Mine Falls Park: A Great Place for a Nature Walk in the Heart of Nashua

 

I started run 10 years ago.  The decision was made after I had returned from vacation to find my wedding dress no longer fit and I had only a few months to make it work without some serious alterations. I did make it work and was able to get into my dress but what does this have to do with Mine Falls?  Here it is….

While getting out and burning off those extra dinners out, I realized I enjoyed running and want to challenge myself a little more. As the dreaded (not so dreaded any more) 30’s began a fast approach, a friend and I start chatting about completing a 5K.  Now I may have been out getting my run on but completing a 5K sounded a bit daunting. Could I really run 3.1 miles straight without dropping dead?

This is where I discovered couch to 5K, a great training tool for those interested in getting off the couch and earning that runners high! The runner’s high is a free and legal high. It leaves you feeling great without dodgy side effects. So I strapped on my shoes and hit the pavement.

Problem: You can only run around an apartment complex so many times before you are bored out of your skull and in my case lose your motivation.

In steps a coworker with a suggestion, she runs at Mine Falls with friends. Mine Falls is trails and pavement around the Nashua River, covering 325 acres in the heart of Nashua, NH.  It also has recreational fields for soccer, baseball and lacrosse. Now I had to check this place out.

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Mine Falls proved to be an amazing place to run but it was so much more than that. It’s a great place to get out an enjoy the day or nature with your family. I like to put my Little Man in his babywear carrier and take him for little hikes.  I’ve seen families out biking through Mine Falls. Runners get together for group runs. Friends out for fishing and kayaking. Mine Fall offers so many options and its free fun. They even had scheduled park clean up days. Check it out: https://www.nashuanh.gov/491/Mine-Falls-Park. It’s also a great place to walk your dog but remember Nashua has a leash law and Mine Falls doesn’t have a poop fairy so please clean up after your dog.

It offers fun for every season, although in the winter it can get icy. Spring you can see the trees budding, summer you can escape the heat in the shade.  Fall you can see the leaves change.  Winter you can snowshoe or cross country ski through the snowy trails.

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For my fellow runners, there are also several race options through Mine Falls.  Gate City Striders, a local running group, offers a summer series.  You can check it out at http://gatecity.org/mine-falls-trail-series/ . It’s a no frills race through the trails at a great cost. Also the Wolf Hollow Trail race in the fall is a nice 10 miler or relay. You can check it out at http://wolfhollowhalf.com/.  If you’re looking for friends to run with; ladies check out – She Runs This Town, NH or Mom’s Runs This Town on Facebook.  Another option is http://www.fleetfeetnashua.com/events/social-group-runs. You can get fitted for you proper running shoe while at fleet feet.

Mine Falls has 3 regular entry points; one by the Nashua YMCA, one behind the Hannaford’s on Coliseum Avenue (Lincoln Park entrance) and the Whipple Street entrance. There are also 2 boat ramps; One across from the Nashua YMCA and one behind Conway Arena. This is a no wake zone but it is a great area to put your canoes and kayaks in to the Nashua River or the Mill Pond.

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Speaking of the Nashua River, how about a little history about Mine Falls? Mine Falls got its name from when it was allegedly mined in the 1700s for low quality lead on the islands below the falls. The area was later seen as a potential site for textile mills of the 1800s. 3 miles of canal were then dug to create a 36 foot drop at the mills. A gate house was also built and still stands and can be seen in Mine Falls. Mine Falls was designated as part of the Heritage Trail system in 1992, this trail system extends from Massachusetts to Canada.

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Remember Mine Falls is in the city and while you can see wild life such as fish, turtles, snakes, beavers, hedgehogs, and the legendary stories of moose, deer and bears it does have city features as well.  Mine falls has high tension wires running through it. Trails run under a highway overpass.  Trails run along road ways and behind one of Nashua’s High School as well as very close to the Nashua Police Department.

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Some safety reminders to consider before heading out:

  1. Never hike alone and be sure someone always knows where you are going.
  2. Make sure you have a copy of the trail map. If a paper one isn’t offered take a picture of it with your phone (this will also help remind you what entrance you parked at) or print it out before you leave home.
  3. Dress properly and be aware of the weather.
  4. Sunscreen and bug spray are highly recommended.
  5. Carry your cell phone with you.
  6. I recommend carrying water on you too if you can.

I hope you have a chance to get out and see Nashua’s Mine Falls.  Explore New Hampshire! It’s amazing.

 

 

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