Street — Located in a residential area near the Boys and Girls Club on Perry Avenue, this entrance gives access to the canal and trails in the park from the eastern side.
  7. Pine Street (Millyard) — Entrance is at the eastern end of the original Spine Road, which was used by the Nashua Manufacturing Company to maintain the power canal system.
Directions

GPS – N 42 o45.622’  W 071o 29.446’  

From the south on Route 3, Everett Turnpike, exit at 5A and merge onto Ledge Street.  Make first left on to Simon Street, stay left on to Whipple Street.  Park is at the end of the road. 

Alternatively, from south on Route 3, Everett Turnpike, take Exit 5E onto Route 111, Kinsley Road.  Make left on Liberty Street and left on W. Hollis. Turn right on Simon Street, stay left onto Whipple Street. Park is at the end of the road.  Large parking lot before The park on left and parking for 20 cars in cul-de-sac.

Contact Us

Nashua Parks and Recreation Department
100 Concord St
Nashua, NH 03060
recreation@nashuanh.gov                                     
Phone: (603) 589-3370


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