Worcester, Massachusetts combines all the charm of a historic New England small town with the fast-paced attractions of a larger city. Living here provides the serenity of a tucked-away wilderness escape. Consider this guide to exploring the outdoors in Worcester, to take a break from the everyday traffic and noise.
Institute Park is a hidden gem in Worcester, nestled among residential and commercial properties. This park is home to the headwaters of the Blackstone River and hosts summer concerts and festivals. You’ll find walking trails, a wetland sanctuary, and biking areas, making it an excellent spot for outdoor enthusiasts of all backgrounds to enjoy.
Broad Brook Meadow Conservation Area
The largest urban wildlife sanctuary in New England, Broad Brook is managed by Mass Audubon and encompasses a whopping 400 acres. This park includes well-marked trails that traverse woods, marshes, streams, and fields, with interpretive signage and activities along the way. This park is open year-round, with seasonal programs available that are both educational and recreational.
Green Hill Park Farm
The Green Hill Park Farm is a free venue that’s open to the public and hosts large groups on a regular basis. This living and learning farm is home to a number of animals, including chickens, sheep, goats, alpacas, chickens, and more. While visitors may not feed the animals, the scenic farm is a great way to learn more about agriculture in Worcester.
This small, secluded park is located just off of North Quinsigamond Avenue. You’ll find several paved pathways, picnic areas, swings, and a jungle gym. It’s a great spot to bring your dog for a quiet walk or to relax in the shade
Cristoforo Colombo Park
Also known as East Park, Cristoforo Colombo Park is located in the Shrewsbury Street commercial district. You’ll know you have arrived at the park’s entrance when you see two massive griffins flanking the park gate. With a number of lighted football fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts, the park is a great spot to visit at any time of the day. It also includes a splash pad, playground, amphitheater, and multiple acres of trails to explore.
Beaver Brook Park
Just a short journey away from Foley Stadium is Beaver Brook Park. This park hosts both the Ted Williams Little League and the Worcester Vikings youth football program and also offers several paved walking paths. These paths are lighted, making them convenient at all times of the day. The park also has multiple playing fields, sports facilities, playgrounds, and picnic areas, along with an off-leash dog park.
A historic public park in Worcester, Elm Park includes 27 acres of trails and other venues to explore. The park includes several historic structures, along with a lighted basketball court and four lighted tennis courts. The pond here is perfect for winter ice skating. The Elm Park Summer Concert Series each summer features local musicians every Thursday night beginning June 28th.
Quinsigamond State Park
This park has two access points. One at the Regatta Point area, offers facilities for picnicking, fishing, sailing, and swimming. The Lake Park area, on the other hand, is home to a swimming beach and tennis courts. This park is a great place to jog, boat, sail, and swim. It’s also open for cross-country skiing in winter.
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