Explore the Parks of Worcester

Posted: March 13, 2020

Spring and Summer in Central Massachusetts beg 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 in the summer. The park is also home to Green Hill Golf Course, which includes a driving range for public use. +discover

Where: Green Hill Park Farm, Green Hill Parkway, Worcester / Green Hill Golf Course, 50 Skyline Drive, Worcester

Splish Splash Like it’s 1492

Cristoforo Colombo Park’s splash pad (opening July 1st) 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.

Where: Cristoforo Colombo (East) Park, 180 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

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.

Where: Elm Park, 138 Russell Street, Worcester

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

Where: The Cascades, 135 Olean Street, Worcester

Take a Stroll at Salisbury Park

Bancroft Tower, located at Salisbury Park, was erected in 1900 for a historian named George Bancroft. It stands 17 meters high and is made from natural stone and granite. Two half-compasses set on either side of the tower point out Worcester's seven hills. +discover

Where: Salisbury Park, 26 Massachusetts Avenue, Worcester 

Embrace the Dog Days of Summer

Beaver Brook Park 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

Where: Beaver Brook Park, 300 Chandler Street, Worcester 

Catch a Concert at University Park

When University (Crystal) 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

Where: University Park, 965 Main Street, Worcester 

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

Where: Hadwen Park, 19 Heard Street, Worcester