Explore the Parks of Worcester

Posted: July 14, 2018

Summer in Central Mass. begs visitors to explore the wonders of nature. Whether you are looking for a relaxing meditation by a feudal tower, games and recreation on a hillside, or a rigorous waterfall hike - the region has a destination to satisfy your needs. Lace up your hiking boots, grab your bathing suit, and dust off your disks: here are eight local parks for you to explore.

Chase the Chickens at Green Hill Park

Did you know that Worcester has a zoo? Albeit a small one, but you’ll find goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens for your petting pleasure from Wednesday to Sunday all summer. The park is also home to Green Hill Golf Course, which will soon include a driving range for public use.

Once a month, hordes of free fitness enthusiasts show up at Green Hill for a community run through the park at 6:20 a.m. The group is called November Project and they hope you’ll show up. They’ll even snap your powerful portrait as you make your way through the lush landscape to commemorate the experience. +discover

Splish Splash Like it’s 1492

Cristoforo Colombo Park’s splash pad (open 12 PM - 7 PM during the summer) and playground attract countless families to the Shrewsbury Street neighborhood all summer long. Also known as East Park, the park is tucked at the edges of one of Worcester's most booming commercial districts. Guests are greeted by two stone griffins at the park’s entrance. Courts accommodate tennis and basketball along with sprawling fields for football.

Behind the park’s beautiful amphitheater is a tree covered hillside with trail connections to Bell Pond Park and Green Hill Park leading all the way to Lake Quinsigamond. The 23 acre park is open from dawn until dusk. Across town, Crompton Park also offers a wonderful splash pad.

Go Down in History

Elm Park was once referred to as the "New Common" but it is now regarded as the oldest piece of public land purchased for municipal use as a park, dating back as far as 1854. Most people are familiar with Lincoln Pond and its two red bridges But, did you know that Elm Park is split in two by Park Avenue and also includes the trails on Newton Hill?

Newton Hill at Elm Park has come a long way over the last two decades due to the hard work of Friends of Newton Hill - a group of locals that promotes restoration and maintenance for a part of Elm Park that is often overlooked. Park amenities include disc golf, tennis courts, and fitness circuits, which collectively make the park  feel safe, welcoming, and engaging.

Chase the Waterfalls or Wildflowers 

The Cascades consists of 156 acres and a whirlwind of wooded trails. Come spring, cascading waters accompany native wildflowers along the steep terrain. Cook’s Pond provides a quiet refuge at the end of your hike including a bridge where you can rest your legs. +discover

Take a Stroll at Salisbury Park

Bancroft Tower was erected in 1900 for historian and statesman named George Bancroft. It stands 17 meters high, made from natural stone and granite. Two half-compasses set on either side of the tower point out the city’s seven hills. The tower is open to the public on select Sundays in the fall. Salisbury Park is open to the public year round. +discover

Embrace the Dog Days of Summer

Beaver Brook offers an off-leash dog park with a double-gated fenced and secured area. At 17,000 square feet, the park is a canine oasis featuring complimentary dog waste disposal bags and designated areas for both small and large breeds. Make sure your pup possesses a City of Worcester dog license and is at least 6 months of age. +discover

Catch a Concert at University Park

When University Park opened in 1887, it was actually known as Crystal Park because it extends around Crystal Pond. The name change came in conjunction with Clark University’s increased neighborhood presence. These days, the park is more active than ever, hosting a weekly community farmers market on Saturdays as well as a summer concert series. +discover

Paddle Around Curtis Pond

Hadwen Park boasts 56 acres, but no public trails at this point in time. An overlook at Curtis Pond is in development along with upgraded walkways. The pond is perfect for kayaks and canoes with plenty of nooks and nodes to explore. +discover