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Merrimack Valley is a region northwest of Boston in Massachusetts. It consists of several towns in Middlesex County.


Map of Merrimack Valley (Massachusetts)

  • 1 Haverhill — This former industrial milltown is experiencing a renaissance of sorts.
  • 2 Lawrence — A bustling majority Spanish city with strong ties to the labor movement.
  • 3 Lowell — This gentrifying mill town skillfully combines museums and galleries with an infusion of Cambodian culture. Its many historic mills, canals, and factory buildings have been preserved within Lowell National Historical Park.


  • 4 Amesbury — Sleepy residential community along the Merrimack river.
  • 5 Andover — Just outside of Lawrence, Andover features a nice art museum and a variety of other options.
  • 6 Billerica — One of many commuter suburbs.
  • 7 Groton — Nature abounds and amenities are scarce in this quiet area.
  • 8 Groveland — A rural expanse running along Interstate 95.
  • 9 North Reading — There's not much going on here to be perfectly honest.
  • 10 Shirley — A few quiet suburbs offer commuter rail connections with Boston.
  • 11 Townsend — You'll find more trees than people at the far western end of Merrimack Valley.
  • 12 Tyngsborough — More options for forests and commuter suburbs.
  • 13 Westford — Commuter suburbs on the Interstate 495 ring road, Nashoba Valley Ski Area is a popular attraction.
  • 14 Wilmington — Another sleepy commuter suburb.


Get in[edit]

Take the commuter rail from Boston's North Station, or travel along I-93 or Route 3. Traffic can be quite heavy on the highways, especially during rush hour, so consider the commuter rail.

By public transit[edit]

Get around[edit]

You'll need a car for travel, especially the case on weekends.

By public transit[edit]

  • LRTA (Lowell Regional Transit Authority), +1 978-452-6161. M-Sa 6AM-6PM. Provides bus service in the Lowell area. Most buses are based out from the Lowell Commuter Rail Station, you can connect between transit services there.
  • MVRTA (Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority), +1 978-469-6878. M-Sa 6AM-6PM. Runs buses daily throughout the Merrimack Valley as well as a limited number of routes connecting to Newburyport and Salisbury Beach on the North Shore.

By bicycle[edit]

Merrimack Valley has a variety of high quality cycling options. The fantastic Bruce Freeman Rail Trail connects Concord with Lowell, and is probably the most popular. The beautiful Nashua River Rail Trail connects through Groton on its way into New Hampshire. A section of the East Coast Greenway (or US Bicycle Route 1) passes through Groveland on its way to Newburyport. Finally, the Methuen Rail Trail starts in Lawrence and continues north to the outskirts of Manchester (New Hampshire). There's also tons of great mountain bike trails within the region's several State Forests.




  • Lowell Folk Festival — Last full weekend of July, Lowell. The oldest and second-largest folk festival in America, and it's free to boot. The festival features three days jam packed with traditional music and dancing, local artisan demos, parades, and street food.
  • Bread and Roses Festival — First Monday in September, Lawrence. Celebrate the true meaning of Labor Day at the site of the famous workers' strike of 1912. Hundreds of vendors set up shop for one day, offering ethnic foods and artisan crafts. Informational booths detail everything from history and labor relations, to modern social justice movements.



Stay safe[edit]

The Merrimack Valley is safe for the most part, but Lawrence and Haverhill have their share of violence, especially muggings and assault. Areas to avoid are usually easy to spot (broken windows, poor lighting, trash on the streets), but be on your guards at night.

Go next[edit]

  • North Shore — A charming collection of wealthy towns and fishing villages; this region's many beaches make it a notable summer destination.
  • MetroWest — As the name implies, this is a collection of commuter suburbs and superb historic attractions just west of Boston.
  • Greater Boston — The most populated region in New England, this is the urbanized collection of towns that tightly surround the eponymous city.
  • Merrimack Valley (New Hampshire) — Comprising the three largest cities in the State (including the capital), this is as crowded as New Hampshire gets.
  • Seacoast (New Hampshire) — New Hampshire really makes the most of its only outlet on the sea.

Merrimack Valley
This region travel guide to Merrimack Valley is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!